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Frank Barbiere talks with Nancy Collins about Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1

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  • Frank Barbiere talks with Nancy Collins about Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1

    Frank Barbiere, writer of Dejah Thoris #2, talks with writer Nancy Collins about Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1, on sale March 2 from Dynamite.

    FRANK BARBIERE: What do you think defines the Army of Darkness license? Is there anything specific you were looking to put in this series that really helps make it an Army of Darkness book?

    NANCY COLLINS: I would have to say what separates the Army of Darkness license from the other Evil Dead franchises are those elements that make it unique to the series: time travel and dimension-hopping, Ash being named “the Chosen One” who must guard the Necronomicon, the fact that despite being “the Chosen One” he still has to work in retail at S-Mart to make a living, his mechanical know-how (best exemplified by his metal hand and battle wagon), his tendency to say the least diplomatic things imaginable, and his on-going battle with his Evil Twin. All of these elements will be found during the course of the series.

    FB: There’s a fun, post-apocalyptic vibe to the world of Furious Road. What visual elements were important for you to draw on to help give the series this tone? How has it been working with your artistic collaborators on visually defining the book?

    NC: I want it to read like a genuine grindhouse film. While I reference Road Warrior and Fury Road, I also wanted it to feel like the Italian Mad Max knock-offs and zombie apocalypse films, such as Demons and Demons II.

    As for my artist, Kewber Baal, he has been a dream to work with. Despite cultural and language differences, it’s like he can see inside my head and draw what’s in there. It’s been a nearly seamless collaborative effort, and he’s breathed an amazing amount of life into these characters.

    FB: Did you do anything extra to prepare for this series? Any specific movies/books you checked out to inspire you (Army of Darkness and otherwise!).

    NC: I own all the Raimi Evil Dead films, so all I had to do was watch them to get the juices flowing. Needless to say, I’m also a big Mad Max fan. I also read a few of the recent Army of Darkness comics, as well as Monster Wars and the original AOD that introduced Ash to Eva and Dracula. As for the basic plot of Furious Road, it is a retooling of a story I originally proposed for Mike Mignola’s Zombie World called “Strange Bedfellows” that was never used.

    FB: What do you think is the most important part of Ash’s character? We’ve seen him in many titles/films, but what is something you hope comes across on the page?

    NC: That even though he’s a reluctant hero, in the end Ash is still hanging in there, doing what has to be done, regardless of the cost. He may not be the Chosen One we want, but he’s the only one we’ve got.

    FB: I love the last page with all the characters looking down. What can you tell us about this cast of supporting characters and your plans for them?

    NC: Those are roughly 60 percent of the supporting characters—monster and humans—who have banded together to try and stop the Deadites from turning our world into a demonic time-share. The rest you’ll meet in Furious Road #2. The ones in #1 are, in no particular order:

    The Rev: An African-American Baptist minister, who is modeled on 1970s blaxploitation stars Fred “the Hammer” Williamson, Jim Brown and Rosey Grier.

    Sister Ronnie: A baseball-bat wielding nun who is best friends with...

    Gnarly: The leader of the Goners, a werewolf biker gang.

    Martel: The last of the gargoyles, who also serves as air support.

    Eva: Who is the Daughter of Dracula, as well as a professional monster-hunter.

    Michael: The original Frankenstein’s Monster, who is also Eva’s friend, lover and confidante.

    Heckuba: As the last witch, she uses her black magic to charm their weapons so they can kill the Deadites with a single blow, instead of having to hack them into tiny bits.

    As for what’s in store for them -- I don’t want to go too far into spoiler territory, but I will say that the stakes are high and that there will be plenty of blood on the dance floor by the end of the series.

    FB: Any final thoughts or things you want readers to know about Army of Darkness: Furious Road?

    NC: I wrote this series as a tribute to the film genres I love, and the type of comics I grew up reading. And I hope fans have as much fun reading Army of Darkness: Furious Road as Kewber and I have had creating it.

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