Written by Elliot Serrano
Art by Ariel Padilla
Kind of late to the bandwagon, everyone’s favorite Evil Dead hero finally has his turn to team up with the 44th president of the United States.
The setting is Detroit City Comic-Con, which manages to get probably the one guest the real show in San Diego didn’t – President Barack Obama. Also in attendance, although not willingly, is our hero – S-Mart employee Ashley J. Williams. Of course, the Necronomicon rears its ugly book cover around to cause trouble, making the day even better for Ash.
The story is pretty basic. Ash is doing S-Mart business at Comic-Con. Obama shows up. Necronomicon shows up. Deadites show up. End issue. If you’re looking for Ash using his boomstick and chainsaw against some deadites, you’re going to have to wait at least another issue. This first part is just Obama saturation and Ash being annoyed at having to work in an ocean of geekdom.
The book’s point seems to be poking fun of the saturation of Obama’s image in comics and merchandise right after winning the election (Anyone remember Spidey meeting Obama?). In satirizing the commercialism of Obama, the issue also satirizes the commercialism of any random current trend, and what better place to do that than a parody of San Diego Comic-Con? The book even goes so far by having a character flat out explain cashing in on current trends.
Though at the same time, the book is doing just what it’s making fun of. Sticking Obama in the book adds to the growth of profiting on his image. In that respect, it may be a little late. Pimping out Obama seems so few months ago. When was the last time you saw a limited-print Obama coin commercial? I wonder if the Obamaphile crowd is still consuming enough merch to make this worthwhile, as I also wonder if the Obama overload in this and subsequent issues of the miniseries will turn off regular Army of Darkness readers. As I doubt this miniseries is really for the Obama fans, perhaps the AoD fans would have been better served with less Obama ad nauseam by using a different or even fictional politician. Only time will tell, but I can say I’m getting tired of typing Obama throughout this review (Ctrl+V for the win).
The highlights include some neat geek references, comic or otherwise. This is at a Comic-Con convention, after all. We also have the obligatory Bruce Campbell reference. Still, there’s not much in this issue that doesn’t have to do with Obama. Not much meat to the story outside of the Necronomicon manipulating things like it likes to do. Maybe it’ll pick up in later issues. Maybe not. This issue, though, is meh.
Let’s face it, Bruce Campbell is Ash. That’s part of the appeal of Ash. This guy in the book does not look like Bruce Campbell. I wouldn’t have recognized the first image of Ash if it weren’t for the metal hand and the name tag, and it was still hard. The covers pull off that square-chin look that Bruce Campbell brings to the character, thanks to different artists, but the interior Ash just doesn’t capture the same character. It’s sad, as I’m sure seeing a proper Ash in a hairnet would have been funny.
One weird element is the book constantly hiding the Obama character’s face. You never see it. His face is always either off panel or turned away. You see his face on merchandise though. Comics, dolls, posters, newspapers and everywhere else that isn’t the actual character in the book. I really can’t think of a good reason why. Stylistic choice? Some sort of legal red tape? Making a statement about marketing one’s image? Hoping for some impact when Ash and Obama finally meet? I don’t see how it any of those when he’s even on one of the covers. It’s just weird and seemingly pointless.
Otherwise, the art is pretty average. The coloring is mostly dark with lots of shading and thick black lining. A few inconsistencies though, namely Ash’s inner shirt changing from white to blue and flip flopping which hand of his is the metal armor glove (should always be the right). I don’t expect amazing art out of an Army of Darkness book, but I do expect them to know what hand to attach the chainsaw to.
Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama #1 suffers from over-Obamarama. It overshadows most everything else in this issue, which isn’t much. Not enough Ash being Ash, both in plot and in art. This isn’t necessarily a bad comic. It’s just below average. Even more, there’s probably not even enough to it to make it a necessary read for the rest of the miniseries.
Overall (Not an Average) 4/10