Blood and Stardust Finds KISS Enlisted in a Supernatural Battle

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They're the world's most iconic rockers. With their black-and-white facepaint and their over-the-top stage presence, KISS is on top of the world.

And then they were dead. Killed through the machinations of the mother of demons, all so that she could recruit them to fight a greater evil that existed beyond her grasp.

It seems there's another rock star on the rise in the mortal plane, and he's anything but mortal. He's a vampire, and he's got the protection of a group of occultists keeping him safe from Lillith. In exchange, they tell him who he needs to kill. And Lillith wants him dead, even though she created him.

That's prety much KISS; BLOOD AND STARDUST #1 in a nutshell. Bryan Hill delivers a simple enough plot, with four people who might be able to get close to the targeted Derek Crowley, the rock-and-roll vampire. Oh, sure, they have to be able to "stare down darkness with no fear of what they will see," but that's not the most apt description for a rock band. Opportunity for proximity makes much more sense.

And since I'm picking at the plot, let me take one more jab at the writing. When the team first meet Lilith, she introduces herself: "My name is Lilith. It's pronounced Lil-Leet. Everyone gets it wrong. It's annoying." I'm sorry, but in dialogue, one would presume one would pronounce her own name correctly, without having to follow it up with a pronunciation guide. People don't hear how your name is spelled, they hear how it's said. A more apt way to get his across might have been:

Lilith: "My name is Lilith."
Gene: "Lil-leet?"
Lilith: "You've probably heard me referred to as Lil-lith. Everyone gets it wrong. It's so annoying."

See how that works?

Anyhoo, this first issue ends with KISS making a pact with Lilith: they stop Derek, they get to have their lives back. But of what value is any deal with a devil?

This issue's artwork is provided by Rodney Buchemi. While he gets the perspective a bit weird on the group shots -- Peter Criss looks positively diminutive compared to the rest of the band at the end of the book, and he's standing in front of all of them -- the rest of the book is serviceable. Like many comics artists, Buchemi seems to excel more at drawing the sexualized female form than an average, unassuming person.

It's a rather prosaic start for a supernatural adventure. I'll need more meat from the second issue to see if it's worth staying with until the end.

3.5 / 5.0