Written by: Eric Burnham
Artist: Daniel HDR
Colours: Wesellei Manoel
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover Art: Yildiray Cinar
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Never had the pleasure of picking up a Kiss comic before? If not, it should be pointed out that the comic content is an escape from the dull, humdrum world of superstar rock idols Simmons et al, but instead, the imagined universe of the books center on the Demon, the Starman, the Celestial (or Spaceman) and the Catman: superpowered beings who visit Earth through the ages to save its citizens from whatever hell is being unleashed upon it, or sometimes to stand back and observe. It’s also worth knowing that Kiss have integrated comics as part of their world dominating marketing strategy since 1977 so this isn’t another flash-in-the-pan ploy, up there with their Kiss branded air-guitar strings. So, what does the latest offering bring to the table?
The issue is split into four stories, each set within a different historical era. The first strand is set in the days of cave-dwellers and with a mysterious beast on the lose and killing off precious hunters; this is followed by stories set in ancient Rome, the age of pirates, and during the seventies’ space race. Throughout, the artwork consists of well detailed, muscular characters set against well detailed backdrops, though the backgrounds do become non-existent in some frames. The pencilling is confident and bold, and facial expressions are…well, expressive, even under heavy make up. The colouring is brash but suits the action. Some clever colour silhouettes pay testament to this and offer another level of dynamism.
My only gripes lie in the lettering and character development. The issue with squeezing four separate stories into one book, is that everything feels a bit rushed. Panels can become suddenly crowded with speech balloons or text boxes and we never really get to know any of the characters in any kind of depth. The events become just that – events, with little or no context or connectivity. The writer makes a vague allusion to the god-like status of our four heroes, however, this itself could be more connected. It would be great to see the four band members working together, as we’ve seen in previous Kiss offerings. So, overall, a standalone comic with some great art – just check the detail on some of the demonic creatures – but too little development.
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Review written by Arun S.