• Kiss Vampirella #1

    Kiss Vampirella #1
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: June 7th, 2017.
    Written by: Christopher Sebella
    Illustrated by: Annapaola Martello
    Purchase From Amazon

    The first issue of this new crossover series is set in 1974. Vampirella’s travels have brought her to Los Angeles where Kiss, hot on the heels of this first record release, are taking a quick break from their current tour to record their second album. Before we get to that though, we see a young couple commit suicide, or so it seems, as they admit to using one another and then drive their sports car off a cliff.

    Cut to a bar on Sunset Boulevard two days later. In the back room of a club, a dark haired woman beats the snot out of a man who was getting rough with a young woman he’s clearly been stalking. The young woman regains consciousness just as the raven haired tough gal finishes mopping the floor with this douchebag. Turns out this tough gal is Vampirella and she’s in Witchkraft! The younger girl is a little star struck once she realizes this. Vampirella gets her into the show and tells the bartender to put whatever she wants on her tab. This new recruit has only been in L.A. a few weeks, fresh off the bus from Idaho.

    Shortly after, Witchkraft – Vampi’s all-female rock band - takes the stage. As she plays, she reflects on her past – a space alien now in L.A., figuring out how to kick ass on stage and off stage by rocking out at night and dealing with ridding the world of evil in her spare time. After the show Vampi brings her new friend, Lily is her name, to meet the rest of the band. Once the band is done loading up, Vampirella takes Lily for something to eat. Here she tells her the truth about her background, why she’s on Earth to defeat evil and how she wants Lily to help her. Their first mission? Follow a suit that Vampirella recognizes and suspects as a conduit of sorts for evil!

    On the other side of town, the four members of Kiss are driving around in their limo on their way to the studio to start work on recording Hotter Than Hell. They hit the studio but they’re not feeling it, so Gene asks the driver to take them to some rock n roll. He and the rest want something dangerous. The driver obliges. While they’re out having fun, some mysterious figures dressed in black steal a guitar noting that ‘the heralds have arrived from the east’ and how ‘their blood shall grease the gears of the apocalypse!’

    At the club, the guys in Kiss talk to a sound guy named Jerry who once worked for them about the pathetic state of rock in L.A. – clubs are closing, bands are breaking up and people are just disappearing. They split the club and run into a guy named Frankie that they recognize, but he’s in rough shape, rambling on about devils and some such… and the end of the world.

    This unlikely team-up is at least off to an interesting enough start. Kiss are portrayed as Kiss – not as Gene, Paul Ace or Peter (or whoever replaced Ace and Peter if you want to go down that rabbit hole), and as such they head out in full costume. This is kind of amusing but also kind of fitting given that this is a comic book and all. How exactly their story will tie into Vampirella’s story remains to be seen but have faith, we’ll get there. Bringing Lily in as sort of an innocent sidekick for Vampi is an interesting tactic in that it gives her someone vulnerable to care about. This’ll probably play into future issues in some way, we just don’t know how yet. So yeah, lots of odd stuff going on in this first issue, plenty of questions and no answers, but that’s what the later issues are for. For now, Christopher Sebella’s story is interesting enough to hold our attention and to make us want to see where it goes. Annapaola Martello’s artwork is pretty solid. Everyone is very thin in this book, but that’s just part of the style and once you get used to it, well, it works. Background detail could be better in some panels but then in other panels it is pretty solid. There’s good sense of action and movement here, a slight manga and anime influence is apparent, and the coloring from Valentina Pinto is appropriately dark, suiting the story nicely.

    It’ll be interesting to see where this goes from here…

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