Army of Darkness #7


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Army of Darkness #7


  • Words: James Kuhoric
  • Art: Kevin Sharpe
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Blond
  • Story Title: Old School, Part III
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 7, 2006

Ash’s final trip to the cabin in the woods which started his war against the deadites unearths a startling revelation and sets the stage for Ashley’s future.

The cabin that simply will not die spits out its final undead avatar, and it’s the mother of them all – literally! As Ash battles this deadite Granny Goodness, the walls come a tumblin’ down, tossing our hero into the very depths of the lodge’s bowels…where a certain device is found that reveals the hidden reason the cabin and the deadites have existed and plagued our hero for as long as they have. This leads to a brief origin of all things deadite, challenges Ash to find a way to rescue not one, but two loves he’s lost (though may one day save), and charges him with a mission that will lead our hero on a one-way road to Dracula and the Movie Monsters (which, come on, at this point is not a spoiler)!

Writer Kuhoric pens a surprisingly captivating finale to the otherwise hollow "Old School" storyline. For the last two issues I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure why we were rehashing the original movies blow for blow – were people this remorselessly nostalgic? Did all fans want to wallow in such luridly over-tread ground? Whatever the reason, the story held no originality, no seeming purpose (beside the aforesaid wallowing), and lingered on until I thought I might drop the damn title (which is something I am loathe to do with even the worst of things, and Army of Darkness is one of the best!). So is this third chapter the series’ redemption in twenty pages?

Close enough: it doesn’t forgive what’s come before, but I am once again excited for what’s to come. Issue #7 at last gave a reason for the return to the cabin, which is the uncovering of the deadites’ origins, which in turn points Ashley towards his next grand epic. The revelations were, indeed, surprising, and the action was at the last well choreographed and fun. Even better, the two women in Ashley’s life were finally given a full spotlight to shine, have their say, and complete their character arcs for the time being, which was another lingering issue with the series – it was getting to the point where these characters seemed to have been forgotten, discarded, and would forever remain loose ends.

The art by Kevin Sharpe has been consistently good for the entirety of the "Old School" arc, though (and this may just be my satisfaction with the script talking here) even he seems to put forth his best effort for this thrilling conclusion. The first few pages are pure splatterfest fête, and the later sequences, especially the final few pages which serve as a prelude for the upcoming arc, are gorgeous to the extreme. Sharpe is credited with "Pencil Art" (and no additional artist is listed as a companion inker), meaning his pages are lead-lined only, then colored over – a technique that worked marvelously towards creating a grittier, gorier rendition of the action within.

So: at last a worthwhile issue of the AoD ongoing. I loved the anthology that Dynamite published a few months back, but the miniseries and the ongoing have been an overall disappointment, with a sincere lack of charismatic storytelling and uneven art. Even when the basic concepts seem brilliant gems (Ash vs. Re-Animator? How could this be bad!?!), the execution produces nothing but rough, diamonds not included. Now with Ash vs. Dracula just over the horizon, I’m excited as I’ve always been with these comic continuations of Ashley and his never-ending struggles, but I’m also getting weary and equally wary. This will probably be the final chance this series gets with fans: either the big movie monster brawl will bring us flocking back, or the comic itself will become just another deadite casualty – full of blood and guts and a potty mouth, but still dead and buried for all of that.

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