The characters of Archie comics have a history of having some truly off-beat crossovers and guest appearances. From classics like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Punisher, along with recent fare such as Obama and Palin, the gang from Riverdale has certainly met their fair share of characters. Add to that list, the foursome of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, collectively known as KISS. Is this story destined to go down in history as one of the more memorable, or does it seem like a stunt? Read on for my opinion!
Archie meets KISS is a 4-part story, and as such, that usually means that the first issue is purely setup. That’s the case here as well, but the setup is compelling enough that I forgave a lot. KISS themselves don’t actually appear until page 11, in fact. Those first pages are spent establishing that Archie and friends (including Sabrina, which is important) have started the Riverdale Monster Society. It starts off innocuously enough with the gang wanting to help out their community with a simple protection spell. Luckily, they have a friend in Sabrina, the teenage witch who is uniquely equipped to do such a thing. All is well and good then, right? Wrong. Veronica and Reggie’s egos come into play and wreak their usual havoc. Soon, Riverdale is infested with monsters, and the only people who can turn the tide are the members of KISS!
Once the band actually makes their presence known, the awesomeness dials is turned up to 11! Taking a page from the classic Marvel KISS tales, writer Alex Segura casts the band not as their real-life counterparts, but as their stage personas, complete with supernatural powers. Their greatest power is of course the power to ROCK, leading to the best panel in the issue. As part 1 concludes, we’re left with a shocking cliffhanger of the town full of mindless zombie-like denizens! Never has anything made me laugh and simultaneously creeped me out as a zombie-fied Li’l Jinx. I’m eageraly awaiting to see how the story plays out. Surely an Archie/Kiss team up will have the two bands rocking together, which is truly something to anticipate.
Dan Parent’s art style lends itself especially well to the crossover. I find the way he draws faces especially appealing. The teens have rounded, fresh faces, whereas KISS has a much more angular, square-jawed style that just plain works. Everyone is instantly recognizable, which is doubly important, given the iconic nature of the guest stars. As for the writing, I praised Alex Segura on his first Archie outing a few months ago, and I just want to reiterate it here. I would love to see Mt. Segura on a monthly book.
In closing, if you’re even the least bit curious, it behooves you to pick up Archie Meets Kiss. Check out the preview below if you’re unsure, but trust me, this is the best KISS team up since KISS Saves Santa!
More preview images at this link