Merry Deadite X-Mas

Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas #1 (of 2)

Writer: Georgia Ball
Artist: Vincenzo Riccardi
Chris Summers
: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Dave Land
Publisher: Space Goat Publishing

A review by Amelia Wellman

Merry Deadite X-Mas

Who would have thought that we loyal Evil Dead fans would get, not one, but two new Evil Dead Christmas stories this year? Evil Dead 2: The Revenge of Krampus and now Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas?

Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas invites us to have a groovy, boom-stick filled holiday season with another brand new two-part but one-shot Evil Dead story that’s guaranteed to put the undead into your holiday dread! This horrifying holiday story pits Annie and Ash against a Christmas horde of Deadites at a Christmas theme park. Pretty soon, it’s Annie, Ash, the theme park staff, and time-travelling demon hunters against the forces of beloved, but very much possessed, holiday icons. The gang are going to have to wish themselves a Merry Survival because Deadites are coming to town.

Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas offers a surprising twist to the formula that has seen the franchise through these many years: it isn’t Ash that screws up and causes the Deadite invasion. A guy working at a Christmas theme park finds the Necromonicon (don’t ask what it was doing at a Christmas theme park) and unleashes the terror that possesses those at the park and promises to “create peach on Earth… by killing everyone on it”.

As it stands in issue one of two, Ash and Annie (who is not dead for reasons I don’t know because I don’t have any background knowledge on this particular series) seem to have fallen into the life of supernatural hunters. It’s a bizarre thought process for them: Ash especially. Ash, as a character, is consistently upset having to deal with Deadites. Why go into it professionally? The ho-ho-horror begins quickly and moves along at a breakneck pace. The speed at which everything needs to be established is probably the weakest link. It feels rushed in how point blank everything needs to be, like, here’s your action, here’s your story, here’s your characters. There’s been no time taken to intertwine everything and make them feel like a whole narrative. It’s more like a ‘here-take-them-all-separately-and-make-something-of-it-yourself-so-we-can-get-this-show-on-the-road’ kind of narrative.

The art of Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas is also a surprising change to the formula. It’s cartoony and colourful, with not nearly as much gore or violence as I’ve come to expect from the franchise. Unlike some other Evil Dead comics, the characters aren’t being drawn photorealistically to the actors that portray them. This isn’t Bruce Campbell, this is Ash Williams. And if I hadn’t been told that the woman with Ash was Annie (Evil Dead 2) I wouldn’t have guessed on my own.

Speaking of Annie, who decided on her character design of a sleeveless shirt and shorts during a snowy winter comic? C’mon guys, she’s a smart woman, you don’t think she’d put on some pants and a coat in winter? Of all the characters to try and turn into comic eye candy, Annie sits firmly on ‘no, don’t you dare try it’ end of the spectrum. It really took me out of the story, since every time I saw her, I looked out my window at the snow covering the ground, imagined a woman willingly going out with bare arms and legs, and then rolled my eyes.

The Verdict
Wait and See.
The story is very thin to keep it at two issues and the artwork doesn’t offer any of the bloody good times we know and love the franchise for. Maybe part two of two of this holiday one-shot will make it something worth at least checking out, but as it is now, Evil Dead 2: A Merry Deadite X-Mas doesn’t even seem to offer enough to entice the most die-hard of Evil Dead fans into its holiday cheer.

Amelia Wellman
I read, I write, I play videogames, Ghostbusters is my favourite thing in the known universe, but quasars come in at a close second. I've been known to cry at the drop of a hat over happy and sad things alike. I've also been known to fly into a rage if things don't go my way, leading to many a fight in high school and breaking someone's nose on the TTC one time. I'm an anxious introvert but also a loud-mouthed bad influence. Especially on my cat. He learned it from watching me, okay!

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