Worlds collide this February when Ash meets Elvis and a foul-mouthed mummy in Dynamite’s latest crossover Army of Darkness vs. Bubba Ho-Tep. The four-issue mini-series not only brings together two beloved cult classics, it also pits Bruce Campbell’s infamous character against another of his best personas (the actor played Ash in the Evil Dead series as well as Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep in 2002).
Written by Scott Duvall (They Called Us Enemy, Heavy Metal) and with art by Vincenzo Federici (Grimm Fairy Tales), the story follows Ash on a road trip through Texas in search of Elvis, who is rumored to be alive and taking down evil mummies. With a time-traveling Elvis jumpsuit and a new evil Book of the Dead, Ash must then come face to face with Bubba Ho-Tep, the soul-sucking mummy.
Rounding out the creative team on the adventure is Michele Monte making his American comics debut on colors and Taylor Esposito (Bettie Page, Atomahawk) on letters. Duvall chatted about the upcoming series and what fans can expect.
Deanna Destito: When the idea to crossover these two properties came up was it because mixing two cult classics was appealing or was it more to see Bruce Campbell meet Bruce Campbell?
Scott Duvall: The exciting prospect of bringing these two iconic Bruce Campbell characters together was absolutely the spark that got the crossover off the ground. These two warped worlds inhabited by Ash and Elvis felt like such a natural fit that I could hardly believe it had not been done before. I feel incredibly lucky and thankful for all the trust and support the team and I have been given in order to deliver the best first meeting possible between these two heroes of cult cinema.
Destito: Campy cult classics are loved for a reason. Are you a big fan and how fun is it to write something like this?
Duvall: You’re absolutely right, lifelong friendships and communities are built around these much beloved classics. I’ve been a fan of Army of Darkness from a young age and was introduced to it around the same time as Star Wars, so it ranks high up there with some of my earliest influences as a wanna-be-storyteller. Bubba Ho-Tep came years later but I was an early adopter, immediately drawn to it as a fan of Campbell’s work. It’s been an absolute blast to put words in these characters’ mouths and take them anywhere I want to go from Texas to ‘70s Vegas to Graceland. The last couple years it’s been much more serious projects I’ve been involved in writing, so with this I try to inject as much humor into it as possible while also keeping the stakes high and so it’s been incredibly fun and freeing getting to play in both these sandboxes simultaneously.
Destito: What are your thoughts on some of your collaborators on this series? How does Vincenzo Federici match the tone of your scripts?
Duvall: I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be teamed up with such amazing collaborators on this series. Starting with Vincenzo Federici, (the first person to join the team), once I saw his character sheets for Ash and Elvis I knew he’d be perfect. His sense of action and dynamic layouts is phenomenal and he makes all the fights bigger and the jokes funnier so it’s been a real joy to sit back and watch him bring this story to life. Add to that Michele Monte’s eye-grabbing colors, which set a really eerie tone throughout. He makes some really striking choices in his palette, which add new dimension and depth to every scene. Our letterer Taylor Esposito I’ve had the pleasure of working with previously and I personally requested him for this project. Taylor is not only at the top of his game, he always comes up with great ideas and graphic design that he incorporates into his lettering, going one step further than your average letterer.
Destito: Who would you love to cross Ash over with next if given the opportunity?
Duvall: I was so thrilled to get the chance to team Ash up with Elvis for the first time, that if this is the only Army of Darkness crossover I ever have the opportunity to write on, I could walk away pretty satisfied. However, there’s only one other character that springs to mind that I would love to match wits with Ash and that’s Wynonna Earp. Beau Smith’s wise crackin’, demon slaying, badass heroine has become one of my favorite comic book characters in recent years. The idea of Wynonna trading barbs with Ash while they take on something truly evil gets my creative juices flowing!
Destito: In your opinion why has Army of Darkness endured the way it has, over so many decades and through so many incarnations?
Duvall: Great question. Truly the main reason this franchise has remained as enduringly popular as it has is that it delivered to us one of cinema’s best horror icons in Ash. Bruce Campbell’s performance as that character is always wildly entertaining and he has the best one-liners out of anyone. It’s his relatable everyman quality thrown into these horrific situations that reels us in, combined with a smart mouth and that epic chin. Ash is a flawed character, no doubt, and we love watching him overcome insurmountable odds, sending deadites back to the grave, and saving the day time and again. But we also love to see him stumble and fall on his face multiple times so we can root for him along the way. It’s been surreal getting to be in charge of torturing Ash this go-round, landing him and his new partner Elvis in some deadly predicaments, and I hope fans dig the results!
Check out the first issue of Army of Darkness vs. Bubba Ho-Tep on February 13. Also look for variant covers by Carlos Gomez, Tom Mandrake, Robert Hack, Diego Galindo, and Emma Kubert.