KISS / Army of Darkness #1
Written by: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Art by: Ruairi Coleman and Timothy C. Brown
Published by: Dynamite Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I’m a sucker for anything Evil Dead whether it be movies, comics, or TV shows. I love the character of Ash because there’s just something great about a swarmy, cocky guy who isn’t too bright and wields a chainsaw where his hand used to be. All that being said I really didn’t like the first issue of KISS / Army of Darkness #1. At all. The first issue just felt off to me.

The comic starts off with KISS playing The Pontiac Silverdome in 1979 which means they are probably leaving the stage after singing I Was Made For Lovin’ You (BLECH). KISS is attacked onstage by some magical types, one of them who has the Necronomicon Ex Mortis. He tosses the band into some sort of portal but actually has a nice quip. “Enjoy oblivion,” he says. “Your Dynasty ends here.” Get it? If you don’t get it I’m not sure why you are reading a KISS comic. Maybe just for Ash? I guess that’s feasible. But that is still a pretty great line.

Cut to a few years later where Ash is recovering in the hospital after facing off against demons in the woods and cutting his own hand off. A woman shows up to talk to Ash about the Necronomicon, about KISS’ disappearance, and Ash’s adventures through time (which haven’t happened yet). She then hands Ash his metal hand that he made in the past and says she has it because it was saved for him for centuries. Which I don’t get because Ash came back from the past with his metal hand when he returned to the present. So how would his metal hand be “passed down for generations,” as she puts it, so Ash could use it again in the future?

I think I’ll just stop here for a moment. How did this guy get the Necronomicon? How did it then get to the cabin in the woods? How did Raymond Knowby come to possess it in the woods? Where does the metal hand come from? Why? WHY? WHY!!?!?!?!?!?!!

Look – I’m going to break it down like this. This teaming of KISS and Ash is meant to be for fans of both the band and the Evil Dead franchise. Am I right? A kid back in 1977 may have seen a comic book featuring KISS and asked his mom to buy it because it was new and fresh. But in 2018? Kids don’t know who KISS is. They don’t care. This comic is for the fans of the band or the fans of Evil Dead. And to me? To do this you need a story that doesn’t feel thrown together and convenient. Maybe I’m just old and cynical. I’m sure there’s a great way to bring together Ash and KISS. Maybe like having KISS sent through a portal and running into Ash who is still in the past. I don’t know.

All I know is I was disappointed in this book. It didn’t feel like a good read. I wonder where the plot may be going but I’m also wondering if it is just going to be more of the same like the first issue. Convenient storytelling for convenient storytelling’s sake. I mean no offense to Chad Bowers and Chris Sims, but I just hope this concept works better in later issues once we see KISS and Ash having to work together. But until then? It is what it is.


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