Written by: Alex Segura
Pencilled by: Dan Parent
Inked by: Rich Koslowski
Colored by: Jack Morelli
Lettered by: Digikore Studios
Published by: Archie
Cover Price: $2.99
Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from Comixology
This comic is pretty much the definition of IMPLUSE BUY! It was a slow week of comics, and when I saw KISS on the cover of an Archie comic, I just had to check it out. I used to have a bunch of Archie comics as a kid, and while I always enjoyed them I never went out of my way to follow any of the seemingly dozens of series set in and around Riverdale.
I do give the company a lot of credit. The Archie line seems to be taking some risks the last few years like:
– Adding a gay character:
– Having President Obama and Sarah Palin swing by:
– And showing alternate futures where we see what happens if Archie ever picked Betty or Veronica:
Even so, I still have never really paid all that much attention to what goes on in Archie comics.
BUT, when KISS drops by Riverdale to fight some monsters, you know I had to check that out! To me, KISS is probably the most underrated band out there. They seem to be more known for their crazy make up and spectacular stage shows than their music, which is a real shame. KISS has put out some of my favorite songs like God of Thunder, Shock Me, 2000 Man, Detroit Rock City, Deuce, Beth, Black Diamond, Psycho Circus and on and on.
One thing KISS is also known for is that they constantly whore themselves out. In addition to the typical toys, t-shirts, and plushes, you can find KISS coffins and KISS condoms. And this is far from the first time that KISS has shown up in comics. Hell, they even had their own Psycho Circus comic by Image back in the 90’s, along with toy line and PC game.
One quick thing before I get into the summary. My favorite KISS member is drummer Peter Criss, so I was a little annoyed that Jughead is on the cover playing dreams wearing Ace’s Space Ace makeup, not Peter’s Catman makeup. And the perv in me would rather have seen Veronica wearing a full blown Paul Stanley outfit…just with a little less hair….
And yes, I know that Ace and Peter are gone from KISS (which is why the comic only refers to the characters by their “alter egos” identities), but to me, KISS will always be Gene, Paul, Ace, and Peter.
Summary (contains spoilers): This comic starts with a meeting of the Riverdale Monster Society, basically Archie and his friends. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is talking about Halloween coming, and decides to put a protection spell around Riverdale.
Veronica and Reggie decide to cast a protection spell of their own, but Veronica clearly has some learning disabilities and thinks that they are trying to cast a monster projection spell instead. Veronica causes Sabrina’s spell to go haywire and summons four monsters:
These monsters seem determined to suck all the personality out of Riverdale. And we know that swinging town has a lot of personality!
Just when they thing their day can’t get any weirder, the Riverdale Monster Society are confronted with four even scarier creatures. The members of the band KISS, who seem to be monster hunters in their spare time using the power of rock to save the day.
The Monster Society heads home, but things in Riverdale are going crazy. Betty calls Archie to look at his window, and he sees that the whole town has been turned into zombies.
Review: Okay, first of all huge props for having Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie (from Josie and the Pussycats) show up in this issue. I actually forgot that those characters come from the Archie universe. Throw in KISS, and a thirty-two year old guy like me can’t help but enjoy this comic.
Let’s face it, this story and writing wasn’t all that deep or ground breaking. The story is ridiculously campy, and the dialogue tends to lean towards groan inducing puns, but at the same time, it wasn’t trying to be anything more than that. It was just telling a ridiculous and entertaining story, and in that regard it succeeded very well. I think it’s important to have comics like this to balance out all the grim, gritty, and pretentiousness that sometimes seems to threaten to take over the comic industry. Not saying I would necessarily read Archie on a regular basis, but I definitely had fun with this comic. It reminded me a little of Monster Squad, which was one of my favorite movies as a kid. And it also had reminded be of the god awful “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park” another story about KISS with superpowers stopping monsters.
The art is pretty simple, but it does the job of telling this story real well. I do think it’s kind of cool that Archie has looked the same for as long as I can remember it. Yeah, it’s not all that challenging, but again, sometimes it’s nice to just see something simple and functional. And since they don’t seem to be trying for pinup shots on every page, the writer can pack a lot more story and characterization into the comics.
One thing that always amuses me is when I see movie reviews for action movies or gross-out comedies that rip the movie apart for being exactly what you should expect when you go to see those types of movies. No one is trying to create ground breaking art there, they are just looking to entertain. And that is exactly what you will get here, everything you should expect from a comic book called “KISS meets Archie.” If you are willing to just let go of your cynicism and have some fun, you will enjoy this comic. If not….well there are plenty of other comics you can read and complain about.
Final Score: 7.0 A fun, entertaining comic that gives the reader exactly what they should want and expect.