Archie Meets Kiss… Yes, You Heard That Right!
Ok, comic book land’s squarest teenagers meet music’s most ostentatious rock band? How can this possibly NOT be the best thing since you got your peanut butter on my chocolate? This week your Forever Fangirl has to spotlight the brilliantly offbeat and surreal Archie Meets Kiss, now in trade paperback and hard color format. Wow… just… just wow. If you haven’t picked this gem up, run, don’t walk, to your LCS and grab it. It will change your life.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, is hosting a meeting of the Riverdale Monster Society in what must be the most spacious treehouse ever. Seems that besides the problem of a teenagers not being able to figure out treehouses are for little kids, Riverdale is under constant threat of monster invasion. But when Sabrina’s protection spell is turned into a projection spell by Veronica and Reggie’s selfish meddling, a kooky quartet of monsters is unleashed on the unsuspecting town. The too-cool-for-school teen wolf, ditsy buxom mummy, emo poetic vampire and brainiac Frankenstein’s monster named Frankie (yeah, I know, just move on) have come through the portal for just one reason! STEAL RIVERDALE’S FUN! Off they go, a-rampaging, and the town is doomed! Or is it? Not so fast. This is Archie, remember? Four heroes push through the portal in pursuit of the monsters! The Demon, the Catman, Starchild and Spaceman! That’s right! KISS has come to use the power of rock and roll to save the day, with a little help from Archie and his wacky pals. Of course, the town is saved from becoming braindead zombies (which in their world are people typing on iPhones) and the monsters are revealed to be nothing more than dorky kids themselves who had never had any fun so they resented it in others.
The Moral of the Story? Um… Rock music is fun. I think that’s we’re all meant to learn here. Look any deeper and that way leads to madness. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it, man, you have so much to live for.
So, there’s the story, but really, I haven’t done it justice. A book like this needs to be seen to be believed. All that crazily old fashioned charm of the Archie line is so jarringly pasted next to the raucous audaciousness of the paint and black leather rock gods, that the only response to it is to sit back and enjoy the ride. Which moments stand out? Well, it’s so hard to pick just one or two? Is it the constant Twilight mocking in the person of the Emo-Vampire, who tries desperately to convince Betty and Veronica that his sullen pain has value? Is it the over the top flamboyance as Archie’s groundbreaking (for them) gay character Kevin Keller keeps the zombies at bay as he uses the sweetest little boombox ever to blast what I can only assume is the soundtrack to Mama Mia? Is it the almost pathetic attempts to keep the comics current by dropping such current terms like google, and fashionista? No, the crowning moment is when The Archies take the stage with Kiss as their backup band, and play, you guessed it, Riverdale Rock City.
Remember when comics weren’t about massive crossovers that promise to change the face of the universe forever… or at least until the next time there is a sales slump? Remember when they were just fun? No hugging, no learning, no drama? Yeah, sure this premise is silly, unlikely, and as cheesy as they come, but I read this with a ridiculous smile on my face, enjoying every hokey moment. The art is standard cartoony Archie, and if you do choose to get the single issues, get the variant covers with striking artwork by Francesco Francavilla. But, most importantly, just get this book because it is, like Kiss and Archie’s pals find out, important to sometimes just have a good time.
Besides, Archie once met the Punisher. Now, there’s a guy who knows the meaning of fun.
Alex Segura, Writer
Dan Parent, Penciller
Have a mainstream book you want reviewed, panned or bitched about? Contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org!