Kuhoric Channels Ash in "Army of Darkness: From the Ashes"

Mon, July 2nd, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

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Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

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"Army of Darkness: From the Ashes" #1, on sale in August
If Ashley J. Williams wasn't popular enough, the "Army of Darkness" frontman has been elevated to an all-new level thanks to his recent crossover with the Beatles of the Deadites – the Marvel Zombies.

The next thing you know, Ash is going to be doing commercials for male grooming products.

No one delivers Ash dialogue with the same deadpan approach as Bruce Campbell better than James Kuhoric, the writer behind "Army of Darkness: Shop'Til You Drop Dead" and "Army of Darkness Vs. Re-Animator" to see what Ash is up to in Dynamite Entertainment's soon-to-be-released "Army of Darkness: From the Ashes."

"Fishing for spoilers huh, Kolchak? Well I can let a little bit out of the bag. I'd hate to see Vincenzo throw you and your seer sucker suit out on your ass," quipped Kuhoric, who, as many forum readers agree, "does" Ash just as well as Bruce Almighty himself. "Here is the low-down. This arc is like nothing you've seen from 'AOD' so far. Ash is thrown into a 'Mad Max'-like world and faced with the decision to either accept the mess or try to change it. Though he's the reluctant hero, he really can't change the fact that he is special and fate has a way of playing that out. The new direction gives us new challenges, environments, friends and foes, as well as turns pretty much everything Ash knows about the world on its ear. That and he gets a really cool car. If you liked what he did with the steam powered jalopy in 'AOD,' you'll love his no-mans-land cruiser."

Indeed, it does appear that Ash will need a viable form of transportation, as Kuhoric revealed the cavalry is coming. "Beyond the first arc, assuming Ash can actually even get to the Necronomicon, he has to figure out how to fix things. That's when the real trouble begins," deadpanned Kuhoric. "You can't just smart-talk things back to the way they were and there is no cheat book for how to do it. Oh yeah, and he has to face the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It's just another 'effed' up day for our boy Ash."

"From the Ashes" pages 2 and 3
Kuhoric explained that in terms of Ash's continuity, "From the Ashes" is actually a direct continuation of the storyline developed in the pages of "Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness." "Those Marvel dead-uns played a very important role in the 'AOD' continuity," Kuhoric said. "I mean, if Ash hadn't been sucked into the cesspool of zombie New York, he may very well have just cashed in his chips at the Pearly Gates and we wouldn't be treated to any new 'AOD' tales. So, thanks zombie boys and girls, we owe you a nice big thank you blast from the double barrel Boomstick special. And if we ever meet up again, you can bet you'll be picking buckshot out of your spandex for a long time to come. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jameson.

"The new story arc literally picks up after Ash's time in the Marvel U and places him smack dab in the middle of Detroit Dead City," Kuhoric continued. "Sure, a few things have changed. Ash's favorite all-you-can-eat smorgasbord has burned to the ground, the world has become a big Deadite playground, and oh yeah, the human race is basically extinct except for mutants and scavengers. Other than that it's pretty much the same. So Ash does what he always does, goes about trying to unwittingly undo the mess the Deadites made of everything. Deadites, man, they suck."

Kuhoric has been putting words into the mouth of Ash Williams for a few years now and said, quite frankly, that it's easy. Just make sure you throw a way your muffler.

"From the Ashes" #1, page 4
"Look, I was a psych major, I could give you fifty bull crap reasons about why I like filling in the blanks for our pal, Ash, but the bottom line of it is really pretty simple," Kuhoric admitted. "Ash says what we all wish we could. In a time of extreme political correctness it's refreshing to have an everyday guy call it like it is and take no prisoners. You know, call a spade a spade, put the mustard on the hot dog, and give the real 10-4 without worrying about hurting the Deadites' feelings. Those undead guys don't bother to take our feelings into account when they turn you into a drivel muttering, body floating, demon freak, right? Damn right! That's why Ash tells it like it is. And that's what makes him such a fun character to channel except during your professional employer review. Yeah, and then it's a good idea to put the big bag of shush on Ash's directness. Oh well, so much for that promotion."

Kuhoric was a fan of Ash and the "Evil Dead/Army of Darkness" trilogy long before he became involved in writing the books for Dynamite. "'AOD' is one of those movies that I'd want to have with me if I was trapped in a well with only my portable DVD player and an extension cord," said Kuhoric, who has also penned genre-related comic titles featuring the characters of "Stargate" and "Battlestar Galactica." "There are still some scenes that I laugh out loud at even now. It's really a tribute to Bruce Campbell and Sam Rami that the movie is still so amusing a decade-plus later. It was their vision and twisted nature that really made the story and characters come to life. I still say it was rooked by the Academy. It should have won gold for best horror movie."

"From the Ashes" #1, pages 6 and 7
Despite having never met Bruce Campbell or 'AOD' movie series writer/director Sam Raimi, Kuhoric has some keepsakes from some con near-misses. "been in the same place as Bruce about four times at various horror conventions but the stars were always crossed and I never actually got to meet him," said Kuhoric. "The funny thing is that friends of mine know what a big fan I am and have gotten me several autographs over the years. They all say something very Bruce on them like 'James, Where the hell were you?' and 'James, Next time don't send your flunkies for an autograph' and my favorite 'James, Next time, get in line before you piss off security.'

"I've met a few other Raimis, but not Sam. What can you say, though? From 'AOD' to 'Spider-Man,' the guy is damn good at what he does. Can't wait to see what he does with that 'Evil Dead' remake I keep hearing getting tossed about. With a big budget, I can't imagine how good he could make it. You hear that, Sam, you make the flick and you've got my ten bucks. So get crackin'!"

"From the Ashes" #2
For fellow fans of the 'Army of Darkness' universe, Kuhoric promised lots of your favorite characters will be finding their way into "Army of Darkness: From the Ashes." "Of course, characters don't usually last that long in this universe," laughed Kuhoric. "Sugarbaby is there, one of the most appealing elements of the story is what will happen to her and Possessed Sheila when the final domino falls. I can tell you that there will be a final resolution for both of Ash's love interests.

"The possessed Wiseman, Arthur, and Henry the Red also show up in the story," continued Kuhoric. "They've become Evil Ash Prime's minions now that the corporate faade of the Deadite's Weenieville front has been exposed. And Ash will make some new friends along the way. If you are in the 'AOD' death pool, make sure you place your bets on when they bite the bullet. I've got my money on issue number…Ha! I ain't giving that away, fanboy. Get in line and buy the books!"

Readers have been getting in line for Ash's latest crossover, "Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness" and Kuhoric said there are lots of other franchises that could use a dash of Ash to spice up their world.

"I'd like to cross over with Barbarella," the writer confessed. "Yeah, now that would be…what? Oh yeah, we're talking about Ash aren't we. Sorry about that…the mind can wander some times.

"From the Ashes" #3
"I would love to see Ash get to interact with some classic comic and film characters. My personal favorites are all schlocky movie monsters like Jason, Freddy, Michael, and Leatherface. I just see Ash as the only guy that could really do damage to the 'indestructible' monsters of our favorite fright flick nightmares.

"From comics, I'd like to see Ash hang out with some of the DC Universe characters since he's laid waste to those zombies running amok in the alternate Marvel U. Just imagine Superman's reaction to Ash, man that would be a hoot. And just how detailed are Batman's files on the Chosen One?

"What else? I don't know, what about an alternate universe where Ash plays the role of John Connor in 'Terminator?' Or 'AVP,' Ash vs. Predator. You think you've hunted the toughest prey in the universe? Think again, Dredd-i-locks. Ash is going to show you what its like to be the hunted. That sounds a lot better if you imagine it in the announcer guy's voice…try it, you'll see…

"In a world where mankind has been hunted by giant dreadlock-wearing lizard dudes, a one armed sharp tongued man is all that stands between oblivion and obliviousness. Ash Williams is that man in 'AVP – Ash Versus Predator.' In this battle there can be only one survivor and he's from S-Mart not S-Pace. Er…maybe not."

"From the Ashes" #4
And while Kuhoric has a wishlist of properties he'd love to get his hands on, he's already has a very busy schedule in the weeks and months ahead. "If you look around you'll see a bunch of weird things popping up from me by a number of different publishers including IDW, Boom, and Moonstone," said Kuhoric. "I like to date around, I hate being tied down. Though, I can say Dynamite has tempted me onto a number of very cool upcoming projects, not the least of which is telling the continuing screw-job…er, continuing saga of Ashley J. Williams. You'll see stories about characters I helped develop – like Eva St. George, Daughter of the Dragon –and stories about characters I helped 'revamp' like Dracula, the Werewolf, the Re-Animator, and Michael, the Frankenstein Monster coming up.

"I've been asked to work on a few top secret projects for Dynamite Entertainment, as well including one mega-'AOD' crossover that is sure to knock everyone on their collective asses. Keep your fingers crossed on that one. Other than that, my first official creator-co-owned series will be coming up and you won't believe the talent on it. Sure the writer and creator is a bonafide hack, but the artist and art director is one of the biggest names in all of comics. Well, his first and last name only has six letters in it, but you'll get the point big time, baby, when you see who it is."

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