Comic Book Review: KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3

Dynamite Entertainment is really making the most out of their licensing deal with supergroup KISS. Instead of launching the typical ongoing monthly title that many times blows up in your face, the comic book distributor continues to give the band limited series that change things up with each new tale. None of the stories have contradicted each other, but they always head in different directions that keep things fresh. KISS: Blood and Stardust issues #2 and #3 continue that entertaining trend.

In KISS: Blood and Stardust #2, KISS is back from the dead and on a mission to save the world! Now Demon Mother Lilith must teach them about their new abilities and the history of Derek Crowley, the monster they are after. But as their pursuit of Crowley gets underway, they will come to realize that he and the Illuminate are already hunting them!

The resurrected KISS lends their protection to an innocent whose destiny puts her in the sights of the deadly Illuminati. KISS will put their new abilities to the test when they fight the most powerful foe they've met yet, while trying to save the girl and letting her fulfill a prophecy that spells trouble for the evil cabal in KISS: Blood and Stardust #3!

Writer Bryan Hill provides a simple, yet entertaining tale in which KISS are the superheroes we’ve come to know them as since the early days of their Marvel Comics appearances. Take elements of fantasy and horror and combine them with the typical good guy vs. bad guy storyline we see in the epic myths of yesterday and today and you have KISS: Blood and Stardust.

Rodney Buchemi’s artwork for KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3 really captures the essence of each of the band members and their different personalities. We get to see each one in action using their powers amongst a backdrop of great colors provided by Adriano Augusto. They are each shadowed by their trademark hue as they rush into action.

The most interesting aspect of KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3 is how much dialogue is given to Gene Simmons' Demon persona. Usually a man of few words, writer Bryan Hill has him doing most of the explaining when it comes to plot and driving the narrative forward. Here he gets to do the talking and breath fire and destroy things. It's a welcome change and gives the character more depth.

KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3 are rated T+ for violence, partial nudity, and frightening and intense scenes. I put nudity because one panel shows a tiny portion of the demon Lilith's bottom in issue #3 - like if she had a bikini on. Issue #2 has a few panels basically depicting the story of Adam and Eve and they definitely have no clothes on, but no detail is shown. Aside from that, the images of demons will no doubt scare younger children.

Many might have a problem with the occult elements of KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3, and I can definitely see their point. They've been dispatched by a demon to defeat another demon. It's a play on the ancient tale of making a deal with the Devil. They can't escape Hell and death without doing what the demon Lilith wants them to. However, it's just a story and not meant to reflect any religious truths. Also, could the partial nudity be toned down? Of course it could. If it were up to me, all comic books would be suitable for all ages to read and I think they'd get more eyes on them.

KISS: Blood and Stardust #2 and #3 is written by Bryan Hill. Artwork is provided by Rodney Buchemi. Issue #2 is available now and #3 will be available on December 19th, 2018. They're 32 pages long.

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