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Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Why Not? is a four issue crossover comic released by Dynamite Entertainment in 2008. Written by John Layman and featuring artwork by Miguel Montenegro, this series would become the first of three crossovers between the Army of Darkness and Xena franchises published by Dynamite (the immediate sequel What, Again? released in the Fall of 2008, and later Forever... And A Day in 2016).

Plot Synopsis

In 1300 AD, amid the chaotic cat-and-mouse game taking place at an old windmill between Ash Williams and his miniature duplicates, one doppelganger manages to evade death by finding a miniature copy of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in his small satchel. Opening a time rift, "Ash-It" finds himself in the time when the Warrior Princess known as Xena roamed the Earth. Using his knowledge of future technology and the dark arts from which he was born, the tiny clone quickly takes over the Fairy Kingdom, but ultimately sets his sights on much bigger game...

Upon receiving a message of great urgency from The Wise Man of 1300 AD, the normal-sized Ash Williams (now back in the 21st Century) is transported across time where his tiny double is causing trouble. While Xena and her partner Gabrielle initially mistake Ash for their friend Autolycus (whom Williams bears a striking resemblance to), they see through the time-traveler's crude ruse and attempt to beat an answer out of him for his true identity and intentions, though Ash eventually manages to sneak away and escape Xena's wrath. Ditching the Warrior Princess and Battling Bard, Ash heads off to complete the task given to him by The Wise Man, which leads him to come face-to-face with Autolycus.

After evading capture by village's army together, Ash and Autolycus plan to break Xena and Gabrielle out of the town's prison (having been taken in as "associates" of the wanted Autolycus) before their execution at dawn. As the four make their escape, Ash-It and his Fairy army arrive for an assault on the village, but with a well-timed stomp of the bigger Ash's boot, the doppelganger's reign of terror is brought to an end.

With the dawn of a new day approaching, Ash prepares to head back to the future, though the greedy "Prince of Thieves" attacks Williams and grabs the Necronomicon, opening a rift in time. Ash, Xena, and Gabrielle follow Autolycus through the portal, with all four of them finding themselves "diverged" from their destination by an unseen interloper. Landing in a humid jungle, Ash and the others are pitted against Deadite cavemen, a prehistoric Deadite sorcerer, and one angry T-Rex. The four make quick work of the undead monsters and the dinosaur, and return to Xena's time.

Sharing one last drink with his new friends, Gabrielle asks Ash about the future, a hint of some kind since they won't be around to see it come to fruition. Pondering this for a moment, Ash then commissions the construction of a crude replica of S-Mart, worked by humans and fantasy creatures alike (and managed by Autolycus). Though Xena fears that the store's presence might disrupt the flow of time, Ash tells them not to worry as he vanishes into a time portal to go back home...

Cover Gallery

Main Covers

Variant Covers

Virgin Covers

Trivia

  • Ash is incorrectly depicted with his chainsaw on his left hand on the variant covers for issues three and four.
  • The subtitle of this series is Battered & Bruced (a reference to Bruce Campbell playing both Ash and Autolycus), though this was omitted when the series was collected in it's original trade paperback.
  • Joxer (Ted Raimi's character in the Xena television series) appears on the main cover of issue three, though he does not appear at any point in the story itself.
  • One of the fairy women Ash-It rides into the tower in issue four bears a strong resemblance to Red Sonja, another character published by Dynamite Entertainment.

Continuity Notes

  • The Wise Man moves to the 21st Century in issue one. He will remain there until sometime after the events of Army of Darkness Volume 3 in 2012.
  • The events of Dynamite's Dark Xena miniseries are mentioned.
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