‘Army of Darkness: Ash for President’ Comic Review
Written by Elliot Serrano; Art by Diego Galindo; Color by Pete Pantazis; Letters by Tom Napolitano
Army of Darkness: Ash for President has the main protagonist, Ashley J. Williams, venture into the depths of the political world. This is not the first time Dynamite’s character has done so. The character got political back in 2010 when he saved the president in Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama. In this new title, not only does Ash have to get close to two political figures, he must become one.
It all begins because of the unusual and terrifying screams of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis—a book containing Acrane secrets and the soul of a Kandarian demon. Ash has no idea why Necronomicon Ex Mortis is wailing so horribly. Nor does he understand the demon’s cryptic message. So, he takes the book to a psychic named Delilah. There the book-bound demon sheds light on the impending evil.
The demon speaks of an entity looking to take over the human realm and demon realm. It is currently hiding among the American people—and it is disguised as a presidential candidate. Necronomicon Ex Mortis calls it The Great Darkness, and Ash must kill it.
Ash’s new mission comes just in time for the 2016 election, and it is only appropriate that the writer take the opportunity to lace political commentary into his work. The comic’s presidential candidates’ “subtle” similarities to America’s 2016 candidates gives the comic more relevancy and opportunities to comically criticize those participating.
The comic zeros in on Valerie Sexton, a representation of Hillary Clinton, and Brock Anders as a reflection of Bernie Sander. There are nods to Valerie being bought by corporations, and Brock being a socialist with whiny, hippie followers. There is a third party candidate, Treadway, but he does not last long in the presidential race.
Treadway encompasses ideology stretching from second amendment protection to election reform with just a dash of conspiracy theories. It is a shame that Treadway could not have been modeled after the likeness of Republican nominee Donald Trump. It would have made several more opportunities to poke fun at a figure who has said some ridiculous things without the help of Serrano’s writing.
I think the reason a Trump-like character is missing from the comic’s election process is because in real life many people did not believe Trump’s interest in the election was genuine. Moreover, I do not think people saw him claiming the Republican nomination. In fact, many people were dismissive of his ability to gain a following. This was a mistake in terms of this one-shot and in the actual election.
The comic may have missed some opportunities (but weren’t we all all kind of blindsided with that outcome?), and it seems to lack fighting sequences. What readers do get is beautifully illustrated, but I will say that I expected to see more gore and violence. Each scene that does depict Ash in action seems short, and somewhat rushed, especially at the end of the one-shot.
Overall, Army of Darkness: Ash for President is a decent read. The plot is easy to follow and enjoyable, but I do wish it would have dug a little deeper. The work attempts to tackle America’s current political landscape in a comical way. At times the crass nature of some of the dialogue undermines from that commentary. I still believe that fans of Ash will enjoy the work, so look for it on August 31st.