KISS Solo #2 Review

This month the otherworldly Starchild takes the stage in KISS Solo #2, by Tom Waltz and Tone Rodriguez. Here’s the official description from IDW:

The Four-Who-Are-One go it alone! It’s the Starchild’s turn to rock a solo riff in “Goodbye”—an interstellar romp featuring a cosmic bounty hunter who needs to bring in one last bad guy in order to return home to his beloved wife forever. The only problem is, nobody’s ever gone after this baddie in his dark domain and survived. But what if there is a star to light the way?

Getting right to it, the writing for this issue isn’t terrible, but it does have more than it’s share of problems. Like the Demon in last month’s issue, the Starchild is struggling to understand humanity. But the Four-Who-Are-One (which is the most cumbersome group name ever) just spent a whole eight issue series doing just that, body hopping through time and space to battle the Destroyer. They all seemed to have their humanity well in hand then. With the failure of this central point, the rest of the issue falls flat. The plot is tired, the villain boring and not very intelligent. The best part is the setting. Rodriguez’ art is a big help in establishing the galaxy far, far away feel of the issue, and a good SF environment is one we haven’t seen any of the Four visit yet.

Rodriguez spaceship designs, while not particularly original, are fun and funky, and his starscapes look like they belong on a black light poster, which is actually a perfect look for this story. The appearance of the Starchild himself freaks me out though. His cheekbones are out of control, and his lips are often pursed for no apparent reason. My favorite aspect of the art is an alien dog named Sherm, who appears to be a red bulldog, but with giant googly eyes that stare in opposite directions.

Without a strong sense of direction, stories such as this, which focus on individuals who are normally part of a group, can quickly fall apart, and this time not even great galactic space art can save the day.


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