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Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator #4-- ADVANCE REVIEW

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Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator #4-- ADVANCE REVIEW

Credits

  • Words: James Kuhoric
  • Art: Sanford Greene
  • Inks: Sanford Greene
  • Colors: J.K. Conlin
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 15, 2006

Ash takes on a legion of corpses unleashed by the experiments of Dr. Herbert West and comes into conflict with disturbingly familiar forces.

Having successfully mined the pop culture landscape for recognizable and loved characters, Dynamite Entertainment has been attempting that tried-and-true convention of the comics medium: the crossover. Seeing as Ash Williams is constantly fighting the undead, who better to introduce him to than a guy who raises the dead for a living? Mixing the world of Army of Darkness with The Re-Animator seems like it would be pure horror/kitsch gold. But is it?

The book is certainly not without its appeal. Writer James Kuhoric nails Ash’s snarky blue collar dialogue well and fills each scene with campy humor and suitably Lovecraftian horrors. There is much gnashing of rotted teeth and talk of soul-swallowing from the deadite monstrosities and wonderfully horrible patchwork creations leaping from Dr. West’s operating table. All the classic Evil Dead aspects are present, from miniaturized doubles to reflections leaping out of mirrors. Make no mistake, it’s not high literature but there’s some good clean (well, actually rather bloody) fun to be had in these pages.

Unfortunately, I was hard-pressed to tell what exactly was going on. Partly, that’s just the downside of coming into an already-in-progress miniseries. However, I also found the artwork of Sanford Greene to be rather uneven and confusing throughout this issue. Greene has a fun cartoony style that should be a nice fit for the characters. But in this story, his panels are so cluttered by reanimated bodies and debris and depicted with such odd camera angles that I found myself frequently paging back to figure out what I’d just seen. It’s not a good sign when your hero is devoured by a creature formed by the bodies of a hundred dead and it takes a while for the reader to realize this. Colorist J.K. Conlin does manage to set a mood well at least and Greene delivers an eye-catching cover (even if I’m not certain what Ash fighting an army of undead monkeys has to do with…anything).

What should be a classic crossover comes across as something of a muddled mess unfortunately. Fans of the franchises will most likely find something to enjoy though.

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