Friday, April 12, 2013

CBR The Evil Dead (comics)


With a rebooted movie out not that long ago, I might as well go back to basics.

"Whatever the hell had crawled inside them... Kandarian demon-scum or just a bad case of cat scratch fever... I was gonna have to play dirty or die."

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

Comic title: The Evil Dead
Art by John Bolton 
Written by Mark Verheiden
Based on a screenplay by Sam & Ivan Raimi

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 2008
Lineup Evil Dead
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series The Evil Dead #1-4.

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.

This is Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. While Dynamite Entertainment's later comic books represent more Campbell's part of the franchise.
In 2008, over a decade since Dark Horse Comics last visited the franchise with an Army of Darkness adaptation, the publisher was able to revisit the series temporary.

They did so by providing this comic book adaptation of the Sam Raimi classic, the original Evil Dead.

But since this isn't a movie tie-in but a brand new comic in the 2000s, they might as well bring something new to the table, right?

This comic was the perfect excuse to revisit the franchise long before Ash Williams' shenanigans became synonymous with the series.

Written by Mark Verheiden (My Name Is Bruce) and with art from John Bolton, this is not exactly The Evil Dead you might remember, more precisely this is an expanded take on the cult classic.

This comic book adaptation follow the same lines as Sam Raimi's first Evil Dead movie.

It follows our "involuntary hero" and survivor Ash as he goes up to a cabin in the woods with some friends and his girlfriend Linda.

The promised romantic weekend turns into a blood bath, the Book of the Dead turns everyone and everything around into Deadites. The group starts being torn apart, limbs get cut, Ash barely makes it. Mark Verheiden doesn't strand off too far from the original script.

What the book adds is an on-going narration by Ash that gives us a look into his mind during the crazy events that happened in the film.

It doesn't really weight the story too much and in my eyes is a pretty decent addition. It still is the same experience overall.

And illustrator John Bolton is the perfect man for this dark twisted tale. His photographic approach really suits Evil Dead 1's mood. It's dark, very gore and definitively for a mature audience.

Overall, it's an okay story.

But since it doesn't "expand" too far away from the original story for its own good, and came so many years later, one can ask: Was this really necessary?

It's the original Evil Dead 1 adapted to comic book format. It follows the same story. It looks clean and adequate, but nothing spectacular either. It has some new scenes inserted in-between, particularly in the beginning. On-going narration. What's the point in this well executed exercise?

It's essentially what happened between events on screen put on paper.

My favorite bit being how they tried to tie into Evil Dead the "half-sequel, half-remake" Evil Dead 2 in the end, with a pretty well thought plot twist.

I give it:
1.5 / 3 ManThings!

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