Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ash Slays Deadite Santa ... Saves Christmas!!

Earlier this week, we traveled to the fiery depths for the Hellraiser Dark Holiday Special.  Tonight, we continue the holiday comic book fun and join up with Ashley J. Williams for his very own Christmas special, another comic that I recently discovered the existence of, and of course swooped up immediately thereafter on eBay. 

Ash's Christmas Horror was a one shot deal (with two cover arts!), part of Dynamite Entertainment's Army of Darkness comic series, which began in 1992 and is in fact still running.  This special issue was released in 2008, and in it Ash is tasked with once again saving the day.  Only this time, that day is Christmas.
The comic is essentially split up into two parts; the second part takes place in the present day, while the first part is a flashback to one year prior.  We begin one year ago, at S-Mart's annual 'Shoppin' Spectacular', a Christmas eve event where 'Santa' appears in store, to meet and greet the kiddies.  Sounds all good and well, until S-Mart is overcome with a demonic Candarian force, the result of an evil tree being placed in the discount section of the store, mistaken for a Halloween decoration.  The tree is pissed off, obviously, so he decides to unleash hell upon S-Mart, turning Santa, the reindeer decorations, and even the presents into Deadite warriors.
Whoever will save the day?!
If you guessed Ash, that metal fisted dude in the housewares department, then give yourself a pat on the back!
 Just as Deadite Santa is about to rip apart 'Mary Christmas', S-Mart's scantily clad elf, Ash throws on his Elvis shades, arms himself with a couple of firearms and comes to the rescue, blasting several holes in Santa's jelly belly, and of course taking a brief moment to throw himself on top of the sexy elf, and give her a little bit of sugar.  Always time for that, baby.
After Ash unloads his guns into Santa, an evil little elf demon bursts its way out of the big elf's stomach, and threatens to pluck Ash's eyeballs out and 'eat 'em like chestnuts'.  Of course, Ash aint havin' none of that business.  He introduces Kuato Elf to the business end of his boomstick, and blows his ass to kingdom come.
Ash's final challenge of the night is the demonic Rudolph decoration, which fails miserably in its attempt to put a stop to his heroic ways.  In true badass fashion, Ash commanDEERs the deadite deer, and rides it straight into Santa, using its antlers to deliver a death blow to the not so jolly fat man.  If it helps any, Linnea Quigley feels your pain, big guy!
Cut to December 23rd, one year later.  S-Mart is closed, and Ash is very happy about the fact that the store has been Deadite free for nearly a year, under his supervision.  Ash has been promoted to manager of housewares, and his first order of business was to close the store on any day where evil is bound to roam the aisles, like Halloween and Friday the 13th.  It's looking like he's in store for a peaceful and happy holiday season, at long last.
Since the 'Claus Union' has refused to send another one of their Santas S-Mart's way after last year's incident, Ash's boss asks him to take the reigns, and to play Santa for this year's event.  Ash refuses, and goes home to get drunk and watch TV, planning on sitting the whole ordeal out.  He clearly hasn't gotten over the death of his former girlfriend Linda (from the first Evil Dead movie), as we see that he still hangs up her stocking next to his.  Just breaks your heart, doesn't it?

After flipping past the usual Christmas specials on TV, Ash is bored, miserable, and alone, so he decides to go to bed.  Unfortunately for Ash, life just isn't that easy.  The Book of the Dead he keeps in his apartment springs to life, and Ash is sent into a twisted fever dream, where he finds himself literally inside of the various Christmas specials and movies he just flipped past on TV.

First, he's visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future, and then he finds himself starring in his very own Rankin Bass cartoon.  The ghosts tell him to find the Christmas star, and discover the true meaning of Christmas, so cartoon Ash sets out to do just that.  After blasting a hole through Snowman Sam's face with his boomstick, he comes upon Charlie Brown and friends, and tries to explain to them that there is no real meaning of Christmas.  "It's an excuse for a bunch of selfish bastards to cram into stores and make us working Joe's miserable", he tells them.  They're not having any of it, so Ash continues on his journey, to find the Christmas Star.
He next finds himself in It's a Wonderful Life territory, in black and white and forced to look in on the horrors of the year prior.  The ghost of Linda appears and explains to him the meaning of all this; he's the hero, and it's up to him to once again save the day.  The kids need him, she tells him, and he must go to S-Mart and be their hero.  The "Christmas Star"?  That was just an S-Mart sales gimmick, a star projected in the sky to draw in customers.

Back in reality, Ash carries out his mission.  He shows up at S-Mart and saves the day for the children a second year in a row.  Only this time, he's not battling any Deadites.  He's simply dressing up as Santa, and giving the kids the happy holiday memory that they deserve.  Christmas Eve 2008 is Deadite free in S-Mart, and it's a good night for all.
I really need to delve more into the Army of Darkness comic books, because all of the ones I've read thus far have been an absolute blast.  They've done so many fun things with that series, as this is a shining example of.  Ash vs Herbert West ... Ash vs Darkman ... Ash Saves Obama ... I've got a lot of catching up to do!!


MJ said...

Check out Ash vs Marvel Zombies. Classic.

Rod Chavez said...

my fav is Tales from Army of Darkness,its awesome plus theres a great Robert Kirkman story in it