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Army of Darkness/Xena #1: Why Not?

2 Ratings: 4.5
4 Part comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment
1 review about Army of Darkness/Xena #1: Why Not?

Bruce Campbell's iconic demon slayer meets Xena Warrior Princess, huh?

  • Feb 4, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
ARMY OF DARKNESS was Sam Raimi's sequel to his EVIL DEAD flicks which had long been fan favorites for their horror and for their cheerful abuse of the film's leading man Bruce Campbell. There were those fans, however, who were unhappy with the change of tone in ARMY and the way the gore and horror of the DEAD flix had been all but abandoned in favor of a more family friendly comedy/adventure approach. XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS was a groundbreaking TV series that ran for six seasons in syndication. It featured the strongest, smartest, most independent female hero ever to grace the small screen, and for at least four years of its run the series was wildly successful with its mix of comedy, action, and adventure, before it took a wrong turn and started taking itself way too seriously. Both these enterprises had the same production companies in common so it seemed inevitable that one day...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Both ARMY OF DARKENESS and XENA have gone the comic book route. Topps published over 60 issues of their Xena title before it closed, and later Dark Horse published two separate Xena series themselves. Dark Horse also did an adaptation of ARMY OF DARKNESS that coincided with the film's release, but let it go at that. Fans were left waiting for the comic adaptation of EVIL DEAD as well as the further adventures of its hero Ashley Williams until Dynamite Entertainment latched onto the titles a few years ago. Ever since that day Ash has not had one peaceful moment. They've yanked him back and forth from the past to the present and the present to the future and the future to the past so many times that he has a terminal case of temporal whiplash. He's faced off against everything that the redundant and ubiquitous Necronomicon Ex Mortis could throw at him including legions of your standard face munching undead, Herbert West, Freddy Kreuger, Jason Voorhees, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the personifications of the seven deadly sins, and Satan himself--not to mention a whole slew of zombified Marvel Super Heroes! In short, they've worn the poor guy ragged!

But just when you think they've run out of ideas--they offer us this one. The story they proudly proclaim: "No One Asked For".  Well, if we didn't its simply because we didn't think of it!  But as I said earlier, it was inevitable. ASH IN XENALAND!? It's a wonderful idea rife with possibilities. For example what happens when our ruggedly handsome hero Ash encounters that ruggedly handsome thief Autolycus?

Issue #1 of what was to be a 4 book arc is even better than I could have hoped! Each issue has 2 available covers, which is the minimum these days I suppose, with art by either the Udon Studios or Fabian Neves. The interior artwork by Miguel Montenegro takes some pains in the first issue to resemble the actors but lets that slide as we progress. But the story! The set up alone is near genius, and I'm not about to give it away either. The story is written by John Layman in issues 1-3, with Brandon Jerwa taking over in issue #4 which has a "To be continued" at its end! Will Ash simply pop into another reality or will his newest screw up of the magic words, "Klaatu Barada Chick Show", cause Xena and Gabrielle more problems as well? I can't wait to find out!

Is this for you? Sure, if you're a Bruce Campbell, EVIL DEAD, or XENA fan its a must have. Would it be possible to enjoy this with no prior knowledge of either of these franchises? Probably not.
Bruce Campbell's iconic demon slayer meets Xena Warrior Princess, huh? Bruce Campbell's iconic demon slayer meets Xena Warrior Princess, huh? Bruce Campbell's iconic demon slayer meets Xena Warrior Princess, huh? Bruce Campbell's iconic demon slayer meets Xena Warrior Princess, huh?

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April 10, 2010
One of the greatest reviews ever, of all time, and basically any where, great work on this. Sorry for skipping straight to this I will read and rate all of them when I am no longer only to do so without getting flagged. You know I love Bruce and any & everything he is apart of, love it. Excellent review.
April 11, 2010
Thanks, Thanks FM. There's usually not much of a problem with flagging around here--although Mackshere did manage to get himself thrown off twice! =)
 
June 21, 2009
Wow. Really? I never would have thought. I might have to look for these comic books. Evil Dead(s) were B movie almost scary, Xena was definitely girl power that was fun (for a while), and Army of Darkness was funny. And Ash v. Autolycus yeah - dopleganger away, well except for the chainsaw. Bruce Campbell is the most awesome B movie man alive, and not a bad TV actor. Gotta luv a guy who can do what he does with a straight face and enjoy himself and have NO SHAME!
June 21, 2009
Yeah it was a shame what happened to Xena in those last few seasons. I loved the EVIL DEAD movies, ED2 was my favorite because they pulled out all the stops. And who doesn't love Bruce Campbell? I presuming here that you've seen his old series BRISCOE COUNTY JR. That was a great show which like all great shows was cancelled. It was smart and funny and completely different from anything that had ever been on tv before. Some people compared it to WILD WILD WEST but the resemblence was only superficial at best.
June 21, 2009
Briscoe County Jr was a great show! I just found out that the series is on DVD. I'm going to have to renew my acquaintance. And in looking up the series on Amazon, I found another Bruce Campbell nugget - Jack of All Trades. Don't remember it all that clearly, but remember that it was amusing. Actually can't think of a single thing that BC has been in that hasn't at least been amusing! He's great in Burn Notice! Campy but excellent.
June 23, 2009
It had the greatest theme song and opening credits of all time, but unfortunately the show itself was not a highlight of Bruce's career. Brisco County on the other hand is something all Bruce Campbell fans should own and cherish. 
So you've  been catching his co-starring role on "Burn Notice"? His part has been beefed up since they found out how many viewers he's brought to the series. Then of course there were his continuing roles on both Hercules and Xena back in the good old days. He also made a guest appearance on an episode of "American Gothic" which was a series Sam Raimi produced way back when. It was a great show. Luckily they knew about their cancellation in advance and they actually got to wrap up their story line. I reviewed it here if you're interested and haven't heard of it, although I suspect you have.
 
May 20, 2009
What was "My Name Is Bruce" like? I heard his interview on NPR and seemed like an interesting guy/zombie.
May 20, 2009
It was okay. It wasn't the funniest thing I've ever seen, SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT is much better and it recently had its long awaited release on dvd. I reviewed it too. I wasn''t aware that there was already a review of MY NAME IS BRUCE on Lunch so I just jotted down a few things and posted it if you'd care to check it out. Its definitely one for the fans, and every fan is gonna love it. Bruce rips on everything.
 
April 18, 2009
Yeah it was a really great idea. The same company also put Raimi's DARKMAN into the ARMY OF DARKNESS world but it didn't work nearly as well as this cross-over did. They did come out with a 4 issue sequel to this where Xena and Gaby get thrown into the corporatew world of S-Mart along with Ash to battle the evil dead but it didn't play as well. I've seen all the Herc and Xena episodes because I was with them from the start. I own the first 3 seasons of XENA and season 3 of Herc which had some of their funniest episodes.
April 21, 2009
I always dug the darker, more action/adventure oriented episodes myself. For me Season 3 of Herc was where things began to go down hill.
April 22, 2009
I was always into the more comedic espisodses so obviously the more comedic ones are going to appeal to me more.
 
April 18, 2009
This is such a delightfully weird concept: taking Sam Raimi's horror-spoof anti-hero Ash and placing him in the world of Raimi-produced television series Warrior Princess, Xena. So bizarre and too good to be true. Have you caught up on watching the early episodes of Herc or Xena lately? It's amazing how well they hold up considering that most '90s entertainment was cool for about ten minutes and then became as stale as... well, really stale. :)
 
February 08, 2009
Probably, although I don't think I changed too much. They did come out with another 4 issue sequel. In this one Xena and Gabrielle get sucked into the modern day world and the dreaded S-Mart.
April 18, 2009
Now if they could only get Hercules to team up with Darkman... that would be something. LOL!

If you get around to it, I'd love to see a review of the first season of Hercules. Still my personal favorite season of just about any TV show. Too bad they screwed up the DVD release by giving it to Anchor Bay to produce and distribute.
April 18, 2009
They did do a cross over with Darkman!
 
February 07, 2009
I think I've read this review before sometime ago, but I can also tell you re-edited and may have added to it. I think this was the first review I've read from you that we became friends shortly afterward...
 
February 07, 2009
Never Seen XENA? Too bad, in the first 3 seasons it was a fun show and quite groundbreaking for tv in terms of strong female characters. But then Rob Tapert let himself be misled as to where his core audience really lay and the show quickly derailed. Still there flashes of the old Xena from time to time. As for me I'm not into comix very much but more than I can afford and less than I would like to be. I get ARMY OF DARKNESS, CONAN, KULL THE CONQUEROR, BUFFY, ANGEL(which is actually more enjoyable than Buffy right now),whatever stray XENA's they may do from time to time and I may continue SOLOMAN KANE if I can afford it. I love Robert Howard.
April 18, 2009
Because I would often read my textbooks in school all at once in the beginning of the year, I would spend most of my time drawing Conan pictures in my notebook. Most of them were crap and very clearly inspired by the Frank Frazetta paintings and the comic book work of John Buscema.
April 22, 2009
There are worse things to be inspired by.
 
February 07, 2009
I've seen Evil Dead a few times and Bubba Hotep, but I am unfamiliar with the Warrior Princess. Nevertheless, I am sure this comic will attract tons of fanatics of both series. I've never been a big comic collector, just TMNT comics!
 
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