Review – KISS Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite Comics)

Publisher: Dynamic Comics
Writers: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims
Art: Ruairi Coleman
Colours: Timothy C. Brown
Letter: Troy Peteri
Release Date: 28th February 2018

If you are interested in picking up this comic I’m gonna have to assume that you have at least a passing interest in either KISS or the Army of Darkness franchise. If you don’t (what kind of person would you be?), then is it worth a shot? And, despite being biased yeah, I’d say it is.

Opening in ’79 at the Michingan Pontiac Silverdome, we are treated to the sight of the fantastic four in full swing. Plot happens and then we quickly hop forwards to ’81 where we find Ash Williams recovering in hospital from a workplace accident. The basic spoiler-free premise is that in these two years, KISS have gone missing and in a weird timey wimey ‘Back to the Future’ divergent timeline type way, Ash never went to the cabin in the woods. If Ash never went to the cabin, then he never encountered the Deadites, and yaddda yadda, you can see where this is going.

Anyone who has had prior exposure to KISS in comics or tie in media like cartoons will appreciate where this is going very quickly. My three year old daughter loves the ‘facepaint singers’ in the Scooby Do crossover and I’ll have to admit more than a passing fondness for it. Adding a touch of the fantastical to the greatest band in American history seems entirely in keeping with this irreverent romp. It’s perfectly in keeping thinking that the Demon, Starchild, Catman, and Spaceman have some mystical powers that are fuelled by the chants of the KISS Army and that there rock and roll!

Now whilst this might not have any highbrow social commentary going on, it’s clear a lot of time and devotion has gone into it. The humour is spot on, there are plenty of little details and references to movies and songs. It all seems to mesh pretty nicely – building up to a somewhat predictable but entirely satisfying last panel. It’s refreshing to read something that seems to be happy with what it is and doesn’t throw up any pretensions.

The overall package is well rounded with a good story and good art and that’s where my personal preferences kick in. I can’t really fault the style but to me it’s all a little to clean and crisp. Given that this is KISS and the Army of Darkness I would have liked something a bit darker. As it stands it won’t stop me reading more but it feels a little too safe in overall look and tone.

I really liked this and say it should be a definite for any fans but well worth a punt if you fancy something a little off-the-wall.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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