Dark Horse Comics, long known for quality adaptations of existing properties, has just this week unleashed the first of its four-part Evil Dead series. And lucky for you, I just picked it up today.
All in all, the selling point here is the art. John Bolton, who I knew from his work on Batman: Man-Bat, is one of those comic book painters who are all the rage these days (thanks, Alex Ross!). And his work is beautiful--each page resembles a portrait. Very pretty to look at, although I find that hand-drawn comics usually do a better job of portraying action.
The series is written by Mark Verheiden, who just so happens to be the screenwriter of Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell's upcoming movie My Name Is Bruce. He was also the writer on DC's acclaimed Phantom series from a few years back.
As written by Verheiden, the story is pitched as an "expansion" of Sam Raimi's original horror masterwork. And it does give some interesting never-before-seen (and Raimi-approved) details, including what led up to our young protagonists' fateful jaunt into the woods.
It does take some bizarre continuity turns, however. For instance, Cheryl is no longer Ash's sister, but one of his girlfriend's pals. In flashback, the professor and his wife are portrayed much younger than they are seen in Evil Dead II, and the wife's name is inexplicably changed from Henrietta to Beth-Marie. Odd for Verheiden to toss out Part 2, when he clearly makes more than one allusion to Army of Darkness.
I will say that movie-adaptation comics certainly have come a long way from when I was a kid--an era when "Based on the Hit Movie!" translated into "Keep Away!" for most comics fans (my personal lowpoint may have been Marvel's "Labyrinth" adaptation.) That said, Verheiden's pacing does seem a bit rushed, and I wonder if this series might have been better served as a five- or six-parter.
It's an entertaining read for fans of both horror and comics. However, if you're not a regular comic book reader, there's really no burning reason to go running out to the store. You'd be better served picking up Steve Niles' 30 Days of Night, or the excellent first volume of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.
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