They wanna rock and roll all night and eat up every brain! Your Major Spoilers review of KISS Zombies #1 awaits!
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Rodney Buchemi
Colorist: Dijjo Lima
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Kevin Ketner
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Previously in KISS Zombies: Decades after a zombie invasion has made humans an endangered species, the city of New Detroit is under siege. The people in charge have banned music, as the undead are attracted to sound, and have tried to rid the world of evidence that the greatest band in history have ever existed. Unwilling to live this way and take the leadership at their word, a group of teenagers set out on a dangerous trip to find KISS!
DECADES FROM NOW
In a strange, dystopian future, a young man named Ben is put to death for the worst crime imaginable among his people: Singing the music of KISS. While he babbles and cries about the beauty of it all, and the majesty of 4/4 rock beats, he is overwhelmed by a horde of zombies. Not far away, the people of the New Detroit settlement watch in awe and horror as Ben is torn to bits. A rebellious young woman named Laila is not only angry about Ben’s demise, but willing to do something about it. With a radio she has scavenged, Laila has discovered a strange repeating signal, directing her to a specific set of map coordinates. With the help of two friends, she escapes New Detroit and begins the journey to the location, right in the heart of New York City. It’s a treacherous journey, full of undead and inexplicably running trucks, leading to 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, a place known as ‘The Garden.’ (Madison Square, not Eden, but still.) Beneath the crumbling structure, Laila finds four tubes that she recognizes as cryogenic freezer units…
…you know where this is going, right?
DON’T TRY TO FIGURE CONTINUITY, JUST… GO WITH IT
The best part of any KISS comic is the reverence and honor given to the music of the world’s greatest rock band, and this one doesn’t disappoint, as a Demon-facepaint-wearing Ben cries the words to ‘Rock N Roll All Nite’ like a prayer as he dies. The plot here is pretty basic stuff, combining ‘The Walking Dead’ with a little bit of ‘A Quiet Place’, but I found Laila’s story entertaining, and the journey across the ruined country is actually quite picturesque. That’s not to say that the art always hits the mark, as there are a number of times where it’s hard to follow what has happened without the captions and word balloons explaining it (notably when a horde of zombies attacks after a loud gunshot), but overall it works, and the last-page splash of our fearsome foursome is quite well-done. That’s really where the make-or-break of a book like this is going to be, especially if the premise is going to be “KISS punches the $#&@ out of zombies” rather than “KISS becomes zombies” as the title seems to imply.
BOTTOM LINE: GIVES NEW MEANING TO “DEVIL’S MUSIC”
I’ll admit, it’s probably targeted at a specific audience, but KISS Zombies #1 sets up an interesting premise, gives us a lot of successful world-building and hits the cliffhanger note just right, with art that wobbles a bit in clarity but gets the big beats (you should excuse the expression) for a not-bad-at-all 3 out of 5 stars overall. When it comes to KISS comics, the real draw is seeing Demon, Cat-Man, Space Ace and Starchild kicking the hell out of whatever the threat is, so the additional chance to save the remnants of human society adds a little frisson to the proceedings.
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KISS ZOMBIES #1
One part 'The Walking Dead', one part 'A Quiet Place', four parts makeup and platforms and the promise of zombies getting stomped? It's a KISS fan's delight.