• Kiss Vampirella #4

    Kiss Vampirella #4
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: September 13th, 2017.
    Written by: Christopher Sebella
    Illustrated by:
    Annapaola Martello
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    Vampirella gets out of bed – she wasn’t sleeping because she doesn’t sleep, too much like being dead we’re told – but she’s got stuff to do, especially since KISS think she’s evil incarnate at this point. She puts on her power suit and heads out to Center Records where KISS are meeting with the record executives who are considerably more evil than Vampi could ever be, in fact, they’re literal demons. They want KISS to ditch the makeup and the noise and play nice, pre-written music on acoustic guitars. KISS are pressured to sign but no way – they’re not going to give up on rock n roll, they’re KISS, damn it!

    A fight breaks out, the Ace and Peter as tossed out the window just as on the street below Vampi tries to get into the building. She sprouts her wings and flies the Cat Man and the Space Ace back up to the floor they were just tossed out of and in through the broken window where she gets into the brawl already taking place between Gene, Paul and the demonic record executives. Vampi leaves one demon left conscious enough to talk – they’re behind it all, spreading their ‘dark gospel’ through music by way of backwards masking and subliminal messages, but rock’s too loud and frantic for it to work as well as it needs to. That’s why they’ve been snagging up Los Angeles’ rock bands and making them disappear. Soft rock and disco are much better vessels and a way more effective way for these guys to destroy the world!

    Some more demons show up, so KISS and Vampi split the scene, unaware that Peter left his sticks in the office. Well aware of how much trouble they’re in, they all head back to Vampi’s house where the rest of her band is waiting for them, Lily too. They talk over breakfast and come up with a plan…

    “They’re trying to kill rock n roll. Make us their puppets. We can stop them. Maybe save the world.”

    This penultimate issue ends on a pretty big cliffhanger – as a penultimate issue should – but it’s a really fun read. There’s a good mix of humor and action here, some pretty clever one liners (the best examples being the conversation between KISS and the record executives and the breakfast conversation between the members of KISS and Vampi’s band). The metaphors about the record industry and its tendency to suck originality and creativity out of talent in order to find a wider audience and make a few bucks isn’t exactly subtle, but it works quite well in the context of the story that Christopher Sebella is telling. We also get a nice bit of action in here too, and a few twist/revelations that should come in handy next issue. Annapaola Martello’s artwork is solid. It’s got an effectively sketchy look to it but it’s strong, nicely detailed and able to convey movement (and the musical number at the end) quite nicely. Valentina Pinto’s coloring work is also top notch – and hey, you’ve gotta love that cover piece by Juan Doe.