Twenty years from "now": The Deadites and their Army of Darkness have succeeded in bringing down Western civilization. An unexpected upshot of the demons taking over was supernatural species such as vampires, witches, and werewolves forming an uneasy alliance with humanity in order to survive.
The only hope for both mankind and monsters alike is a ritual that will send the Deadites back to the hell that birthed them. But first, a rag-tag crew that includes the Frankenstein Monster and Eva, the Daughter of Dracula, have to track down the fabled spell book known as the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis and deal with its guardian, a certain Ashley "Ash" Williams.
Keith Davidsen from Dynamite Comics talked with writer Nancy A. Collins about the new series Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1 (JAN161336).
Keith Davidsen: There's considerable heat on Ash right now, thanks to his long awaited jump from the big screen to the small screen. After all these years, what do you consider to be the reluctant hero's lasting appeal?
Nancy A. Collins: I think Ash's biggest appeal is that he's just an Ordinary Joe who's thrust into some serious Lovecraftian high weirdness, who is doing his best to be a hero, even though he really doesn't want the job. It is very easy for fans to picture themselves in his shoes. He's not so much an Anti-Hero as an Everyman.
Keith Davidsen: Dynamite's Army of Darkness Comics have taken Ash to outer space, the virtual reality of the future, the distant past, and to hellish dimensions. Where will your story take Ash, and why did you choose that setting?
Nancy A. Collins: The setting of FURIOUS ROAD is 20 years "from now". Whenever "now" is. The Deadites have managed to finally spread into the world at large, and everything has collapsed. We're looking at a post apocalyptic world (at least in North America), with scatters pockets of humanity holed up against the Army of Darkness. A group of human survivors team up with some of the last surviving monsters- a pack of werewolf bikers, Dracula and his Brides, a witch, Frankenstein's monster, etc- to battle the Deadites. The monsters reason for helping the humans is largely one of enlightened self interest; they need humanity to survive. and, to be honest, the Deadites don't play well with anyone, even their fellow damned. It's up to them to send the Army of Darkness back to whatever hell they call home- and that means they need the help of the Chosen One, a.k.a. Ashley "Ash" Williams. But it's going to take some convincing, oh and did I mention the action is set in Michigan? The setting is a tribute to creator Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell, who are from the Detroit area.
Keith Davidsen: Ash will reunite with other horror characters from the Dynamite stable, including Frankenstein's monster and Eva, the daughter of Dracula. What are your thoughts on how such a story contributes to the Dynamite brand of horror?
Nancy A. Collins: I think it helps expand Dynamite's dark universe and provides it with a sense of verisimilitude. You get a feel that these characters actually interact with one another and that things that happened in past stories inform and shape the current storyline.
Keith Davidsen: Ash is yet another character in a long line of horror icons that you've written for comics. A list that includes Swamp Thing, Vampirella, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Aliens, and Predator. Does the idea that there are hardcore fans out there for these characters weigh on how you develop your stories, or do your stories from (or cater to) a more personal place?
Nancy A. Collins: Knowing that there is a dedicated fan base for the characters does factor into my storytelling , but I am also aware that you cannot please everyone. I try to approach the characters as a writer, first – although, so far, I have also been a fan of every licensed character I've ever worked on. I prefer good stories to fan service, myself.
Keith Davidsen: Finally, can you give a hint to the fans, something which will blow their minds about the new FURIOUS ROAD series? In other words, "Just wait'll you see the..."
Nancy A. Collins: How does a werewolf biker gang sound? Or a baseball-bat wielding nun? Oh, yeah, and then there's the hood-surfing Deadites riding classic muscle cars. Army of Darkness: Furious Road's got it all, baby.