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Ash (Hero From the Sky)

Evil Dead 2
by yo go re

We've got Marvel Monday, Joe Friday, Transformers Tuesday... and now I guess this is Ash Wednesday.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Evil Dead II with this exciting new collection of highly detailed poseable action figures. Figures include scene specific accessories to help you re-enact the gleefully gory masterpiece that is Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn.

That, by the way, is not the entirety of the text on the back of the packaging: all the ED2 figures get the same copy back there, and we already shared the first half of it with you in the Farewell to Arms Ash review. But since this is a special figure, the time seemed right to share the special words. Klaatu Barada N... Necktie? Nickel? I don't know, that doesn't sound right.

Hero from the Sky Ash is a repaint of Hero Ash, taken from the end of the film. Everybody remembers the ceaseless bravado of Ash holding aloft his shotgun and proclaiming it to be his "boomstick," but that was actually from the recap at the beginning of Army of Darkness: in Evil Dead 2, he just sort of panicked and cried. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!

Upon being thrown 700 years into the past (and, somehow, 4,000 miles across the ocean into England), Ash was decidedly less vibrant than he had been in modern times. Now, part of that was that he ended up with a fine coating of dust after falling from the sky into a pile of loose dirt, but part of it was also that the film was desaturated to better show "ye olde timey-ness" of it all. This figure follows suit. He's not strictly grayscale, though he looks it at a glance: as in the film, the colors have all been desaturated, rather like the "color" versions of the Silent Screamers. His skin is gray, but his nipple is still pink, for instance, and all that blood is a deep, dark red. He even gets the scratches on his stomach that Hero Ash was missing.

The main change that happened to Ash between the time he was in color and the time he was in black and white was that a giant demon face burst through the front door of the cabin and bellowed at him, turning a streak of his hair white. This figure is painted with his skunk stripe. His eyebrows are down where they're meant to be, too.

Ash's shirt is torn, revealing the fully sculpted torso beneath. It's probably the same torso that was beneath the soft PVC shirt(s) worn by the Series 1 figures, but we're not about to cut those open to find out. The fancy harness that he built himself is molded as part of the shirt. Confession time: I always thought the "hook" that he used to pull-start the chainsaw was in the center of his chest, but it turns out it was nearer the armpit. Sadly, the elbow doesn't quite bend far enough to let you re-create this yourself, but the articulation is still great. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, balljointed left wrist, swivel/hinge torso, balljointed waist, a V-crotch, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees and balljointed ankles. You can even put him the "boomstick" pose if you so desire!

The figure includes the sawed-off shotgun, and of course it fits in the sling on his back. But the real star of the show is his chainsaw hand, which looks perfectly accurate to the film prop. The red used on this one is darker than on Hero Ash's, in keeping with his muted colorscheme. The chainsaw only rotates at the wrist, but that's enough to throw a little natural variety into his poses.

This Ash doesn't come with the same awesome deer head as Hero Ash, which mean there was room in the budget for something else. Thus, "Hero from the Sky" Ash becomes the only Ash to have a display base. It's nothing special, just a non-descript stony lump for him to stand on... but wait a minute! If you look at the final scene in the movie, you'll notice that this appears to be an exact duplicate of the inexplicable clod Ash was standing on in that scene, right down to the specific cracks and everything! At some point NECA's attention to detail just becomes ridiculous!

There's a single footpeg on the base, but Ash doesn't need it to stand up. The base is about 4½" square and 1" tall (with some variation in the dimensions due to the uneven nature of the rocks). There's a strange inscription on one side - it's too regular to be random, but it's not in English. Is this something that was on the original prop? Is it the signature of the sculptor who worked on the base?

To set this exclusive apart from the rest of the Evil Dead 2 line, it has unique packaging. How did they make it different? By selecting the background layer and hitting "Ctrl-I." Unless they use a Mac, at which point they would have hit ⌘-I. We're saying that they just took the image of trees that back the figures and inverted it. The black trees become white, the blue sky becomes red, and the whole things looks connected and yet distinct. Hooray!

If you're getting Hero Ash, you don't really need Hero from the Sky Ash - but he is exceedingly well done, and represents a bit of the film never covered by a toy before. You may not need it, but you're going to want it.

-- 08/29/12

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