At first glance, I thought Army of Darkness: Ash for President was just another version of what is going on most news channels lately. I thought this was just going to be another group of creators plucking the low hanging fruit that is our presidential race. But while the comic does poke fun at the ridiculous circus that has been this 2016 presidential election, it does so in a way that revels in the absurdity of it all. This comic is a humorously cynical look at our political process. I’ve been an Evil Dead fan since high school, I’ve seen all the movies, I loved the show Starz put out and I can’t wait for the next season. But I have yet to jump into the comic version of the franchise. But after this comic, I’m definitely going to look them up, especially any of them written by Elliott Serrano. He really taps into who Ash is as a character and makes a seamless transfer from the movies to the page. You can tell Serrano cares about this character; he’s done his research and after writing him a couple of times in other one-shots and series, he’s got his voice down. The way Serrano writes him Ash’s goofy cocksure natures just never gets old.
In addition Ash’s quips, the strength of the book comes from the small jokes hidden in the margins of the story. Most of these are tiny offhand comments made by side characters. Whether it’s a small town hick or a demonic book, these small bits of humor that riddle the story make for some excellent moments. Elliot also plays no favorites; there are enough jokes for everyone, the ignorant voter, the puppet newscaster and, of course, the candidates.
What is surprising is that the comic did not include a parody of the raspberry bush of the low hanging fruit world, Donald Trump. The premise of the story is that one of the two candidates, either Democrat Brock Sanders or Republican Valerie Sexton are secretly agents of some great evil. It’s up to Ash, as the newly elected third-party candidate, to get close enough in the polls to get an audience with both of them. Now it could be that Ash himself is serving as a stand-in for the Donald, or perhaps the creators just decided not to include him. Either way, I’m glad they did it. With all the Trump news saturating the media today, I’ve already seen him portrayed as all manner of demons, to the point where to depict him as an agent of darkness would have just been lazy to do so. This was a bold decision by the creators, and the comic is better for it.
Artistically, the book is solid. Diego Galindo and Pete Pantazis do an excellent job with their caricatures. The action is done in that classic evil dead style with both the humor and violence done in excess. Ash’s facial cues are excellent, and for those of you who are fans of the show, this is the young ash of the movies, not the grizzled veteran that graces your TV screens. The close up of the demons also bodes well for the team capturing the sudden impact of the transformation that is one of the trademark shots of the films and show.
All in all, this is a great funny book. Will it win an Eisner? No. Will it encourage a third-party candidate to enter the fray late in the presidential race? Maybe. But what it will definitely do is make you laugh. And laughing about what’s on the news is always better than being embarrassed by it.
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Army of Darkness: Ash for President Writer: Elliot Serrano Artist: Diego Galindo Colorist: Pete Patazis Publisher: IDW/Top Shelf Price: 5.99 Format: Print/Digital