COMICS: Army of Darkness VS. Hack/Slash #1 (of 6) – Review

#1 (OF 6) REVIEW
By Bill Gordon

I’ve never really read horror comics before.  I mean, I read ‘The Walking Dead’ and that’s about it.  The closest I’ve been to reading horror, other than ‘The Walking Dead’, is ‘Hellboy’ (which I think we can agree is not exactly horror at all…) and ‘Batman’.  I say ‘Batman’ mainly because there have been many story arcs that involve many horror related themes, mainly being arcs such as ‘The Black Mirror’, ‘The Killing Joke’, aspects of ‘Batman: Earth One’ and Joker’s latest arc ‘Death of The Family’, they are only a few examples.  But many of Batman’s villains could fall under the category of a horror icon; you have Scarecrow, Joker and even the serial killer Zsasz etc.  Detective/crime stories will always have moments when they share similar themes/elements with a horror story.  But we’re not here to talk about ‘Batman’, ‘cause let’s face it, as much as I argue/give examples, ‘Batman’ isn’t a horror series.  On the other hand ‘Hack/Slash’ IS.  ‘Hack/Slash’ has always been a series I wanted to get into; telling the story of Cassie Hack, a horror victim who strikes back at those monsters we know only as ‘Slashers’.  If that concept doesn’t sell it to you, I don’t know what will.  Unfortunately for me I am far, far behind, and it will cost a lot to catch up on the series.  ‘Army of Darkness’ is another horror-series I always wanted to read, as a huge fan of the ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy it was perfect for me, but like ‘Hack/Slash’ I never gave it the time and now I’m far behind.  But now we have the mini-series ‘Army of Darkness VS. Hack/Slash’, the joy! It only made sense to buy this, despite not reading either of the series’ the characters originated from.  In this review you will find out whether ‘Army of Darkness VS Hack/Slash’ is worthy of checking out, whether it’s friendly to newcomers and whether it will make me dish out loads of money (that I don’t have) just to buy all the volumes of ‘Hack/Slash’ and ‘Army of Darkness’. 

After the events of the ‘Hack/Slash’ series (that I know nothing about, so I just nod my head and keep reading), Cassie Hack is trying to lead an ordinary life.  But a Deadite attack forces Cassie back into action, this time she’s teaming up with the one and only Ashley J. Williams, S-Mart employee of the month, January 1999, Housewares.  Together they must try collect all the pages from the Book of The Dead.

Tim Seeley doesn’t give us time to doze off in this first issue of this six-part mini-series.  After a failed date night between Cassie and her partner, they take off home, only to come across something totally unexpected.  Within the first few pages we are the introduced to Ash.  Oh how I have missed Ash.  I haven’t seen him since ‘Army of Darkness’ (the film, not the comic series), so for me it is like an angel coming down from the heavens and appearing before me shrouded by beautiful white lights.  Tim Seeley knows Ash too well; it feels like Bruce Campbell on the pages, reading each speech bubble in his bold, courageous and sexy voice.  The shared conversation between Ash and Cassie provides the reader with laughs; already you can tell this is probably the best horror/buddy-cop mash-up in years.  Luckily for us newcomers they provide a quick backstory for each character, so already you feel safe reading it without knowledge of the previous series’.  Before you can say “boomstick” we are given a brutal and hilarious fight between a Deadite and this epic duo.  Daniel Leister’s art manages to depict the tongue-in-cheek gore that we know and love from the ‘Evil Dead’ series. 

‘Army of Darkness VS. Hack/Slash’ is fun for newcomers and veterans (I’m assuming).  It’s not the team-up we deserved, but the one that we needed.  It’s comically entertaining, violent and just looks great.  It’s a promising start to the mini-series, and yes, it has made me want to buy every volume of both ‘Hack/Slash’ and ‘Army of Darkness’.  If you see me homeless on the streets in a few months’ time, don’t give me money, instead I would much rather prefer ‘Hack/Slash’ or ‘Army of Darkness’ comics.  Within these 32 pages, my love for Ash has been rekindled greatly and I have been introduced to a new soon-to-be-favourite kick-ass heroin.  And in case you are wondering… Yes there is a panel of Cassie and Ash walking away from a burning house towards the reader.  And yes… it is so bad-ass you will probably fist pump the air.  Let’s hope Tim Seeley can keep up this level of work for the next five issues.  Groovy.


Follow Bill on Twitter: @2FlashGordon7

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