Comics : Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness #4

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

My name is Ash, and I am about to become Deadite chow. 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. It didn't take.

Just when I thought the Deadites found a way to punch my ticket, I ended up thrown into a world full of costumed nutjobs who all became Deadites when one of their own starting taking big chunks outta them. I found a chica named Dazller with some nice, um, ASSETS who led me to another babe, the Scarlet Witch, and we went to Dr. Creepy's joint to find the Necronomicon, only to learn it wasn't there. Instead, some crackpot in a tin suit named Dr. Doom (more like Dr. Dumbass) has it in his little castle in Lithuania or something like that. Ya know, really, just once I'd like to go someplace without guys in armor running around castles...

In Detail...

"Book of Dooms"
Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness #4
Aug 2007 : SM Reference
Summary: Spider-Man reference
Editor:  Ralph Maccio
Writer:  John Layman
Artist:  Fabiano Neves, Fernando Blanco, Sean Phillips
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Issue
Review

S.H.I.E.L.D. could have been able to stop the infection before it was able to spread at the rate it did. They had the power, they had the technology, they had the strategic minds. What they didn't count on, though, was Quicksilver being suckered by an infected Mystique who made him think he was rescuing his sister, Scarlet Witch, from being bitten. With one bite, he was able to crisscross the globe and bring the infection to other lands.

In the present in Latveria, Doom is dealing with an infection of his own: Ash. Ash proves bothersome as he tries to make his case to get at the Necronomicon, but Doom dismisses him and his colleagues, insisting science is the key to end this extraterrestrial, not supernatural, threat. To prove his point, he launches an attack at Giant-Man who tries to get into the castle, effectively destroying him. With that, Doom has Ash carted off to join the select people he's saved to begin repopulating the world once the crisis is averted.

Dazzler is appalled to his claims of being a hero with his selective process, but Doom soon educates her that a real "hero", Mr. Fantastic, willingly let himself be infected so the virus could continue to spread (see Marvel Zombies: Dead Days). With that, Doom invites the lovely heroines to dinner.

Meanwhile, Ash tries to get out of the pen until he's rescued by Wanda, who managed to sneak away. They start to resume their search when a Doombot attacks. Wanda easily takes care of it and gives Ash an idea. Donning the armor, he makes his way into the lab without resistance and tracks down the book. He finally manages to coax an answer out of it, only to discover the book deceived him into believing it was the Deadites so Ash would know the crushing defeat of hopelessness. "Face it, Tiger...you crapped out!"

Ticked off, Ash wanders through the castle until he comes across the Enchantress in some kind of cell. He listens to her pleas and lets her out as an ally against Doom. Eventually, they run into Dazzler and Wanda and Ash makes with the innuendo, oblivious to their warning him that Enchantress was actually infected and lunging for the kill.

In General...

Another solid issue with a hilarious exchange between Ash and Doom. Doom comes off nice and arrogant while Ash is the buffoon he was always meant to be. It was also cool to see the Necronomicon get a personality, it's sentience hinted at both in the movies and in one of the mini-series (which was never revisited again). The only bad part about this was the sudden change in art. With several artists on this one, a couple with the same realistic style we've been getting, it was a bit jarring to go into a suddenly cartoony section that seems more at home in the main AoD book. But despite that, the clever alteration of a classic Spidey line and some more tributes to the movie continue to make this a great read. Especially for AoD fans.

Overall Rating...

4 Webs. Different style artwork between issues is one thing, in the same issue? Never a good idea. Unless it's a special event type deal where you want to showcase a collection of artists that worked on the book. In which case, not only a good idea but a nice gesture. Ah, you get the point!

Footnote...

Cover Parody:

Captain America vol. 1 #100