Army of Darkness Furious Road #2
Writer: Nancy A. Collins
Artist: Kewber Baal
Colourist: Schimerys Baal
Letterer: Gabriel hardman
A review by Amelia Wellman
With Ash vs Evil Dead fresh off its first, hugely successful season, the world is once again dying for Evil Dead content. It was the perfect time to expand the universe with a stand-alone comic series. Army of Darkness Furious Road is what’s been delivered and it is exactly what we’re all clambering for.
Twenty years from now, the world has fallen to a Deadite invasion. The remains of civilization are holed up in human compounds: one of the biggest being in the city of Lansing, Michigan, renamed simply “Alive”. A rag-tag group of humans and monsters (including the Daughter of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and a werewolf) escort Ash Williams, the Chosen One of the Keeper of the dread Necronomicon Ex Mortis back to Alive to send the Deadites back to Hell. But to do that, they first have to get past the Army of Darkness and The General attacking the gates of their city.
“War makes for strange bedfellows.” There’s not anything else that could so perfectly sum up Army of Darkness Furious Road. Here’s a story in the Evil Dead universe that shows what would happen if Ash didn’t win against the Deadites. Humanity falls. Monsterdom falls. What remains of the two sects are forced to work together to survive. It’s an incredible thought and is always portrayed in the right Evil Dead tone of scary but also silly.
The original characters are all individuals and Ash is spot on with the persona we’re shown in Army of Darkness. He’s cocky, he’s sarcastic, and he’s continuing to risk his neck to do right by humanity. Everyone is also pretty genuine. They’re a group of apocalypse survives and they feel like it. They’re tired and haggard but they keep trudging forward through this landscape of death and despair because it’s what humans do. I love feeling for the characters in comic books instead of just reading about them. Plus, the dialogue is snappy and fast-paced and conveys everything we need to know story-wise without coming off as just a straight exposition dump.
The art of Army of Darkness Furious Road accomplishes some very interesting things. The landscape is that of a post-apocalyptic Michigan (though who could tell the different between that and regular Michigan, amrite?) with a tonne of excellently portrayed action and movement that’s never cluttered or confusing and feels alive. It features the horrific gore within the Evil Dead universe but in a playful way. It also showcases Bruce Campbell’s strong, all-American features but, as is usually the problem with licensed books, it sometimes drifts from the realism the artist is looking for and into something cringe-worthy to look at. However, the original character models don’t suffer from this and all work really well within this world.
Buy it! The story is ridiculous in all the right ways and Ash (despite not looking quite how I’d like) is very in character. Plus, I don’t think you’ll ever get another chance to see Dracula ripping a Deadite’s face off, a werewolf motorcycle gang, or Ash’s custom Murder Mobile outside of Army of Darkness Furious Road! Although this is the Evil Dead Universe, I suppose when we saw the second one for the first time we never expected the last film to be a medieval hack and slash comedy piece. But it’s unexpected nonsense like that, that makes Evil Dead just so damn good!