Henry and Arthur prepare for battle as the army of Deadites led by the possessed Wiseman rallies outside the castle wall. Ash and Shelia, still absent in search of the Necronomicon, face their own troubles, as well. The giant Ash doppelgänger hunts down Ash, the one who wrested the book from its colossal protector. That’s no simple escape.
As Arthur and Henry continue to defend the castle at heavy cost, the two realize they are no defense against the Wiseman and his undead soldiers.
While the story was rather simple, the fun and humor seen in the last issue doesn’t appear here. The plot of this arc felt rushed as the battle and chase could have easily lasted two issues to allow for more breathing room.
Moreover, the conclusion to this issue came off as ho-hum rather than Holy Cow! I gotta buy the next issue. This could be pacing issues or this could just be a lack of ideas as to how to get Ash to progress through further adventures.
The writing issues were compounded by illustrations so washed out or overwrought with colors that discerning what happened in the last few panels gave cause for several re-readings. One panel in the middle of the issue showed Henry in his armor with the face being so off scale that the whole image looked akin to a mural on a daycare in a bad neighborhood.
I did thoroughly enjoy the last issue, but the annual and issue #5 have me hesitant to continue with the series. Ash could be a smarmy, entertaining anti-hero, but this issue made him seem flat and indistinguishable.
Writer: Steve Niles Art: Dennis Calero Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Ongoing - Print/Digital