By Dustin Cabeal
I wasn’t a fan of the Todd MacFarlane KISS comics; I wasn’t a fan of the IDW KISS comics. Hell, I wasn’t even a fan of Archie Meets KISS, and if I’m brutally honest, I’m definitely not a fan of KISS’ music. I’m also not a fan of most of Gene Simmons public opinions, but that’s a side note since he has dick all to do with this comic.
To address KISS’ music for a moment, the first time I saw KISS, I thought they looked awesome. Then I heard their music… and it didn’t match the look. Imagine if you saw the Sex Pistols on stage, and suddenly it was like the fucking Eagles were playing. You’d be utterly confused and so was I the first time I heard a KISS song.
As for the comic… haven’t we done this already? Aren’t they the fucking saviors every fucking time they do a comic? How pompous do you have to be that you only want to be portrayed as saviors? Also, I should add that they’re not technically in the comic either. Their imagery is because let’s be honest, we only care about their imagery.
The story goes like this; we blew up the world; the writer played Fallout/watched the Matrix and shoved us all underground with a repressive government that won’t let us go top-side until they say everything is safe. I could go on with examples of what it read like, Lantern City, Attack on Titan, that Nike’s commercial that made zero sense in the 80s that everyone likes to make fun of. It just feels like future stuff underground.
After setting up the world with a lot of easy and lazy storytelling, we follow four kids looking for freedom. One of them has found a map, and they’ve decided to follow the map and find their freedom. Instead, they find KISS… kind of. You know, cuz they gotta be saved.
The overall writing is fine. It’s just extremely generic. Everything from the plot to how the story is told has been done to death. You could use this issue to figure out the formula to write any future based sci-fi, doesn’t mean it’ll be good, just that you could do that. It’s a competent script, but it’s also extremely boring and feels exactly like every KISS comic IDW did. What was that, two, three years ago at the most? Maybe just a year ago now that I’ve continued to type and think. The point is, it’s not bad writing, but it’s a far cry from good or anything memorable. Granted not everything needs to be, but then why the hell would I read this? To see KISS inserted in a dystopian future underground? Pass.
As for the art is suffers from much of the same. It’s not bad; it’s not memorable, and it lacks in a lot of departments. What is especially weird for me is that there’s a lot of details to the art, but when it comes to the character’s faces they were practically none. Half the time the nose wasn’t even drawn in, but two dots and some light coloring to give the appearance of a nose. They four main characters have the softest features I’ve seen in a comic in a long while. It makes it so that none of them stand out and would be indistinguishable if not for their hair… which was in style at the time KISS premiered. At times it looked like two different people illustrated this book. One doing backgrounds that were unfortunately colored in beige and brown due to the future being underground; and the other illustrating the people and shadowing the fuck out of their clothing and leaving their faces glowing and light. The art isn’t cohesive within itself which wasn’t distracting. Instead, I just stopped paying attention to it. I felt apathy for it.
Even though I could care less about KISS’ music, I still think that their brand could be interesting in comics. Dynamite’s first stab at it is just a generic cash grab for aging fans that also read comics. I imagine this is a dwindling market of comic readers, but I could be wrong. It just seems like if it was doing well that IDW would never have let it go, like Transformers, G.I. Joe and a hundred other franchises that they run into the ground but make a ton of money off of. Whatever the cause, whoever the fan base, this comic doesn’t do enough to hook a new generation of comic readers that don’t listen to KISS and expect more from their comics. The only part of this book I liked is when KISS showed up like Zordon in Power Rangers. Actually, if it was that in the next issue I might be able to forgive this issue, but I kind of doubt they’ll be given KISS mechs to fight evil.
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Kewber Baal
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment