• Kiss Vampirella #5

    Kiss Vampirella #5
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: October 11th, 2017.
    Written by: Christopher Sebella
    Illustrated by: Annapaola Martello
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    This fifth and final chapter in the Kiss/Vampirella crossover begins with Vampirella duking it out with Kiss’ former driver, the leader of a fringe group bent on eliminating the vampire menace. She wins the fight and wins him over – she admits she’s a monster, but convinces him that she’s one of the good ones. There are bad ones yet that need killing, so why not team up to do just that? This fight, of course, is taking place on the roof of the venue that Kiss is currently playing in.

    Vampirella points out that, yeah, the bad guys have shown up. As Paul rants to the crowd about the suits that sign the checks and control the record industry, how they don’t have soul, the five minions approach the stage. They invite the crowd to a different show tomorrow night at the Hollywood Bowl, to witness the future of rock n roll. Free buffet, open bar. The concert goes, the goddamn KISS ARMY, shove out the door. Vampi and her new friend figure something is up while the four members of Kiss use their instruments as weapons against the minions. It doesn’t go well – they literally can’t touch them. Vampirella, however, can and when she shows up she makes short work of them.

    They regroup, the members of Kiss and of Witchkraft, positing that those behind the upcoming Hollywood Bowl show might be planning to use subliminal messaging in their music to control anyone who listens to it. And then Lily comes up with a plan. And that’s a good thing, because when the gang arrives at the concert the DJ is playing a new single that sends the record breaking crowd into a frenzy while the suits backstage toast to the impending destruction of humanity!

    And so it ends, but with a pretty big bang and of course, with the door left open for future team ups. This was a fun read from the start, writer Christopher Sebella clearly having a good time playing with the history of both Kiss and Vampirella. The story proved quick in its pace, featured some interesting and enjoyable supporting characters and felt ‘in keeping’ with the early Kiss ethos. I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this when it was first announced but the story surprised me – if it wasn’t super deep, it was deeper than it needed to be (to its benefit - the book does have something to say about the way creative talent is treated by big business) and more importantly, it was really entertaining.

    Annapaola Martello’s artwork was also pretty solid. Nice detail, a good sense of movement, a knack for drawing the Kiss characters right in terms of getting the Hotter Than Hell era look correct (Ace’s doubleneck SG even makes an appearance). Valentina Pinto’s coloring was also strong, giving the art a fresh look that worked pretty well.