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This comic should be impossible to fudge. It takes three horror icons that all have a sense of humor attached to them (except maybe Jason, but even he had his funny moments), and puts them all together in what should be the match-up of the century. Well… let’s see how that goes.
Summary: The comic opens to a frozen Crystal Lake, and Jason floating in his usual hibernation pose, sans hockey mask. It copies the opening of Freddy vs Jason by having Freddy, who at this moment is banished from the mortal realm (I think), impersonate Jason’s mom, in his head, again. Jason, he’s not a bright boy. Freddy decides to sick Jason on Ash this time, who apparently “killed” Jason at the end of a previous comic. So Jason awakes and kills some people, heading towards the home of Ash, who is now enjoying the retired life. I won’t tell anymore, because I don’t want to spoil a comic that I actually didn’t dislike (is that a double negative?).
Writing: It’s good, to a point. One thing that is definitely improved is the humor. Although there isn’t a lot of it. At first, I thought this was simply because of the fact that they are trying to cram a lot of set up in there, and they are, but that’s not why. I think the reason why the humor of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead simply don’t work in this medium is because they largely depend on the delivery of the key actors, Robert England and Bruce Campbell, respectively. The jokes that are here are actually not bad, including a really hard to spot one that I loved. When I found it, I was so glad they didn’t point it out. Here, see if you can find it:
Art: The comic suffers here a bit, but not too much. There are some occasional posture or facial shots that seem really bizarre, but other than that no big complaints, except…
I’m not sure who to blame for this, but the artist (or letterer, depending on who did it) should have known better. I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be menacing and faithful to Friday the 13th, but it is neither. What it is, however, is an unintended source of hilarity. Not only is the noise wrong (it is supposed to be ki-ki-ki ma-ma-ma) the echoing sound of “Kill Her Mommy” that Jason Vorhess’ mother hears her son tell her in the first movie, but also, it was never meant to be displayed in this way. It would have been less distracting if Freddy walked behind Jason wherever he went saying it instead.
Also, Ash is wearing Elvis shades, which can’t help but conjure up Bubba Ho Tep flashbacks, which is awesome.
Overall: A much worthier comic than our last entry, even if it suffers from heavy dependence on a previous comic series I missed, making a good deal of this comic seem nonsensical. I would have to say track those down first before committing to this whole series. Although, this comic is quality enough to make me wonder…
How was the Ash vs Re-animator crossover?
And so, faithful reader, in this 10th article, I depart, to hopefully return in January, new, improved, and with more comics in hand. I hope, if anyone reads these, to see you then.
I love the Evil Dead movies. No hiding it, no shame, these movies are the bee’s fucking knees. Bruce Campbell? Forget about it. I have followed this guy ever since I saw him on Hercules, the Legendary Journeys as a kid. I’ve read both of his books. I EVEN LIKED MY NAME IS BRUCE. Sam Raimi? While I may not have liked his forays into the superhero genre (as mentioned last week) I do like most of his other films, and, as someone who was once (and is in some ways still) an aspiring filmmaker, I have an enormous respect for his ingenuity and the techniques he developed as a low-budget filmmaker.
I had heard on the commentary to Army of Darkness that Sam and Ivan Raimi had written some comics based on the movies, and it sounded alright to me. More hilarious horror adventures with our hero Ash? Sounded like a good idea to me. So, one day my girlfriend stopped by our local comic book store looking for something, saw the comic and picked it up for me.
It was not written by Sam or Ivan Raimi. Or any Raimi, for that matter.
Summary: It opens with a series of references to the opening and ending of Army of Darkness, with bits of exposition about the state of the world (it seems there were some comic s in the story before this, including Marvel Zombies), peppered in. Evil Ash Prime, as he is called, has corrupted the world, and now humans are barely surviving in a world ruled by Deadites. Ash stumbles out of the cave where the portal dropped him to make a blatant joke/reference to the end of the director’s cut to Army of Darkness. Pulling himself together after weeping over the potential loss of his “Sugarbaby”, he picks himself up and saunters off, right into a gang of Deadites. At least we are told they are Deadites, because except for the one that looks like a giant Satyr, these guys could be a bunch of bikers for all we know.
“Suck it, Joker, I’ve got two shoe-blades!”
Ash easily defeats them, because he’s FUCKING ASH, and then we cut to Evil Ash’s layer, where it is implied he is violating them in the other room, in ways that cannot be described. Waiting in his throne room is some evil Deadite advisor lady, and…DUH DUH DUH! Sugarbaby is there! And she’s a Deadite! Another thing that wasn’t clear thanks to the art. And that we’re given no reason to care about.
Evil Ash comes out complaining that because he never got to kill Ash, his life is empty. His evil advisor woman says that all he would have to do is kill himself and then he could fight Ash on the other side. Sounds like a reasonable way to get out of this comic to me!
We cut back to Ash, walking around, looking lost, when an old man claiming to be a seer starts harassing him. Ash’s character has apparently reverted completely to his beginning of Army of Darkness personality, and tells the old man to get bent, right before the old man starts showing him visions of the past and future, saying how Evil Ash got powerful, and what Ash needs to do to stop it, by finding a few chosen warriors. It also gives Ash the chance to make a really unfunny and nonsensical Planet of the Apes reference. Joy.
“Is that Gorro? Ash you fool, this isn’t Planet of the Apes, it’s the Mortal Kombat movie! RUN!”
So, his fate determined for him like always, Ash goes forth to face his destiny.
Writing: So, the idea of this story is actually pretty good. Ash taking the fight to the Deadites in a post-apocalyptic future sounds like sliced bread, but it somehow became Cazu Marzu (look it up, by all means) along the way. One big foul up was the humor. Or rather the attempt at it.
You see, in place of Ash’s hilarious one liners or any real comedy, there are pop-culture references and horrifying attempts at wit. Here is my FAVORITE.
Where to begin with this? It’s a stupid joke. This sort of humor isn’t really funny when it’s topical. So after the fact like this, it comes off as the writer saying something tasteless and stupid and then elbowing us in the ribcage. With a chainsaw.
Also, I think it was pretty clear that Ash is from the 70’s-80’s era. So when did he find out about any of this? It makes this comic horribly dated AND anachronistic to its own story. Speaking of which, what the hell happened to Ash? Even for a pretty one-note character in what amounts to a Gore-Comedy, he still had character growth in Army of Darkness, and in many ways even became the hero that he was destined to be, which this comic references several times. That comes across to some degree, but it just feels like the character in the comic is simply a cheap archetype of the man we all know and love. Even with these gripes, the story is still a bit intriguing, if a little stock with all of the coolness and humor washed away.
Art: The art, while decent, suffers from a lack of continuity with the story, and with Ash’s face. We all know Bruce Campbell has a big chin, guys. You don’t have to have it trying to eat the rest of his face in every other panel.
If there is any complaint beyond that, it’s that nothing is really memorable beyond the cool, if a bit muddy, cover. And the opening few pages with the Necronomicon are done very well.
“Yeah, with a knife” “Or a Bigger Knife” “FUCKING KNIFE”
Overall: This comic was at best mediocre, even through the rose colored glasses of a fan of the franchise, who really wanted to enjoy it. With piss-poor humor, and the man, Ash, apparently being replaced by a conventioner cosplaying as Ash, I can’t recommend it to anyone, especially new readers, as there is a good deal of continuity that is missing without previous issues and Marvel Zombies. And if there isn’t, then the writer is just lazy.
Next week I will be looking at another comic starring the S-Mart CSR from Housewares, one that involves some other horror icons as well…and what’s funny, as I read the ads in the back of this book, is that my statement hardly narrows it down.
This time, I will be journeying into the realm of Warren Ellis again. A while ago, I decided to look into Black Summer after The Spoony One laid out the rather interesting premise in one of his videos. Which is thankful, because I wouldn’t have gotten any detail concerning the premise otherwise. Allow me to explain:
When I went to go pick up the first issue, I rightfully assumed that it was the FIRST ISSUE. And in some ways it was. But when it only briefly mentioned the events that had been laid out to me as the opening of the series, I was really confused. After asking around, I found out there was an issue zero. That’s right. An issue zero.
Let’s discuss a problem with comic books really quickly. New people have a hard time getting into comic books for a number of reasons, but a big one is because they have a hard time keeping track of characters and plot lines, and the number of issues required to do so can be intimidating. Which is why proper numbering is important, not only to more serious comic book folk but also people who are simply interested in a certain hero or story and wish to know more about them. When you break that numbering system, it is incredibly frustrating. Now, I am a pretty patient guy when it comes to this stuff, so it didn’t scare me off, but I know of many people who have been turned off to comics as a medium because of shenanigans like this.
Anyway, back to the “issue” at hand:
Summary: Black Summer is a story that starts with the worlds greatest hero, John Horus, killing the president and his cabinet. He then announces to the press that they were corrupt war criminals, and he will oversee a new fair election to replace them. Obviously, things don’t go quite that smoothly, as the military starts freaking out and hunting down all of John’s old team, one of whom, Tom Noir, is the focus of this issue. Tom was crippled in an accident and has been long retired, but that doesn’t stop the “government” from suspecting his involvement in the assassination. He receives a visit from one of their representatives, a long thought dead friend named Frank Blacksmith who has come with a large bodyguard to politely kill Tom in case he becomes a threat. It largely takes place in his apartment during this encounter, with brief flashbacks show bits of the origin story of the team.
Art: This is my biggest complaint with the comic. The art seems fine in more grand scenes (like John flying around a tower) but in the closer scenes, especially the fight scene in the apartment, it gets really line heavy, and just seems really over done. It’s not enough to break the comic, and at times this style leads to great detail, but it makes a lot of panels far too busy. One positive note in this category, though, is that despite the business, the characters expressions really show through, more so than I’ve seen in a lot of comics.
One warning to potential readers, though. It’s really, really, gory.
Writing: The concept is diabolically genius, that of a hero having no choice but to stop someone he perceives as a murderer, without the help of the justice system (this person just happens to be the president), and the question over his sanity in doing so. All of these things are laid out here (more or less, Issue Zero gives a better picture of this, however).
But other than some a good intrigue, not a whole lot happens in this issue. Regardless of the rather pin-point plot, it is expertly paced, with flashbacks providing exposition at just the right times, without it feeling like your slogging through said exposition. If one of the only complaints about something is that you want more of it, then that is usually a good sign. Also, it has some of the same style from Transmetropolitan, with a dark humor streak beneath the seriousness, and that’s never a bad thing (at least for me).
Overall: I’d recommend checking out at least the issue ZERO, which is what I did shortly after reading this one (if you can find it, it took me a while) to see if you like it. It’s only supposed to be 99 cents, so its a good way to gage whether or not you’re going to enjoy this comic, as I did. I’ve recently acquired the rest of the comics, so after I read them all I will probably come back for further analysis. However, until then, tune in next time for my first review of a comic I didn’t like!
With the changes to the New Comic Review format there is no real need to do a pull list preview in the usual format of posting the cover of the comic and commenting on it. So instead here is the pull list. Just a simple list.
Batman and Robin #3
Batman Widening Gyre #1
Blackest Night Titans #1
Detective Comics #856
Flash Rebirth #4
Green Lantern #45
Dark Avengers #8
Fantastic Four #570
Incredible Hercules #133
X-men Forever #6
Another heavy week. A couple titles sneaked up on me. Thanks for reading and check out the site Friday when the reviews will be posted.
There has been some changes to the pull list this week. Read here for more info on the changes.
Been throwing this idea around, would people prefer if I did the new comic reviews in a text format? Considering the time frame for these reviews it is almost easier for me to just do it as a Text review. Well unless I found someone else to help me do the videos. It is just a pain when I write, film and edit (minor but still) all in one day. I guess I could move the reviews to Saturday.
Oh well, I hope you enjoy this video and I hope to have a day set for “In Defense Of” here soon. Till then enjoy the articles and videos.
This is a big week. If this week was a comic it would be called a double sized issue. I am throwing the 20 dollar budget to the wind this week as 1) Its my birthday this week, 2) There is a lot of titles coming out that I read, and 3) I am a reviewer and I try to review all the major events and just so happens 3 of them hit this week. Should be a fun episode. So enough chitchat and one with the previews.
We will start with DC comics.
Adventure Comics #1
Alright I like to read Issue 1 of most comic series as it is fun to see how they present themselves for the general audience. They are to function as “jumping on” point for new readers, yet new enough for the fans. It is a balance few achieve and I love reading them to see how they do it. Now this is written by Geoff Johns. Johns is one of the writers I love to read no matter how bad the idea behind the comic is. This comic looks to be fun. The 5 page preview I read in Detective Comics was pretty good and gave me an idea what to expect. I am not expecting much but I am expecting Johns to explain somewhat how Superboy returned to life after Johns killed him off in Infinite Crisis. I know it happened in Final Crisis Legion of three worlds but really not many people read it I don’t think. The book was delayed and released after Final Crisis wrapped up. I wont go into that much but I have high hopes for Adventure #1. I pray it doesn’t disappoint.
Not much to say about this one. I am loving the current run on Batman and I expect this to be good. I am really digging Dick Grayson as Batman. I love it when the sidekick’s take the mantle of their idol, much like Wally and Bucky. I can go into this for a while but I wont. Can’t wait to read this issue.
Blackest Night #2
Okay to explain the caption, there is no good Green Lantern poster. This would make for an awesome poster and even a t-shirt. DC brand this cover fast! Oh yeah, the comic. I loved the first comic and is on my top 5 comics of July. The only one to beat it was Amazing Spider-man #600. Green Lantern #44 makes me want to read this comic even more.
Keeping with Blackest Night:
Blackest Night Batman #1
I have no idea what to expect for this comic. It has Deadman as Black Lantern grabing at Dick Grayson’s heart. Very nice cover but will this be a pointless Blackest Night Tie-in? Probably. Will it be good? Not sure yet. I am getting this for crictic purposes and not just my own whimsy like I normally do. I would like for it to be good, but chances are it will be bland.
Blackest Night extravaganza will finish with
Green Lantern Corps #39
There is a lot of Dead Lanterns, A LOT. So Blackest Night will hit them hard and we are promised a whole planet to return to life. This will be epic and amazing. I expect this to be essential to the Blackest Night story line much like how GL #44 was. Can’t wait.
That does it for DC time to go to the other company, Marvel.
Starting us off is
The Amazing Spider-man #602
Amazing Spider-man is rocking my socks off these past few weeks and I am really eager to read this. The title has been making my pick of the week two weeks in a row, will it’s streak continue? We will find out. Now lasts week reveal makes things more interesting and is going to make this comic…Amazing.
Incredible Hercules #132
The cover alone is enough for me to pick it up, but apparently Herc fills in for Thor. Also we get Amadeus Cho’s back story. This will be the first Herc issue I have picked up in two years. Should be interesting.
Now time for the Ultimate Comics!
Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1
The Ultimate universe is given a much needed reboot and this is one of the few launch titles. I never read much of the Ultimate universe as they were oddly the hardest to get into, which defeats the point. So I hope this is good as Marvel gave reigns to the reboot to Jeph Loeb who is crazy now. UC Avengers promises to be at least interesting.
Next we have,
Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1
This is basically the cover without the holofoil background. Now this is the only title to survive the Ultimatum reboot. Just got retitled and renumbered. Bendis is behind the wheel here which should bring some joy to me. This wll bring the total of number 1′s to a staggering 4 titles.
Now let’s go into the X-men Universe-
Uncanny X-men First Class #2
I love the early Claremont era of the X-men and this series is smack dab in the middle of it. I can actually name the time frame it takes place. Uncanny X-men #109-#111. Yeah I am that much of a geek, and I had my handy Essiential X-men Vol. 1 in hand. Great series and this part of the story is mixing Fantastic Four Lore with X-men. Great stuff.
Next we have
Uncanny X-men #514
Okay despite some minor complaints about Utopia, this is a good X-men Story line. Not the best but damn close. I even admit The Dark X-men is growing on me despite a horrible mini-series. Actually there is news the team is going to continue after the even with Dark Beast and Mimic (the best characters by the way). I am curious on how this is gong to end and each issue reveals a little bit each time. I love Fraction so I am a little eager to read this title.
Now to finish up the pull list is
X-men Forever #5
Seriously this is almost like the actual cover. Now why isn’t the cover here? Simple answer is that since the title ships twice a month, the solicits are only with one cover. So finding an online version I can use is next to impossible. I am lucky I found this piece. It must be a variant cover. This comic series sucks and I am hoping this issue steps it up. Two bad issues in a row makes me want to drop the title. Its a great idea but I can rant on this comic for about an hour. I hated the last issue and this one doesn’t look better. Though it looks like Pete Wisdom is there or Daredevil. Can’t really tell.
Alright that does it for this week’s pull list. Expect the newest episode of New Comic Review to air Friday. I will review all 12 titles. This makes for the biggest episode of New Comic Review yet. So join me Friday for new comic reviews and check the site out during the week for updates. Some In defense of news is coming down the pipes this week. So check out the site for that.
Thanks for reading.
New Comic book review time. This week I tackle Cry for Justice, Spider-man, and Captain America. Sit back and enjoy. Also sorry for any sound issues.
Sorry in advance for the sound quality. Had to use an alternate camera when the mic for my webcam went on the fritz. Should be back to normal next week.
Reviews of the newest comics:
In this episode I cover: The Amazing Spider-man 600, Dark X-men: The Beginning #2, X-men Forever#4, and Dective Comics #855. I forget to get Wonder Woman at the shop. Expect a review on it next week. Also for those wondering I will review Wednesday Comics at the end of the run.