I admit I was initially unsure about this crossover but upon reading it, I fell in love.
The setting is in Los Angeles in 1974 when KISS was recording their second album, Hotter Than Hell. KISS has gotten a lot of overdue mainstream exposure due to a variety of factors (Idol, Glee, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, Paul Stanley’s autobiography, the selfies with Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley) and of course, Amy Chu’s comic series on Dynamite.
While Amy Chu’s run has KISS more in the background with teenagers being the primary characters, in this run, they are the main characters. They take center stage here. We learn that in addition to KISS being in LA to record, Vampirella is also a member of an all female band called Witchkraft and she is a vigilante. As I understand, Vampirella is a hero who wants to undo the bad image of vampires but she does it within the shadows. I have a trade where she teams up with Catwoman and I will get to that when I can. I do know that I did like the dark Gothic tone with the hot weather of LA in the background.
The comic is largely set in a gritty realistic setting with fantastical and magical elements having a minimal but effective touch. I thought that 1974 was an interesting setting that fit because if you look at the inside sleeve of the album, there is a lot of imagery that fits with the fantastical elements that this issue presents. I remember a quote when Gene Simmons described it as ‘Fellini’s ‘Satyricorn’. That element fits with the gritty magical realism that this comic presents.
I like the more realistic setting with KISS themselves making appearances. You can tell the writers did their homework. The dialog between them sounds like them from what I have heard in interviews. In my opinion, with the outlandish costumes and personas, you don’t need to overdo it with the supernatural touches.
If I were to come up with a description for this, I would say it is a supernatural mystery in a gritty realistic setting. Urban mystery with a magic touch set in 1974. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. Put it next to some Mike Mignola and Ed Brubaker while you are at it.