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This is about the miniseries from 2005. You might be looking for the similarly titled one-shot from 2013 or the series from 2022.

Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator was a four-issue storyline written by James Kuhoric and published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2005. It was the first Army of Darkness crossover comic, and also marked the beginning of the first volume of the ongoing Army of Darkness series.

Plot

Several police cars come to a screeching halt outside S-Mart, and with guns drawn, the officers charge inside the store. Some of the officers make a hasty retreat upon seeing the gruesome sight of dozens of mutilated human corpses inside, vomiting in front of live television cameras in the parking lot. The stronger of the police apprehend the two lone survivors of this massacre: Ash Williams (who is currently dressed as Elvis Presley) and the medieval maiden Sheila. In the weeks that follow, the trial of Ash (now dubbed "The S-Mart Slasher") becomes something of a public spectacle, as his stories about his battles against the Deadites catches the attention of the nation. Ash's life becomes the subject of movies, novels, and an off-Broadway play, all while Williams himself finds himself sentenced to life institutionalization at Arkham Asylum in Massachusetts, becoming a "special" patient of Doctor Herbert West.

Six months after Ash's arrival, West has been secretly working in collaboration with Wilbur Whateley in a plot to open a gateway in dimensions and unleash The Old Ones and Deadites into the world of the living. With a copy of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in hand, Whateley begins to recite an ancient incantation, and awakens the Kandarian Demon. Inside Ash's padded cell, Ash's bed comes to life, stabbing and smacking him with the rusted springs from the frame below. Just as it seems like this "demonic futon" is about to crush Williams, he's rescued by two members of the Arkham staff: a janitor named Deuce Bellcamp and a nurse/sorceress Madeline "Sugarbaby" Rothleschilde. They present Ash with a change of clothes, along with his chainsaw, shotgun, and gauntlet hand, and explain to him that they know he is the Chosen One spoken of in the Book of The Dead.

Before Ash and the others can plan an escape, West unlocks the cell doors, unleashing his re-animated creations into the asylum halls in an attempt to stop the trio. The monstrosities quickly discover that are no match for Ash's skills with a shotgun and Sugarbaby's powers, and are swiftly destroyed in a matter of moments. After the chaos in the corridor, Sugarbaby discovers Ash's case file, where they learn Sheila had disappeared after trying to have Ash released from Arkham.

As the trio continue to run through the halls, Ash catches a glimpse of a screaming Sheila in a mirror. Before he can investigate further, Sugarbaby smashes the mirror with a chair, explaining that when evil spirits are on the loose, reflective surfaces can allow Deadites and other unspeakable horrors to escape into the world of the living. Unfortunately, the shards of the mirror create an army of mini-Deuces, but Ash quickly squishes and shreds most of them with ease. During his fight with the small doppelgangers, Ash over looked one which had crawled into Deuce's ear, and suddenly, it bursts forth out of Deuce's chest in the form of a living Tattoo Ash. Before Ash can strike, his 2-D duplicate slips through the door into a hall full of monsters.

While Sugarbaby and Deuce are distracted, a rotten hand reaches out from the reflective surface of a waste bin, grabbing Ash by the ankle and dragging him into the Mirror Dimension itself. Just as quickly as Ash disappeared, in his place stands a new clone: Hatter Ash. The residents of the Mirror Dimension are demonic variations of fairy tale characters (though more specifically, those featured in Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland stories). Ash struggles to fight off the monsters, but is soon rescued by Sheila. She quickly grabs his hand and tells him they must take refuge from the creatures in the only safe place in this world "The Rabbit Hole".

Back in Arkham, Deuce and Sugarbaby are fending off the re-animated monsters as Hatter Ash changes into a new costume which better reflects his name. When the two humans are distracted by Hatter Ash, he knocks them unconscious. Sometime shortly thereafter, they awaken to finds themselves strapped to gurneys in Doctor West's laboratory. West has full confidence in this new version of his formula, to which Deuce gets to unwillingly try first. The serum causes the janitor's body to swell and bubble before finally exploding into a ball of blood and guts. Whateley steps into the room, and becomes enraged when he discovers that Hatter Ash (who has also been taken prisoner) is not the real Chosen One they require for the ritual. A fight breaks out between West and Whateley, which results in Wilbur's "true form" under his skin becoming exposed. No longer holding back, Whateley rips off West's head from his neck...

In the Mirror Dimension, Sheila leads Ash into the Rabbit Hole, where she introduces her friends: "Herbie" and "H.P.". The mysterious H.P. seems to have a vast knowledge of the history of Deadites and the Necronomicon, but Ash finds none of it to be of any interest to him, as all he wants is to get out of the "Freudian freak show". H.P. then gives Ash a monocle, and tells him he must journey back to the location where he entered the dimension in the first place and break the glass upon seeing his Deadite doppelganger. Suddenly, Evil Ash (in the form of a giant caterpillar) breaks into the Rabbit Hole. Sheila begins to attack the creature, telling Ash to run while she has it distracted.

Hatter Ash waltzes through the blood-covered corridors of Arkham, serenading two human women he's taken as captives. As he aimlessly dances past portions of broken glass on the ground, the real Ash emerges from a shard. His appearance does not go unnoticed, as Tattoo Ash strikes at him. While fighting beside some janitorial equipment, Ash manages to douse the tattoo twin with ink remover, causing it to dissolve. Ash turns his attention towards Hatter Ash (who is preoccupied with the women) and climbs up inside the Deadite through "the back entrance", allowing him to bust through the doppelganger's body at his proper size.

In West's lab, Sugarbaby screams as Deuce's re-animated corpse begins to shamble towards her, catching Ash's attention. Williams busts in the room, blasting his way through Deadites and re-animated monsters until he finally spots West and Sugarbaby. Ash is stunned for a moment as he catches a glimpse at West, whose disembodied head now sits atop a giant conglomeration of stitched together corpses. Ash jumps at the creature, Boomstick blazing and chainsaw slicing into it's center. Amid the hundreds of bodies, he suddenly realizes that Shelia's body is among them, which means her soul is now stuck in the Mirror Dimension.

In the midst of the fight, Ash loses his saw, leading to one of the re-animated corpses to pick it up. From the saw's reflective blade lunges the real Herbert West, who manages to assume control over his body. Ash then grabs a loose stitch and begins to unravel the sewed atrocity by the seams. The real West begins to notice his surroundings and is horrified at the monster "he" created. Ash and Sugarbaby ride out of the chaotic laboratory on the gurney, but just as freedom to the outside is a few feet away, Ash is grabbed by Whateley's tendrils and pulled into the secret sanctum.

Using Ash's "Chosen One" spirit, Whateley opens the dimensional gateway, revealing the Old Ones awaiting on the other side. As they begin to creep through, Sugarbaby casts a spell which disrupts Whateley's incantation, and allows Ash to break free. He quickly grabs his Boomstick and shoots a hole in the Necronomicon before blasting Whateley into the gateway. The rift begins close, but sends out massive supernatural energy feedback into the building. Just as Arkham crumbles to the ground, Ash and Sugarbaby escape. Ash tells Sugarbaby that they need to get away from there before law enforcement arrive, unaware that Herbert West has also survived the collapse...

Gallery

Virgin Covers

Other

Trivia

  • This series was collected as a trade paperback in October, 2006, then later in the first Army of Darkness Omnibus from 2010.
  • Wilbur Whateley partially speaks the same incantation used by Professor Knowby to awaken the Kandarian Demon in The Evil Dead.
  • When Sugarbaby presents Ash with his clothes and weapons, they are hidden inside a guitar case. Ash would later use this same method in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash and The Nightmare Warriors.
  • Deuce's chest tattoo of Ash is based on the "Hero From The Sky" page of the Necronomicon seen in Evil Dead II.
  • During their fight in issue four, Tattoo Ash asks the real Ash if he wants a "Sapmaster 3000" tattoo. The Sapmaster 3000 was the chainsaw Ash used in the Shop 'Till You Drop Dead comic series.

Continuity Notes

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