Friday, July 12, 2013

Danger Girl and The Army of Darkness

 First off, I'm not a member of the EVIL DEAD/Bruce Campbell cult.

 I was blown away by EVIL DEAD when I saw it shortly after it's initial home video release in the early 1980's. My friend Bryan and I ran a ghetto gauntlet walking to The Allerton Theater in The Bronx for a 10 P.M. showing of EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN, and that kind of took the bloom off of the Rose. It was a comedic remake of the original, and we were both very disappointed. Plus, Ash was kind of a know-it-all dick. ARMY OF DARKNESS didn't improve things much. While I am still able to watch and enjoy these films for what they are, none of the sequels can touch the original. And since the comic book series is called ARMY OF DARKNESS (Due to, if I remember correctly, some weird licensing thing that only grants them rights to characters/situations from the film of the same name, and not the EVIL DEAD films...), it maintains that annoying ARMY OF DARKNESS tone that irritates me so. (I did, however, enjoy the MARVEL ZOMBIES crossover.)

 So that brings me to DANGER GIRL AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS. I am a fan of the DANGER GIRL franchise, albeit a fair-weather one: I think the original mini-series, which featured art by J. Scott Campbell, is amazingly fun and entertaining. Once Campbell moved on, the book suffered, and so I moved on, as well. I returned for DANGER GIRL/G.I. JOE, which was a return to form for the DG franchise, so I had slightly elevated (I won't call them "High"...) hopes for their meeting with Mr. Ashley Williams....

  ...and I was really no more let down than I expected to be. This is a fun, lighthearted DANGER GIRL adventure, made slightly annoying by it's regurgitation of tired ARMY OF DARKNESS tropes.

 The book, of course, finds the Danger Girl team searching for The Necronomicon, with help from Ash. Abby Chase and Sydney Savage take center stage, with Valerie and Deuce reduced to bit players, but that didn't bother me too much this time out. There's a delightful flashback to Sydney's childhood and recruitment by Deuce that's worth the price of admission alone, and Artist Chris Bolson acquits himself nicely. His art is attractive, clean, and easy to follow. Writer/co-creator Andy Hartnell does his usual great job with the DG team, but he threw in a few too many ARMY OF DARKNESS cliches for my liking. Must every AOD story feature "I'LL SWALLOW YOUR SOUL!!!", "JOIN US!!!!!", and every other tired Deadite quote? (Thank Baby Jesus Hartnell didn't stoop to the ubiquitous Ash-ism "HAIL TO THE KING, BABY!"...I fucking hate that.) Every AOD comic features pretty much the same premise as the movie did, except in different time periods and with different people helping Ash, and DANGER GIRL AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS isn't really much different.The addition of Abby and Sydney elevates the proceedings somewhat, and I enjoyed the book due to their presence.

 DANGER GIRL AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS collects all six issues of the mini-series, as well as all covers and variants. Dynamite/IDW provided a review copy.