The rock band KISS is no stranger to the comic book world. Ever since their debut appearance in 1977's issue #12 of Marvel's Howard the Duck monthly series, the Starchild, the Demon, the Spaceman, and the Catman have become not only rock stars but superheroes. The foursome has appeared in two magazine-format comics bookending their television movie exploits in KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Since then, they've appeared in three different series published through Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Platinum Studios. Let's not forget their latest appearance in Archie Comics.
IDW Publishing partnered with KISS to continue their adventures and expand on the mythology behind the band in their comic book form. They are no longer just four individuals given powers by talismans. They are supernatural forces who work for the Elder while embodying different individuals as they jump through time battling the Destroyer and his evil minions. The woman She serves as their "guardian angel" of sorts, mystically whispering suggestions in the ears of the Celestial (Spaceman).
In the first story arc of the new ongoing KISS title entitled Dressed to Kill, the "four-who-become-one" come up against "Wicked" Lester McGhee, his thugs, and demon dogs in the gangster-occupied world of 1929 Chicago, Illinois. Our superheroes must find a way to stop the Destroyer's plans while simultaneously discovering how to use their mystical powers. The quest also takes them to a different dimension that holds unexpected dangers.
Writer Chris Ryall (Zombies vs. Robots) found an ingenious way to relaunch the four personas of KISS. His concept gives the book a feeling of freedom. He can take the Starchild, the Demon, the Spaceman, and the Catman's "essences" and plug them into anyone or anything in any time period or place in the universe. There are no limits to what Ryall could do with these characters in the future. Wouldn't it be cool if the adventures leave the Earth and their forces are put into alien beings?
The art by Jamal Igle (Superman) vibrantly brings to life the hottest band in the world. His illustrations are exciting while keeping one foot in realism. There's a classic essence to his work as well. The coloring by Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Transformers) perfectly accentuates Igle's illustrations and makes them jump off the page at the reader.
Issues #1 and #2 of IDW Publishing's KISS are a great start to what could be a long-running series. It's up to fans of the band to pick it up and show the comic book world their support for them. Chris Ryall's concept has endless potential and could carry the title for a very long time.