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Thursday, December 20, 2018

KISS, by John Romita, Jr. and Tony DeZuniga

Were you a card-carrying member of the KISS Army back in the Bronze Age? This guy sure was! I couldn't get enough of them for about a 3-year period. All the records, posters, issues of Creem and Hit Parader, et al. But perhaps the highlight of that era was the entrance of KISS to the realm of my true love - comics! Marvel Super Special #1 and #5 featured the band, and below is a nice two-page spread from their second appearance. John Romita, Jr. and Tony DeZuniga were tabbed as the penciler and inker, and I'd say they did just fine. The image is provided by Heritage Auctions, as noted, and seems to be one of a very few pages laying around the Internet (shoot - it was the only one I found). Enjoy!

*Next week, join in on Monday for some original art, Christmas cover-style, and then Thursday you'll see several samples from the Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns Gallery Edition. Happy Holidays!


  1. Was Super Special #1 the one with the blood mixed into the red ink? I remember reading an interview with Gene Simmons where he was asked if that was for real and he said it was; apparently there were lawyers and notaries involved just to make sure everything was properly documented.

    I wrote a review of that comic on somebody's website years ago (not BAB), but I can't remember the website or even who it was for ... probably a girl I was trying to impress. As I recall, the story was nothing special, but the art was pretty good; lots of cameos of Marvel characters too.

  2. Ah, yes, the Kiss craze. I jumped on the bandwagon briefly after seeing the Kiss made-for-TV movie - the young superhero comics loving me was so taken by a band with costumes, codenames and super powers. The music was a secondary consideration.
    I never had either of the Kiss comics, though - probably just a case of them not appearing in any of the drug-stores or convenience stores where I usually found treasuries and special editions.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, guys! Yeah, Mike, MSS #1 was indeed printed with "KISS blood!" I recall that being a big deal ahead of publication. Of course, a decade or so later wasn't the Squadron Supreme maxi-series printed with some of Mark Gruenwald's blood? Check out this story, from the Washington Post -

    And the art in that first issue, by Alan Weiss, was indeed very good.

    Edo, I recall KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park airing during a short time when we were living with my grandparents. My grandpa was a saint and let me watch it; it was so bad that I recall being embarrassed for having asked.

    I think it's odd that original art to these two books is not readily available online. Perhaps I just didn't dig enough.


  4. I didn't read this until it was reprinted in the 1990s. I'm a few years younger than most regulars here, but I was a big Kiss fan in first grade, I remember playing air guitar with while "Do You Love Me" played on our school's cassette player (it was during a free period). I got my parents to buy me 'Destroyer' and 'Alive II'. By the time 'Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park' aired, my interest was waning. It waned completely after I watched the movie.
    But I still enjoy a few of their songs and even own a karaoke disc of Kiss tunes!

    1. KISS is a band for which I am surprised that they're still around and that they still have a following. To their credit, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have excelled at marketing.


  5. Never read either of the Super Specials, and they weren't big in the UK at all so my only encounter with Kiss in the 70s was an issue of Howard the Duck which didn't do a lot for me.
    Now the Blue Oyster Cult appearance in the Defenders on the other hand...



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