Like Evil Dead 2? Like War of the Worlds? How about the crossover you never knew you wanted, and how about getting that crossover right in time for the Halloween season? A season that I personally feel does not get the crossovers it deserves. Seriously, I’m waiting for my Pumpkinhead meets Leprechaun movie that is introduced by RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Sorry, on to the show!
If there’s one thing about the Evil Dead series that I love, it’s the incredible humor that is derived from the legendary alpha male, Ash. He’s, well how do I put this, a clueless idiot on a selfish rampage who falls face first in to being lucky (kind of). In Space Goat Publishing’s Evil Dead 2: Revenge of the Martians, the aura of Ash is held with such high endurance, it makes me wonder why the Ash Vs. The Evil Dead series on Starz isn’t just a weekly anthology series that explores the adventures of one hapless fool and a book bound in human skin.
Evil Dead 2: Revenge of the Martians is exactly what it promises to be based on the title and cover. A one off issue that pits Ash against the H.G. Wells creations that terrified audiences so long ago via interpretation courtesy of Orson Welles. The twist this time is the government is the responsible party who goes about using the Necronomican to resurrect a dead alien race and infect them with Deadite DNA. And, naturally, as the book of pure evil is scurrying around, so is our clueless male lead, Ash.
The script, by author Ty Templeton (Stig’s Inferno), captures Ash and his machismo to an almost pitch perfect replication. He’s rude, crude, and always in the mood. Most importantly though, he’s hilarious. Ash, to be Ash, has to interact with danger the same way Rambo interacts with rogue Soviet soldiers in the desert; with a careless wonder and slight annoyance. And it is clear that Templeton knows his source material, when it comes to Bruce Campbell’s iconic role that is. In regards to the aliens, the inspiration to take War of the Worlds as a template is, at most, interesting. However, because of the bare bones use of the elements that made War of the Worlds a classic, the final result feels rushed and incomplete. If a bit more time was spent with the aliens in Deadite form, I feel as though this may have been an issue that was truly unique and required reading for any Sci-Fi/Horror fan, and not just us Evil Dead fans.
In regards to the art, by Eduardo Vienna, it is serviceable in the sequences of set up, and truly magnificent and cartoony (that is a compliment) in the larger action sequences. The only issue I have with this is that I don’t feel a unique style, or voice, is presented until the larger moments occur, and in these moments the artist is given room to breathe and create. However, when the big fights are presented, they are stylish gifts that scream Saturday Morning Cartoon at the top of their lungs! And now I’m wondering why we don’t have a Saturday morning Evil Dead show, especially since The Toxic Crusaders was a thing that happened once.
Overall: While the aliens are sub-prime, and the art is mostly serviceable, the damn near perfect adaptation of Ash and the Deadites make for a breezy, and entertaining light read.