Chris Ryall (Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief of IDW Publishing) and Jamal Igle (Supergirl) bring KISS back to comics in this new series which imagines the real life characters as avatars of the “The Elder” brought to Earth to battle the villainous machinations of the devilish “Destroyer.” Set in the Chicago, Illinois of October (of course) 1929, KISS #1 is the opening salvo in what is sure to be another money maker for Gene Simmons and the boys. It’s all about the brand, and at least in this case the brand is in good hands artistically.
A gaggle of cops and their informant inherit the power of the avatars of The Elder and become a force for good in the dark days of the gang riddled Chicago year of 1939. Each one possessed of a certain superpower or super strength that “represent different parts of The Elder’s primal essence,” The Demon, The Starchild, The Celestial and The Catman must work together to stop The Destroyer from er…destroying…Chicago, or something along those lines. Honestly the story isn’t all that inspiring or unique. After all, this is yet another comic book based on the music, actions, physical appearance, and cartoonish occult silliness that KISS often championed with their look, but conversely really only wanted to “Rock and Roll All Night” rather than channel the forces of good or evil.
Something that is inspiring about KISS #1, and that I’ve sorely missed, is Jamal Igle’s fantastic artwork. The most talented artist to ever draw Supergirl, Jamal Igle makes this lackluster and retread cash grab of a comic book something worth giving up the cash for. His highly kinetic panels, superbly accurate anatomy, excellent background work, and eye for detail (as well as for his assigned time period) are just as good as they have always been, and maybe even better than before. Freed from DC Comics (he is inexplicably absent from any ongoing New 52 book), Igle seems to to be relishing his freedom and cutting loose with some fantastic artwork. Sadly, he’s only drawing the first two issues of the book. Guess I’ll only be reading the first two issues.
While not totally a waste, but definitely nothing groundbreaking, IDW’s KISS #1 is a fun read, but really only worth forking over the cash for because of the art.