Written by Mark Henely
Two issues in and I am still perplexed by the existence of Dynamite’s KISS series. Not because I think KISS is above licensing their image out to a comic book company, but because of how serious the book is. In my view, KISS is all about hedonism. They sing about partying. They call their dicks their “love guns.” Their lead singer has claimed that is love gun has been inside of over 4,000 women. So, when I pick up KISS #2, I wonder, why am I reading about dystopia that has never seen the sun?
With a little research, I found out that writer, Amy Chu, based the series on a somewhat obscure KISS album called Music from the Elder. The Elder was KISS’ attempt at making a prog rock concept album about a young boy who is raised to combat evil.
Basing a comic book on Music from the Elder is incredibly bizarre, but not necessarily a bad idea. The album was not received well when it was released and the band has gone on to almost never play those songs live. While it might seem like a bad idea to base an entire comic series off an album that most people didn’t like (you know, in the way that it would be a bad idea to base a comic book on Metallica’s St. Anger), The Elder does have a cult following. A following that might be interested in, let’s say, buying a comic book based on it.
In other words, if you are a big enough KISS fan to buy KISS #2, you probably like “Music from The Elder”
For those that aren’t familiar with the album, the question is: Is there anything of interest in there for a non-fan? As someone who had never listened to Music from The Elder” until I started writing this review, I can answer this easily. The answer is: no.
There isn’t a core idea behind the KISS dystopia that is any deeper than “fascism is bad.” And, while they aren’t wrong, I don’t see what this adds to the genre of dystopian fiction.
Issue 2 doesn’t take the story in any new directions, all it does is introduce an army of police robots that look like the bad members in KISS. While, I will admit that I think this is a cool development, I wish they would embrace it more. It is absurd to make an army of KISS robots and I wish the comic owned it. I don’t want serious and scary KISS robots. I want it to be wacky and fun. If this entire comic was just Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with KISS make up, I could get behind it. Instead, we have a dumb version of 1984.
Maybe it is fitting that I feel so perplexed by KISS #2. Much in the way that kids around the world were perplexed by Music from The Elder, it only serves to follow that I should be perplexed by the comic book it inspired.
Rating: 3 out of 10