Xena Warrior Princess/Army of Darkness: What, Again? (also known as Xena vs. Army of Darkness Volume 2) was a four-issue crossover comic released by Dynamite Entertainment in 2008. The series is an immediate sequel to Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Why Not?, which was released earlier that year.
Autolycus has been left in charge of Ash's crude S-Mart replica constructed in Ancient Greece, and has taken his designated role of Store Manager seriously. As Xena and Gabrielle wall through the aisles with the Prince of Thieves, they are unknowingly being observed by a cloaked figure in a cave via magic portals.
Back in the 21st Century, Ash's humdrum day at his S-Mart store suddenly sees an uptick in activity when customers and employees begin to turn into Deadites. Fighting his way out, Ash races to find The Wise Man of the Middle Ages, who now lives in a Detroit apartment complex. Using an ancient book of spells, The Wise Man summons Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus to aid Ash in fighting the undead hoard. In the mists of this battle, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (which was once safely locked up in Ash's car) begins to flap it's pages like a bat and flies off into the sky. Tracking the Book to the local library, a strange hooded Deadite opens a rift which pulls in the foursome into the worlds of three literary classics: A Christmas Carol, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, all of which have been "infected" by the presence of Deadites.
After fighting their way through the fictional realms, Ash, Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus are teleported to an unfamiliar landscape surrounded by Deadites. With no swords, no gas for the Chainsaw, and no ammo for the Boomstick, the four are saved by a shotgun-wielding blonde-haired man named Solan, who claims that Gabrielle is his mother and either Ash or Autolycus is his father. Before the time-lost warriors can continue their questioning, Solan takes them to the source of all evil: Univers-Mart, a supermarket that appears to grow right out of the ground.
Inside, they reunite with "The Oracle" (who is actually The Wise Man of 1300 AD), and Solan shows them the store's massive boiler room, which has become the birthplace of all Deadites. The boy then tells Ash that a disturbance in the time-stream has altered reality, that it is not a post-apocalyptic future, but rather Ash's home-era of the 21st Century. Suddenly, the cloaked figure which had been observing the foursome throughout time attacks, and reveals herself to be a Deadite doppelganger of Xena. The clone then pulls Ash and Autolycus into a time vortex, but Gabrielle and Solan escape back to the supermarket above. Using his own magic, The Wise Man conjurers his own portal and sends Xena, Gabrielle, and her son back to their proper time of Ancient Greece, where they see Ash and Autolycus have been captured by monsters.
Shackled to a wall, Ash and Autolycus are then greeted by Deadite Xena once more, and relays her "origin" to them. Many years ago, the "original" Xena wanted to rid herself of the dark thoughts and desires that resided within her. Having sought out the Necronomicon, Xena's evil was purged from her body in a magic pool, which later congregated into the entity now known as Deadite Xena. Having tried several attempts to get the Necronomicon herself, Deadite Xena was able to assume more dark powers when Ash created the Ancient Greek S-Mart centuries before it was supposed to be founded. Meanwhile, Xena, Gabrielle, and Solan fight through the Deadites of S-Mart, only to be taken by surprise when Ash and master lock-picker Autolycus join the battle. Deadite Xena appears once more, this time trapping everyone except Ash in magic bubble prisons, as she needs "The Chosen One" to use the Book of The Dead to give her even more powers. Instead, Ash uses the book to open a rift to pull in the Deadite duplicate and send himself back to the future. As S-Mart begins to crumble, Ash asks Solan to tell them who his father is. Solan whispers the answer to Gabrielle as he begins to disappear, and Xena, Gabrielle, and Autolycus escape just as the building is totally destroyed. Where S-Mart once stood is now a grassy field where sheep graze, and something catches Gabrielle's eye. Running into the field, she finds a framed and autographed photo of Solan, and remarks that he is one of the best men she has ever known, just like his father: Ash.
Alternate Cover Gallery
- In issue three, Galactus, The Thing, and a Skrull from Marvel's Fantastic Four comics can be seen in the background of the panel where Ash is explaining that the brain of a Deadite needs to be destroyed for it to truly die.
- Ash is mistakenly drawn with a real right hand instead of his mechanical gauntlet on the final panel of issue four.
- Issue three's "A" cover is an homage to the theatrical poster for the 1968 film Barbarella.
- The events of the first Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess series are mentioned.
- Ash's classic yellow Oldsmobile is absent from this series (replaced with a red car known as the "Ashmobile") due to the Olds sinking to the bottom of Crystal Lake (Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash)