Title: Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness
Author: John Layman, Fabiano Neves & June Chung
Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror
Stand alone or series: Second Graphic novel in what is now a collection of 4 Marvel Zombie specials
Summary: (From amazon.com)
This is it true believers, the cross-over of the century begins here! The Marvel Zombies come face-to-face with Dynamite Entertainment’s Ash from the Army of Darkness! Ash has faced legions of the undead before, but never like this… as he lands in the heart of New York just as the Zombie outbreak begins! See how his actions help turn more heroes and villains into Zombies! Under the watchful eye of Marvel Zombie guru Robert Kirkman, this might just be the comic event of 2007! Plus: The entire series will feature classic “homage” covers from painter Arthur Suydam! Collects Marvel Zombies/Army Of Darkness #1-5.
Why did I read the book: I read and loved Marvel Zombies, and the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies are some of my favorites. Putting the two together into a beautiful, glossy package? Come on. It’s a “no-brainer”! (Ok, that was totally lame. I apologize.)
I thought Marvel Zombies was a trip—but this crossover is something else. For those who have not read the prior volumes, the basic rundown is in a parallel universe to the normal Marvel Universe, all our beloved Superheroes still exist…but as hunger-crazed denizens of the undead. Instead of using their superpowers to protect and serve, the zombies lured innocent victims into their chomping jaws, until they had exhausted the entire food supply on the planet, finally resorting to…other techniques to gain sustenance.
Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness picks up following Ash’s story arc in Army of Darkness #13. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of the Army of Darkness comics, but I didn’t find myself lost with this graphic novel–basically, if you have seen the Evil Dead and/or Army of Darkness films, you should be fine. Ashley Williams, boomstick and chainsaw wielding S-Mart clerk and deadite banisher, lands in a New York City dumpster. Immediately, he is harassed by a deadite baglady (yes, a deadite baglady) who warns Ash that Earth 2149 will soon be destroyed. Ash, showing the finesse and lady skills that only Ash can, responds by punching deadite bag lady in the face. Soon, however, Ash realizes that he should have listened to the bag lady, and tries to enlist the Avengers for help. Once again, Ash’s particular brand of communication skills prove wanting, and lead the Avengers to think he’s a complete nutjob. Soon after, however, chaos ensues when Ash turns out to be right–when he crash landed in the dumpster, a zombie version of The Sentry came with…and has been hard at work, making more deadite Avengers.
With superheroes zombified, Ash takes matters into his own hand and decides that finding the necronomicon is the only way to end the reign of deadites. He runs into a few familiar faces (Spidey, the Punisher), but ends up hooking up with Dazzler and Scarlet Witch (naturally) to find the nasty book of the dead. More chaos, universe bending/time travel occur, more superheroes make appearances, and best yet–fans of the Marvel Zombies franchise get some questions answered concerning Reed Richards and how the zombie infection took hold (there is some cool role reversal stuff going on with Doctor Doom), and the origin of the infection.
This is a complete win-win scenario–if you love Ash J. (G.) Williams, you will be pleased, and if you like some black comedy with your Marvel heroes, you’ll be pleased. Heck, if you just like zombies, you’ll be ecstatic. This crossover has everything a fan could want. The writing is hilarious and captures the perfect blend of slapstick comedy with wonderfully disgusting zombies going to town on their unlucky colleagues. Another cool plus–as with the first graphic novel, this release contains more zombified classic covers (Ash included, naturally).
Spidey vs. Ash cover
I didn’t think there could be much topping the hilariousness that was Marvel Zombies, but this volume takes the cake.
Notable Quotes/Parts: Oh so many! Hmm, how’s about a collection of some of my favorite Ashisms
“Waitaminute there, smiley! You’re giving me orders? I think you got the wrong idea about exactly who got cast as leading man and who’s playing second banana.” (to the Punisher)
“Not a chance, short stuff. Yer breakin‘ Ashley Williams’ three cardinal rules. Numero uno: Make Deadites deader. Numero two-o: Keep damsels from distress. And numero three-o: Do NOT feed the animals!” (to Howard the Duck–yes, you read that right. Howard the zombified Duck)
“A double-barrel boomstickblast straight through the coconut? Trust me, babe–he’s not comin‘ back from that one.” (To Dazzler)
Additional Thoughts: Coming soon to a bookstore near you: Marvel Zombies 2. Here’s the synopsis:
Forty years have passed and the zombies have come back home after eating just about everything else in the universe. Yum yum! What awaits them back on Earth, though, is beyond anything even these shambling monstrosities could have conceived! The Marvel characters that became last year’s unexpected smash hit are back and more stomach-churning than ever! Plus: At last – witness the birth of the Marvel Zombies! Kirkman and Phillips pull out all the stops as they reveal the secret story of the day the Marvel Heroes became brain-eating monsters! Want to see the Avengers eat Jarvis? You won’t get that in New Avengers, effendi! Collects Marvel Zombies 2 #1-5.
Hits stores July 9, 2008.
Verdict: Absolutely brilliant! I eagerly await the graphic novel release of Marvel Zombies 2.
Rating: 9 Damn near perfection
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