Published on November 22nd, 2016 | by Steven Roman
Review: Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Krampus
You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
Ashley Williams is coming to town
Halloween might be past, but apparently monster fighting is a year-round occupation, which explains why publisher Space Goat Productions has a brand-new Ash-related comic now on sale. Just in time for the holidays season comes the one-shot special Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Krampus, written by Ian Edginton (2000 AD, Batman ’66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel) and illustrated by Dave Youkovich (Evil Dead 2: Dark Ones Rising).
As I always say before launching into one of these ED2 reviews, an explanation is in order, for the ED fans out there who might be confused by the comic’s title. Since Space Goat has the rights solely to the movie Evil Dead 2 and not Evil Dead (whose rights are over at Dark Horse Comics) or Army of Darkness (those are held by Dynamite Entertainment); and since, as you might remember, Ash was sucked into a time portal that dumped him in 13th-century England at the end of ED2, which led to the events of Army of Darkness, the Space Goat Ashley Williams is a mystical, two-handed clone created from the hand he severed in ED2. (This process was covered in Space Goat’s initial miniseries, Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead by Dawn.) In this manner, Space Goat has been able to craft an ever-growing number of new adventures for Ash, without conflicting with film continuity.
Everything clear, now? Good. Then let’s proceed.
In Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Krampus, Ash exchanges holiday presents with the Krampus—and by “exchanges” I mean brawls with. And by “presents” I mean fists. For those not in the know, the Krampus is the Austrian anti–Santa Claus—a demon that punishes naughty children at Christmastime, and whose legend dates back to pre-Christian times. And although he might be well past his expiration date as a child, if there’s one thing that Ash is, is naughty. What Ash doesn’t expect, however, is how the fight will turn out, what childhood memories it’ll stir up, and how misunderstood the Krampus is.
Storywise, Edginton takes a slightly different approach in this Evil Dead story. Sure, Ash is still the loudmouthed jerk fans have grown to love, but there’s a philosophical side to him this time. Well, not too philosophical—this is Ash we’re talking about, after all. He doesn’t just have childhood memories of the Krampus, but knows all too well that, in his being a supernatural clone, they aren’t his memories—they belong to the real Ash. And once he and the Krampus pause in their fighting…well, the story takes an unexpected low-key turn that actually works.
Artwise, Youkovich does a good job of translating the story to four-color life, and his cover art, especially his rendition of the Krampus there, reminds me of Kevin Nowlan’s work. However, it would be nice if he occasionally spotted blacks to create mood and deepen nighttime scenes, rather than rely on his colorist to handle the chores. (In the preview copy I received, the first twelve pages were colored and the final eight were black and white, making it easy to tell just how much colorist Carrie Strachan contributed to the final look of the story.)
Rounding out the issue is a five-page preview of Ash’s next yuletide battle, Evil Dead 2: A Very Deadite X-Mas, by Georgia Ball and Vincenzo Riccardi.
Bottom line? Ash vs. a Christmas demon? Make this one a stocking stuffer for the horror fan in your life.
He’s making a list, and checking it twice
Gonna shotgun the naughty and not-nice
Ashley Williams is coming to town…
Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Krampus
Written by Ian Edginton
Art and cover by Dave Youkovich
Publisher: Space Goat Productions
32 pages • full-color
Now on sale