You had to see this one coming the moment Dynamite got the license to do KISS comics. The publisher has announced a new KISS/Vampirella comic series written by Chris Sebela (Captain Marvel) and drawn by Annapaola Martello (Scarlet Witch) kicking off this June. Though both are still popular today, their iconic status was high in the 1970s and that’s where this series takes place.
Los Angeles is a strange town on the best of days, but in the summer of 1974, the City of Angels feels especially demonic. As temperatures soar and wildfires burn, all sorts of strange creatures are drawn to town… including Vampirella. While Vampi goes out and hunts down monsters all across La La Land – defending humanity from evil – she’s also killing it every night on stage as a member of an all-girl rock group – defending rock ‘n’ roll from a dying scene. Help arrives in the form of four creatures who’ve just flown into town: The Starchild, The Demon, The Spaceman, and The Catman. Away from their home turf and trying to record their new album, KISS discovers that all their favorite L.A. bands have mysteriously broken up, disappeared, sold out, or gone crazy. Led by a driver who moonlights in the occult and haunted by satanic strangers dressed in black, KISS finds themselves drawn into a web of conspiracy that threatens to kill rock ‘n’ roll itself!
Gene Simmons says, “I have been in love with Vampirella (who hasn’t?), ever since Forry Ackerman created her. I knew Forry, and he spoke fondly of Vampi, almost as if she was real. For a wide-eyed kid who grew up voraciously devouring the pages of Warren publications (including Famous Monsters of Filmland), it’s a personal thrill to witness this momentous event in our four-decades-old, proud comic book history. I can’t wait to see and read KISS/Vampirella.”
Writer Chris Sebela says, “Setting it in the 1970s, I wanted the book to feel like a drive-in movie at times, but one that has a heart to it and actual characters. Because KISS is so much larger than life, it’s no fun if they don’t have something pushing back against them. Having them in their early days, there’s more room to throw them into the action and have them be unsure what to do. That’s where the fun happens. There’s big action scenes, sleazy clubs, scary strangers dressed all in black, crazy monsters, and on-stage pyrotechnics. It’s as fun as it is dark, I hope! Meanwhile, Vampirella is seen so often as a kind of lone monster hunter that I really wanted to see Vampirella in a group situation. She has to get along with them and they have to work together to get things done. So I put her in a band. It’s an all-girl rock group with a witchy gimmick. I got to create the rest of the band members and establish their look with artist Annapaola Martello and I got to write songs, which no one ever told me how much fun that is.”
The debut issue of KISS/Vampirella features three art covers feature the talents of Juan Doe (KISS), Carli Idhe (Womanthology: Space), and Roberto Castro (Lords of the Jungle), also offers a Photo edition cover featuring KISS posing with a Vampirella model, a Cosplay edition, and a Blank Authentix. Five limited variant editions in “Black & White” and “Virgin Art” formats are also available as retailer incentives for comic shops that support the launch issue by achieving stocking thresholds.
KISS/Vampirella #1 will be solicited in the April 2017 Previews catalog and slated for release in June.