Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Comics Review: KISS: Phantom Obsession #3

KISS: PHANTOM OBSESSION #3
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Ian Edginton
ART: Celor
COLORS: Valentina Pinto
LETTERS: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Jae Lee with June Chung
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Stuart Sayger; Tim Seeley; Celor
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2021)

Rated Teen+

Kiss is an American, four-man, rock band.  It was formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, the original line-up that is also considered classic Kiss.  Kiss is best known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, and the group rose to prominence and gained a notorious reputation in the mid to late 1970s with its shocking live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, and pyrotechnics.

The members of Kiss have licensed their band name and likenesses for merchandising.  In a 2014 article, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Kiss had sold over one billion dollars from the sale of more than three thousand licensed items.  That merchandising includes comic books.  Kiss first officially appeared in a comic book in Marvel Comics' Howard the Duck #12 (cover dated: May 1977) and first starred in their own comic book with Marvel Comics Super Special #1 (1977).  Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Platinum Studios, Archie Comics, and IDW Publishing have published licensed Kiss comic books.

Dynamite Entertainment obtained the license to produce comic books featuring Kiss' brand and began releasing Kiss comic books in 2016.  The latest comic book is Kiss: Phantom Obsession.  It is written by Ian Edginton; drawn by Celor; colored by Valentina Pinto; and lettered by Troy Peteri.  Phantom Obsession pits the band against Darius Cho, a powerful, super-wealthy, obsessed Kiss fan who wants more than some autographs.

As Kiss: Phantom Obsession #3 opens, Paul, Gene, Ace, Peter, and Lyra Tzen, one of Cho's employees, are facing the “Super Sonic Monster Adventure Squad!”  What is that?  It's Cho's army of robot kaiju warriors, and they are ready to kick some Kiss ass.  Luckily, our rock 'n' roll heroes are ready to kick right back.  Now, it time to unleash their powers.

Meanwhile, Cho continues to monitor the escapees' progress – with a purpose – while he continues to build his secret project.  And before Kiss and Lyra can escape Cho, they must enter “The Kingdom of Woes” and face the four demon lords.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Kiss: Phantom Obsession #3, which is only the third Kiss comic book that I have ever read.

In Phantom Obsession, writer Ian Edginton offers a breezy adventure that is part Kiss comic book and part superhero comic book.  Edginton essentially shows that Kiss can fit into multiple fantasy genres, and in a way, his script sometimes makes you forget that these characters are fictional versions of a real life rock band.  Phantom Obsession is a superhero comic book like any other, except it's Kiss, too.

And it works.  I want to read more, and I think some of you will, also, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Kiss comic books will want to read Kiss: Phantom Obsession.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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