Review: Vampirella/Army of Darkness #1

Hoo boy, where to start with this one?  It’s kind of like eating a cow.  You do know how you eat a cow right?  One bite at a time.  Except in this case the cow is made of shit.  It’s a cow sized piece of shit and you have to eat it without using your hands.  Just dive in with your face and get you some.  Some of that massive pile of shit.  I really don’t like hating things.  My life is already full of stuff that I’m not fond of right now, I just don’t have the energy to hate my hobby.  My hobby is where I go to escape, to feel better, to get that surge of youthful wonder and entertainment.  I like to be positive, I like to like things and I like to like things a lot.  As I get older I just don’t have time for anything less than unbridled enthusiasm. I don’t like this.  In the past I’ve read stuff and just not done reviews because I hated something.  Legenderry: Red Sonja comes to mind.  I don’t have the energy to hate on that book anymore.  I’ve torn every aspect of that thing apart, there’s nothing more to say.  I could not have outlined my dissatisfaction with that book any more than I did.  But still I did not dislike that book more than I disliked this one.  The only thing that saves this from a ‘WTF’ rating are the facts that it’s Dynamite, it’s Army of Darkness and it’s the first issue all those things combined add up to something.  In this case that something can be quantified.  I quantified it, in fact, into a single numeral, the first numeral to be exact.  All that consideration nets this book a 1.  Don’t get me wrong I want to quit this book already, I really do.  I want to treat this like a sad joke.  I want to ask “You’re taking the piss aren’t you?” and when they look back at me with sincerity I want to give them a laughing “Fuck off.”  There is a chance though, a very small chance that not only was this their intention, but part of their plan and they intend to fix it in the next issue.

Vampirella Army of Darkness #1The story takes place during the events of Army of Darkness.  ‘Ash’ has gotten the Necronomicon back to Arthur’s castle and they are eating.  You may wonder why I put inverted commas around ‘Ash’, well that’s because this sounds nothing like Ash.  This character is immediately unlikeable and stone dumb.  Ash is not stone dumb, he may act dumb, but in Army of Darkness he not only introduced gun powder to medieval times but he created a fully functioning fake hand and retrofitted his fucking car to work without modern tools!  He is not a dummy.  At least he wasn’t until now.  He is also an unrepentant sexist here slapping some woman on the ass and then treating her very poorly before demanding sex and encouraging the same behavior in others.  When a scream is heard inside the castle he is reluctant to do anything about it, trying to get nookie instead and then insults the murdered corpse in front of its friends and family.  None of this seems in character with Ash.  I would have less of a problem if they had set this on an alternate world or created a wholly different character.  The character would still be unlikable, detestable even, but at least he wouldn’t be carrying the context of another, established character, like a cross through a desert.  At the very end he runs into Vampirella, who is almost monosyllabic in her speech, before she turns into a giant bat.  ‘Ash’, by the way, immediately recognizes her as a vampire despite vampires not existing in his world.  Deadites exist, it would have been more appropriate if he recognized her as that before being corrected later.  It’s a nitpick but there is nothing else to hold onto in this shipwreck of a book so I’m forced to cling to the smallest bit of flotsam I can find.

I don’t care about anybody in this book.  No character jumped out at me as likeable or interesting or even developed.  The art is competent but not standout and fails to be dynamic.  In all fairness to the artist they weren’t given much chance TO BE dynamic so it gets a pass.  My only hope for this book is if they kill ‘Ash’ off next issue and in consuming ‘Ash’ Vampirella becomes, like, a Vampirella/Ash hybrid and takes over the story finishing out the established Army of Darkness story in the Ash role.  This couldn’t have been more mishandled but I don’t really want to blame anybody or call out anybody.  Ultimately this is one bad book from a company that puts out good stuff from creators who put out good stuff.  I encourage you to find that good stuff and read that instead, let this rot on the shelves… to act as a warning.

Score: 1/5

Vampirella/Army of Darkness #1 Writer: Mark Rahner Artist: Jeff Morales Colorist: Morgan Hickman Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/8/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital