Fantasy, Rock-N-Roll, Magic, and the Riverdale gang all come together in this odd pairing: Archie meets Kiss.Starting with “Archie Meets Kiss part 1: Riverdale Rock City” in Archie Comics # 627, the rock band showed up to help undo damage caused by bad spell casting. A group of monsters want to suck the fun out of Riverdale’s teens. A group of leather clad rockers must stop that from happening.
One of the surprising inclusions in this comic is Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and her cat Salem that pops up in #628, in addition to the Riverdale Regulars. Kevin Keller also pops up in #628. Josie, of Josie and the Pussy Cats, staggers into #627. This mini series is completely chocked full of special guests.
This is a very strange, silly and entertaining comic but what else would be expected from an Archie comic?
Alex Segura, the writer, keeps all the wholesomeness of Archie and the gang and adds a new level of campiness with a version of Kiss that’s very similar to how they were portrayed in the really terrible made-for-TV movie “Kiss meets the Phantom of the Park.” The story has more of a Saturday morning cartoon feel than rock album. Joining the morning cartoon feel is art from the team of Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski. Both the penciler Dan Parent and inker Rich Koslowski create a colorful and fun world in broad strokes. This is the average look for Archie but it is a kid friendly look for Kiss.
The Express-Times compared this team up to Scooby Doo and that is a well made analogy. Phyllis Diller or the Harlem Globetrotters could wander in and it would not be surprising.
Perhaps it is because I grew up looking at Kiss ads in all of my comics, but Kiss just seems like a great addition to the world of comics. Aside form their space adventures, circus adventures, and superhero antics in the past, this is another fun addition placing Kiss into Archie’s tongue and cheek world.
Part 2 is more of the same. The consistent creative team spins more of the same fun blend in monsters and music.
Archie Comics’ online store is selling out of these single issues quickly. Trades are still available. Since these will appeal to Archie and Kiss fans they will go quickly. Archie Comics pioneered direct market and direct consumer online sales. Even the first part of the miniseries had adds for the completed run and trade. This is a comic company that runs on-time and builds a complete sells plan from floppy to trade seamlessly.
I’m not typically a fan of variant covers or multiple covers, but this is a set of covers where I want them all.
My first reaction is to pick up the variants that featured the sepia tone and Kiss make up. Demon on part 1, Cat on part 2, and Space Ace on part 3 and guess who on part 4.The more I look at the regular covers the more I want them too. This is a good set of covers throughout the entire run thus far.
It is not surprising that these comics will appeal to Kiss collectors. The neat part of these are that are collectibles that are kid-friendly. Like plush, cuddly Kiss dolls these comics can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Enough background and sales pitch, I want to mention a few neat details from parts 2 and 3.
Archie Comics vibe and feel runs consistently throughout this mini-series which is not surprising. What was surprising is the depiction of “uncool.” The Riverdale teens afflicted by the fun-stealing monsters look like zombies. That makes sense in a Riverdale way and is not surprising. In part 2, Kiss takes the Riverdale Monster Defense Society on a magic guitar ride to see what the long term effects look like on another town. This is supposed to underscore the severity of the grave situation. The terminally uncool teenagers are depicted on their cellphones, mp3 pod players, and computers plugged in and separate from each other. The commentary is not subtle. Teenagers need to unplug…and read more comics. Rock on! I can support that.
The story proceeds like one might expect but it is fun. Predictability is usually a bad thing but not here.
This is a series that everyone needs to be reading. If you haven’t picked up single issues at your local comic shop then head to the on-line store and order a trade.