What’s so great about a comic book about a rock group that started in the 1970’s? First off, Kiss created a persona in rock and roll music because of their make-up and stage theatrics. Each band member took on a different role: Gene, The Demon; Paul, The Starchild; Ace, Space Ace; and Peter, The Cat. With lyrics seething in entendres, the group evolved to perform some of the most fun rock songs in the last few decades.
The ongoing comic book does a great job of capturing that fun. Four spiritual beings, The Four Who Act As One, fight an evil entity known as the Destroyer. The heroes possess different forms as they battle. So far they have been gangsters, teenage girls, and so on. No, they haven’t been infants—yet.
For a gimmick comic book based on a gimmick band, the work has been outstanding. Unfortunately, the solo one-shots have not. My biggest criticism on the two previous books has been that the one-shots did not add anything to the individual characters. We get nothing to advance the overall story of the great battle between the Destroyer and the Elder, nor do we get any added information about the heroes.
The Celestial and his crew rocket through space on the trail of the Talisman of power lost during the battle with the Destroyer in the ongoing series. Arriving at an intergalactic casino, the Celestial finds the talisman in the clutches of a “psychotic dinosaur space-biker” pirate using it as a wager on a card game.
Unfortunately, Xanjack the space-pirate tyrannosaurus won’t give it over without a fight.
While this one shot also does little to advance the background of the Celestial character, it was way more fun than the previous two issues. I caught a lot of the in-jokes that reflect the fights Ace Frehley had with his real-like Kiss counterparts. Those not as familiar with the band and their lyrics will be missing out on an awful lot of allusions.
Those who are jumping on board will get a better-than-average story of a heroic character in a Mos Eisley type setting.
This whole series reflects the band’s attempts at solo albums: they could be a whole lot better, but there are some things about them that will leave you pleased.
Writer: Chris Ryall Artist: Alan Robinson Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/22/13