Obama vs. Zombies - Dynamite Teams POTUS with Ash

Ash Saves Obama #1, cover by Todd Nauk

At this point, President Barack Obama’s list of accomplishments in comics is starting to rival those of some costumed heroes.

The nation's new Chief Executive has been seen in Savage Dragon, Amazing Spider-Man, Youngblood (toting a gun in the White House), his own biographical comics, and even re-cast as a barbarian in a satire series and as an alien resistance fighter – and that’s just scratching the surface.

And now, Obama will team with famed Deadite killer, Ashley J. Williams, better known as just Ash from the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise in Dynamite’s Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama.

“We've been talking about this for a while, quite a while, and one of the things that you can't discount is we had to get licensor approval as well, so we couldn't just turn on a dime,” Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci says of the four issue miniseries that debuts in August. “For the most part I think Marvel did it right and I think IDW did a good job; We wanted to do something that was more than just a guest spot or a cover shot or historical biography, but paid reverence to the man leading our country --- yet at the same time have fun with it. I think we're achieving both. And what we're bringing to the table, that may be different from the rest, is giving the audience something that's worth reading, that's different, and that does touch on the fact that President Obama is a comics fan. And with all that in mind, should the Presdient get himself a copy, hopefully he can have a good laugh with us and what we’re doing.”

Admittedly, fans have raised a skeptical eyebrow at the use of Obama in so many comics lately. In fact, one of those eyebrows once belonged to miniseries writer Elliot Serrano.

“After seeing how I handled Ash in my one-shot story Army of Darkness #18: Montezuma's Revenge, where Ash goes to Mexico to fight a resurrected Aztec king, Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt asked me if I'd be interested in putting Ash in a somewhat different setting,” says Serrano. “I'll admit, I was hesitant at first since it seems like the whole 'Obama meets (insert hero name here)' thing is getting kind of played. But Joe expressed confidence that I could come up with a plausible angle and a fresh take on the idea.”

And as far as Serrano sees it, Obama appearing in the miniseries is keeping up with a comics tradition. “The idea of US Presidents appearing in comics is not new, just ask Marvel Editor Steve Wacker (laughs). But I do have to say that the 'Obama Effect' was something that took everyone by surprise. Newspapers that were struggling with circulation were selling in huge numbers after Obama's election and up to the Inauguration. People just wanted to have a keepsake of that historic moment. Then the OE hit comics, which was equally surprising. Now, if history has told us anything, it's when someone comes across a formula that works, everyone tries to duplicate it. Can anyone say Ninja Turtles?

“For the record, I am quite conscious of the fact that this is not the first comic to feature the President, nor will it be the last. And this is a trend that I openly poke fun at in the first issue of the miniseries.”

Speaking of the miniseries, Serrano says that while the original idea for pairing Ash and Obama came from Barrucci, he wanted to take things in the direction that comic fans know well – that is, comic book conventions.

“I decided to take the advantage of the idea that Obama has admitted to being a fan of comic books and playing that angle,” Serrano said. “With that established, the story starts off with the President making a trip to Detroit to attend the opening of a new 'green car' factory, which also happens to coincide with the 'Detroit City Comic Con.' Since he's in town for one thing, why not just drop in on the other? Coincidentally, Obama makes an appearance at the convention at the same time that one Ashley J. Williams is making an important delivery to the S-Mart Snack Spot located in the convention hall where the comic con is taking place.

“Add to that the fact that a comic book version of the Necronomicon is floating around and working its way into the hands of fanboys threatening to spread its evil Deadite curse, well now you've got a nice set of complications for our hero to deal with!”

While Serrano wouldn’t say if Obama would be seeing any Deadite-killing action, he did explain how he’s approaching writing the Commander-in-Chief in a less than realistic setting.

“I live in the state where Obama first came into the political spotlight as a local representative and then a US Senator, so I've had many opportunities to hear him speak and get a sense of who he is as speaker and politician, which translates somewhat into the character. Just like when I write Ash, I've tried to hear the 'character' of Obama speaking in my head and capture what makes him unique. Not saying that I always succeed, but I try.

“Now, I've decided to write his 'character' with the utmost respect. Whatever your political leanings are, the man holds the most powerful office on the planet and it's just proper to give that position the reverence it deserves. Beyond that, I wanted the character of President Obama to seem as grounded as the 'real' Obama appears to be. There's a funny little moment in issue #1 where we get to see what Mr. Obama thinks about all the books and merchandising that he's inspired. I honestly think that the President of the United States has a sense of humor about himself like his character in the book does.”

With this four issue miniseries now rolling, Barrucci declined to say whether or not the President would be showing up in any more of Dynamite’s licensed books – but kept the door open.

“I’ve had a few ideas about it - I think a strong leader like Obama would be able to lead mankind in a fight against oh, I don’t know, Terminators? Stay tuned for next month's breaking story on this one. But, back to Ash Saves Obama! This should be fun.”

Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama #1 with art by Ariel Padilla goes on sale in August

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