Nancy Collins: A Writer’s Commentary on Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1, on sale now from Dynamite!

Page 1:

Many reviewers have commented on the fact I used quotation marks around the word now in the opening narration box. The reason is that I have no idea when in time Dynamite’s ARMY OF DARKNESS series actually takes place. The film ARMY OF DARKNESS was released in 1992, but is supposed to take place immediately following the events in EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987). Moreover, in the Dynamite series, not only is Ash consistently depicted as being the same age as he is in the third film (roughly 35), he’s also constantly hopping back and forth through time and space. Therefore, depending on how you want to look at it, the events in Furious Road are taking place in 2007, 2012, 2036, or right this minute.

Pages 2-3

These pages introduce the readers to 50% of the main characters in the story: The Rev. Heckuba, Eva, Michael, Sister Ronnie, and Gnarly. It also serves to set the tone for the series. I was going for a 1970s-1980s grindhouse feel—especially the Italian post-apocalyptic exploitation films that ripped-off ROAD WARRIOR and DAWN OF THE DEAD. The Rev, in particular, is modeled on blaxploitation action stars Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Jim Brown, with a little Rosey Grier thrown in for good measure.

Pages 4-8

These pages are pure balls-to-the-wall action, which artist Kewber Baal has realized to perfection. It is also the reader’s first glimpse at the Deadites that have succeeded in collapsing our civilization. I set the story in Michigan as a tribute to original director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell’s home state, and since Detroit is the home of American Car Culture, I decided to make the Deadites look like Big Daddy Roth’s “Weird-Ohs” plastic model kits—which they already did, if you think about it. I also have the Deadites laughing all the time—which was one of the most disturbing things about them in the original films. What’s so damn funny?

Page 13-15

Here is the first hint that our band of seekers aren’t your typical group of post-apocalyptic scavengers, as the witch Heckuba uses a charmed pitchfork to take down a Deadite with a single blow, instead of having to carve it up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Pages 18-24

Ash finally makes his appearance—making wisecracks and winning hearts and minds as usual. Despite the appearance of an older, more grizzled version of the character, this story has zero to do with the current ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD TV series on Starz. I found it easy to write dialog for Ash, since I have several friends without filters who talk just like him. They just don’t have chainsaws on their hands. Yet.

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