KISS: Blood and Stardust #1 Review

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A menace has arisen so terrible that only the four heroes of KISS can defeat it.  If only they weren’t all dead…  Your Major Spoilers review of KISS: Blood and Stardust #1 awaits!


Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Rodney Buchemi
Colorist: Adriano Augusto
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Kevin Ketner
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 24, 2018

Previously in KISS: Blood And StardustAn immortal cabal is taking the lives of innocents and the only ones who can stop them are KISS! The only problem…they are all dead.  And now they have to make a deal with a demon to save their souls and return to Earth to fight evil!


Our festivities kick off with a Halloween-season appropriate concert by KISS, and the creative team manages to deliver on the premise of a rock concert.  (It probably helps that I’ve heard ‘Hotter Than Hell’ a hundred times, but the visuals make it all work.)  At the same time, somewhere in California, we check in on a young woman named Jenny who finds herself in the home of rock star Derek Crowley.  It’s a dream come from for young Jenny-from-Ohio, until he transforms into a terrible vampire and eats her alive.  After the carnage, covered in blood, Crowley taunts a statue of Lilith, mocking her that she will never stop him.  After the concert, on the road to the next gig, Gene Simmons strikes up a conversation with their bus driver, who suddenly has to swerve to avoid a woman in the road.  Gene and his pals awaken in a strange netherworld, where they are greeted by the woman from the highway, who announces that she is Lilith!  (It’s pronounced Li-leet!)

Oh, and they’re all dead, but she wants to make a deal…


The art in this issue is really strong and unlike many previous KISS books, all four members look excellent throughout, including The Demon’s armor and their costumes.  The facial likenesses aren’t always quite right (except for Gene, for some reason) but the concert sequence and the conversations in Hell are really well-designed and blocked out.  Lilith herself looks fabulous, evil and kinda hot, and even incidental characters like the bus driver feel like they could be real people.  With Lilith’s offer of power enough to fight a vampire, I’m hoping that we might see super-powered KISS in coming issues, and one of the alternate covers (a take on the classic “Giant-Size X-Men #1”) makes me think it will look amazing under Buchemi’s pen.  I also like the story presented, with a not-quite-David Bowie analogue working with a mysterious Illuminati-type group to gain personal power, and only the Lilith-powered KISS to stand in their way.


In short, KISS: Blood and Stardust #1 is a really solid debut for the latest comic incarnation of the band that made stage makeup cool again, featuring some really excellent art and a story that works on multiple levels without nebulous power sources or Psycho Circuses, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If nothing else, it’s quite possibly the best-looking comic book KISS in history, which is almost worth the price of admission by itself.


Interesting Story

An interesting story and really good art make this one of my favorite takes on the band-that-might-as-well-be-superheroes.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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