Too often, when famous and successful franchises are mixed together for a crossover, you end up with a total disaster. Danger Girl and Army of Darkness manages, though not as well as the respective source materials, to be a fun, fast-paced, action-packed read!
Danger Girl, created by J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell in 1998, had a mind-blowing spectacular first mini-series. A large part of its appeal, apart from the Indiana Jones meets James Bond meets Playboy bunnies mash-up, was Campbell’s distinctive style of illustration.
Subsequent volumes, while employing skilled creators like Phil Noto, have seen a decline in art. While not bad in and of itself, the pages just don’t match with the curvy, eye-popping work of J. Scott Campbell. This latest series suffers from the same problem. Written by co-creator Andy Hartnell, with good art by Chris Bolson; it is a worth reading, but falls short of matching its source-piration.
Army of Darkness, the third movie in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, is a total cult classic. Featuring Bruce Campbell (the actor and no relation to J. Scott Campbell that I know of), and some of the best dialogue a teenage boy can ever hope to hear, Army of Darkness has a special level of cheesy humor and horror that is rarely matched. No comic adaptation will ever be as great as the movie, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be good either.
Some have been good and some have been terrible. Still, the crossover volumes, which to date include Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness, Jason vs. Freddy vs. Ash, and Army of Darkness/Xena: Why Not? There are many more, and they are mostly all fun reads. Again though, this new series will never capture the magic of that Raimi-Campbell-schlock-horror fun.
All this said, and I still recommend reading this new mini-series. The first issue is largely set-up, but it does it well, delivering quick paced action sequences, and succinct character ‘bios’. Ash doesn’t appear till the last page, but the plotline that is bringing these two protagonists together is well grounded in both their unique ‘worlds’.
Published by Dynamite, with IDW’s logo also on the cover – by J. Scott Campbell, but don’t let this fool you – Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness is far from the best comic out on shelves these days. But it isn’t the worst by far, and if you are a fan of either of these two characters, it’s definitely worth the read!