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Dynamite Comics (Publisher)
Kiss-The Elder (Book Review)
Released: 2017, Dynamite
It has been a while since Kiss had appeared in comics, fours to be exact. Some years ago I reviewed the mega-massive Kiss Kollection of Kiss Komics and I have always enjoyed Kiss themed comics. Naturally, I was very pleased to read that Kiss has made a return to comics in an association with Dynamite Entertainment out of New Jersey.
There has always been this odd and long-standing, mystique about the black sheep album of the Kiss catalogue…MUSIC FROM THE ELDER. There has a been a massive book about the album, another book in the works, and the rumours about a film based around the album have circulated for years. Now there is a comic! The idea behind MUSIC FROM THE ELDER is a good story, in my opinion, one of the earliest Metal concept albums and it makes sense that despite never achieving it’s full potential (yet) or coming to it’s logical conclusion. The fact that a new comic in 2017 has emerged based on the album is a testament to the longevity and strength of the core concept.
The comic (or ‘panel graphics’ as Paul Stanley amusingly refers to comics as in his introduction) is a mini-graphic novel. It runs about 160 pages with a total of about 40 pages of bonus artwork, sketches, pictures and illustrations of Kiss. It is well-presented, nice glossy paper and full-colour naturally. It is written by Amy Chu (Poison Ivy) and illustrated by Kewber Baal (Army Of Darkness). Set in the future after a global and apocalyptic WWIII, the story follows four teens who are disenchanted with life in sterile, futuristic and highly controlled environments. In a moment of youthful indiscretion and curiosity they break a few rules and they stumble across some forbidden and hidden secrets about ‘The Elders’ and Mr. Blackwell. Some dramas, fights and chases ensue and it nicely sets up the forthcoming issues. The art is pretty cool, slightly dark and futuristic and writing is adventurous and has some humour as well.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It is a nice interpretation of the album and the countless visual Kiss references scattered across almost every page. The plot was a little thin, the surprise ending was not really that much of a surprise but it was a nice cliff-hanger in the classic tradition of movie serials. The book is rated Teen and there is no sex and the violence is minimal.
KISS-THE ELDER maintains a long-standing tradition of Kiss comics. For an interesting overview of the history of Kiss and comics, I suggest you check out the Wikipedia article about Kiss comics. It is a fun, easy summer read! I can’t wait for Part Two!
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