Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CBR Army of Darkness (comics)


The awesome rumors of Sam Raimi possibly making another Army of Darkness film motivated me enough to go back through my Evil Dead/AoD collection. Here's another "Movie Adaptation"!


The Evil Dead lurks Withing The Woods, read these reviews and you'll be Dead by Dawn!

Comic title: Army of Darkness: Movie Adaptation
Art & written by John Bolton 
Based on a screenplay by Sam & Ivan Raimi

Published by Dark Horse Comics/Dynamite Entertainment
From 1992/2006
Lineup Evil Dead
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Army of Darkness #1-3.

There's always been two important sides the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series. Sam Raimi's exercise in directing. The craft behind making these films, the tone of these movies, the writing. And what Bruce Campbell's brought on board. His charisma, slapstick and presence.

Dynamite Entertainment's Army of Darkness tend to follow more Campbell's part of the franchise.

This here's the adaptation of the Army of Darkness feature film aka "Evil Dead 3" in comic book form!

The Evil Dead wasn't Dark Horse Comics' first comic book based on Sam Raimi's classic. In 1992 Sam Raimi himself handed a comic book interpretation of the third movie to hype the release of said feature.

It closely followed the original screenplay. Dark Horse even kept the third issue to be released after the movie, which mean almost a year hiatus between the last two issues.

You might even say it's the best representation of Army of Darkness as originally intended by the Raimi brothers.

I won't go on too much over the plot since it's the exact same story & dialogues than in the actual Army of Darkness.

Ash Williams, "the chosen one", lands in the middle ages. After fighting some local deadites, he tries to gets his hands on the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis - the book of the dead - but accidentally resurrects an army of the dead.

Ashley has to face the worst foe he's even met to date... himself! It all comes down in an epic final showdown between the living and the evil dead. And Ash vs. Evil Ash in a chainsaw & sorcery duel to the death.

The book can be seen as a sort of extended adaptation of the movie, since it was produced alongside it. Unlike the usual shorter adaptations you get nowadays. Since it follows Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi's original script it even features the original dark ending intact.

The great John Bolton did the work adapting the dialogues, breaking down the script into three issues and painting the book. It looks fantastic. Perhaps a bit less refined than some of his more recent work. But it suits the gritty tone of Evil Dead.

It actually kept much of the horror tone of Evil Dead 2 than the actual movie.

It's a pretty simple yet effective movie adaptation. It does the job of putting an entire movie in comic book form.

Overall, it's a pretty fun read! A nice look into Army of Darkness as Sam Raimi imagined it while he was simultaneously producing the actual movie.

Everyone knows or at least should know Army of Darkness. Aka "Evil Dead 3", "The Medieval Dead", "Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness", etc. But if you don't, the story is well enough layered out on these pages to both make sense and possibly introduce you to this series.

In 2006, Dynamite acquired the rights to produce Army of Darkness material and use Bruce Campbell's likeness. (Bruce has had some more comics made of his other works put into pages at Dynamite)

They did so first by simply reprinting Dark Horse's original Army of Darkness adaptation in trade paperback.

The book features an introduction on the Evil Dead trilogy by Kurt Busiek. And a nice interview with Bruce Campbell about the movies bookends the whole thing.

After this reprint and successful sales, they were able to launch an Army of Darkness on-going series which has sent Ash through many kinds of adventures and all sorts of crossovers, some just okay and others pretty good actually. The series is still in print to this day!

I give it:
2 / 3 ManThings!

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