Comics : Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness #1

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

My name is Ash, and I am in hell. It all began with a book, The Necronomicon Ex Mortis. Roughly translated: the Book of the Dead. Bound in human flesh and inked in blood, it contains bizarre burial rituals and demon resurrection passages. It was never meant for the world of the living.

An archaeologist, Professor Raymond Knowby, stumbled upon the book and brought it up to a remote cabin in the woods where he began to decipher the text. What he did instead was wake up an ancient evil and gave it license to enter our world.

My girlfriend Linda and I came to that very same cabin on a vacation, stumbling upon the Professor's work...and the book. It got Linda.

Then, it came for me.

It got into my hand and it went bad, so I lopped it off at the wrist. But it was far from over. The Professor's daughter came to the cabin with pages lost from the book, pages containing an incantation to make the evil physical and send it back to whatever hell it came from. She died opening the portal, and I got sucked in with it.

I was sent to 14th century England where the evil was just beginning to rise. I was split into two; there was me, and then there was the bad me. I thought I had killed him, but I was wrong. He returned...with an army of Deadites; an army of darkness. Uniting the people of that era, I led them into battle and was able to get sent back to my own time. But it wasn't over.

I had come back too early and had to go fight the damn book all over again. Then I got sucked forward through time, back through time, and thrown into crazy adventures with my evil doppelganger tagging along like an annoying neighbor. I thought they were finally able to punch my ticket, but that wasn't the case. Instead I was sent here...

In Detail...

"Earth's Mightiest Zero"
Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness #1
May 2007 : SM Guest
Summary: Zombie Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Ralph Maccio
Writer:  John Layman
Artist:  Fabiano Neves
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Review

Ash makes his usual "graceful" landing into a dumpster on this new world. He's accosted by a bag lady whom he promptly chases away trying to figure out if he's in heaven or hell. The decision isn't made easier when he finds Daredevil tussling with Thunderball across the street. Ash decides to do his civic duty and stop the bad guy (as soon as he can figure out who that is) when the bag lady accosts him again, but this time as a Deadite! She delivers a foreboding message about the fate of this world, which Ash decides to cut short with his chainsaw.

Daredevil manages to catch him in the act and stops him, losing focus on T-ball who takes him out of the fight. T-ball thanks Ash and heads on his way, leaving the witless wonder feeling like a hero...until he reads about the Wrecking Crew crime wave in the next edition of the Daily Bugle. Oops.

Discovering the world is populated with "costumed clowns," Ash decides to hit up the crème de la crème for backup against the pending Deadite invasion: the Avengers. Ash gets their attention in his own...unique way, and of course the more he explains the situation the more of a crack-pot they think he is. Scarlet Witch decides she's heard enough and sends him away just in time for Jarvis to tell them about a problem in midtown.

Ash gets out of the duck pond he was thrown in just to see pink lighting strike through the skies. He tries to warn everyone but comes off like even more of a loon, just as the Avengers arrive in the area. Spider-Man swings by as well to offer a hand and Colonel America gives him an assignment; web up Ash and carry him off. Ash tries to convince him he's not crazy, telling him about his encounter with the Deadite menace in the afterlife: some super being eating all the people waiting to enter the pearly gates who knocked Ash back and into this dimension. When Spidey asks what the being looked like, Ash indicates the zombified Sentry who had just taken down the entire team of Avengers.

The disease infecting Sentry spreads to his teammates, turning them into zombies with a hunger for flesh. They begin to attack the populace while Spidey and Ash watch on in horror. Ash explains these aren't typical Deadites as Spidey swings them down to save a woman from being eaten. Spidey holds on to hope they can be changed back, but Ash informs him to the contrary, just as Colonel America leaps down from the sky and takes a bite out of Spidey's neck. The still-webbed Ash is dropped to the street where Hawkeye, Luke Cage and Ms. Marvel are waiting hungrily.

In General...

Marvel Zombies meets Army of Darkness. This had the extreme danger of being a very corny team-up idea, but the overall execution is not only satisfying, it's MUCH better than the actual core Army of Darkness book. Much like the first mini-series, a line from the movie is rehashed, but it's the only one. Ash has a quip for everything and his dialogue sounds similar to Bruce Campbell's rendition. Of course, the Marvel heroes are played to form as they get transformed into the sadistic eating machines we know of. The only gripe is Spidey's lack of Spidey-sense allowing him to get tagged by Colonel America...who suddenly seemed to develop the ability to fly. Overall, a good start and a nice addition to either franchise.

Overall Rating...

4 Webs. Bruce Campbell goodness and Marvel Zombies. What more do you need?

Footnote...

Cover Parody:

First Print: Uncanny X-Men #141 Second Print: Captain America Comics #1 Dynamite Edition: Uncanny X-Men #137