In Review: Army of Darkness Vs. Hack/Slash #2
The covers: The Main Cover is by Stefano Caselli showing Ash enjoying his deadite killing duties, using his chainsaw to great effect, while Hack looks more like Kate Beckinsale from the Underworld films. Too out of character for Hack. The A Cover by Tim Seeley has the duo walking in silhouette though a graveyard as an evil face looks down on them. Awesome! I love the colors, too! The B is by Ben Templesmith focusing on a tile shower floor. A dispatched deadite is by the drain, and in the blood we can see that Ash has sent this monster packing. Great! The Subscription Cover is by Ken Haeser and it’s another “cute” cover of a cartoony Ash reading from The Book of the Dead as Hack tries to get his attention, because their shadow has morphed into a monster. I just don’t like these cute covers. Overall grades: Main B+, A A, B A, and Subscription D+
The story: I will fall down and worship at Tim Seeley’s feet if I ever meet him to thank him for such a fantastically fun and frantic story. We open in the present with Ash in a prison shower about to be shredded by two naked deadites. Before he’s, in his own words, “man-wiched”, we see whom he blames for his predicament: Hack, in the past. She’s putting some more nasty nails into her bat while Ash sits on the porcelain throne. Ash’s dialogue is to die for! It’s spot on perfections in sarcasm and self importance–and his reaction to Hack’s gams on Page 3 is howlingly funny. And it only goes to prove the maxim true: Bacon makes everything better! I love the top two panels of Page 5–hilarious! The laughs and gacks continue in jail, with a funny souvenir on Page 14. The way information is taken from this item was fantastic. The rescuing of the individual was surprisingly easy, but there has to be things to build toward, and the final two pages are building an army! Seeley is the man for this book! Overall grade: A+
The art: I will also kneel before Daniel Leister for the ridiculous amount of detail he does for this book. Look at that opening page–That’s right, I said Look at it! The shower setting is great, complete with leaky pipes and a dropped bar of soap. Ash looks great, and the deadites extra sleazy with their trashy tattoos. Page 2 shows both heroes prepping for work, though Ash is doing a special, unexpected kind of prep. Page 3 shows Hack’s beauty and…and…bacon looks great! I loved the “Reverse Shawshank” and all that was missing from Page 6 was the playing of a Pink Floyd song. I loved the supernatural elements on Pages 14, 15, 17, and 18, and Pages 21 and 22 are leaving me screaming for more. Overall grade: A+
The colors: Carlos Badilla does an amazing job bringing Leister’s art to life. This book could have been dark and dreary to support its supernatural tone, but Badilla makes things bright and visible–eve if we’re in an unlit prison shower. Page 3 is the best because…bacon. Overall grade: A+
The letters: A lot of dialogue and a lot of narration from Marshall Dillon, with only a few sound effects, though this issue didn’t really need many. Though that second RRRNNN on Page 17 is great! Overall grade: A+
The final line: The dark gods continue to smile on those craving Ash or Hack. Humor, gross ghouls, and unequaled action! Highly recommended! Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.