Kiss Psycho Circus 15 NM Image Brian Holguin Angel Medina 1st print Comic Book x


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Kiss Psycho Circus (1997) #15

Published Dec 1998 by Image
Written by Brian Holguin
Art by Angel Medina

Year of the Fox part 2

Kiss Psycho Circus is a comic book series published by American companies Image Comics and Todd McFarlane Productions. It was written by Brian Holguin and illustrated by various artists, including pencillers Angel Medina and Clayton Crain with inker Kevin Conrad. It portrays the members of the rock band Kiss as supernatural beings known as the Four-Who-Are-One or The Elder: the Demon (Gene Simmons), the Starbearer (Paul Stanley), the King of Beasts or Beastking (Peter Criss) and the Celestial (Ace Frehley).

Published by the Todd McFarlane studio at Image, Kiss: Psycho Circus is more than just an homage to the over-the-top rockers of yore. Like the Marvel Kiss specials that preceded it by some two decades, it attempts to cast the members of a rock glam band as mythical figures. Unlike that earlier effort, however, Kiss: Psycho Circus actually succeeds.

The result is far more surreal than you might imagine. Employing an art style made famous on comics such as Spawn, it tells of a “circus” of sorts where four “creatures of pure spirit, encompassing aspects of both dark and light, heaven and hell” pass judgment upon the living. These are the Demon (a.k.a. Gene Simmons in the real band), the Starbearer (Ace Frehley), the Celestial (Paul Stanley), and the King of Beasts (drummer Peter Criss). With not a trace of self-effacement, and prose as purple as it comes, Psycho Circus is nevertheless effective as pure comic fantasy.

For over two decades, comics featuring Kiss were published exclusively by Marvel Comics. Kiss decided to switch to Todd McFarlane Productions out of admiration for their series Spawn. Gene Simmons said that “The concept came from us. ‘The Psycho Circus’ is a tour theme we’re working on, and we may even use the title for an album.”

Kiss were also involved in plotting the comic, according to Simmons: “I throw something to Todd, he throws it back. I’m always kept in the loop, but I leave Todd to his own devices when it comes to actual production and taking things the final step.”

The Demon – Lord of the Wasteland – Creature of fire and shadow, blood and thunder. He embodies vengeance and terror, the darkest impulses of mortal souls, but also the purgative flames of rebirth, destruction that proceeds creation. His is the element of fire.

Host : Johnathon Blackwell the Ringmaster

The Starbearer – Prince of Hearts – He who draws from the deep wells of the soul and emotion, bringer of passion and pain. He can move a heart to tender love or murderous rage. His is the element of water.

Host : Fortunado L’Etoile the Jester

King of Beasts – Lord of the Hunt – Personifies the primal animal instinct, the rough beast that stirs in each of us. Embracing instinct rather than intellect, he knows neither cruelty nor mercy. His is the element of earth.

Host : Tiberius MacLir the Animal Wrangler

The Celestial – Scion of the Cosmos – Represents the principles of universal balance, the ultimate harmony of the cosmos. Observes situations dispassionately and sees all sides of a dilemma. His is the element of air.

Host : Matthew Stargrave the Stiltwalker

Adam Moon Adam Moon is a supporting character that’s reappeared multiple times in the series, including in issue 1 and 2 and 29, 30, 31. He is a young boy whose dad beats him and hates his life and town. The Demon was the member of the Elder that reached out to him.

Kismet Kismet is a “disappearing girl” who’s had weird dreams about running down a hall, putting on a mask and coming to a door with the Elder sigils on it. She reappears multiple times in the comics, but first appears in issue 4. She becomes a member of the circus.

Madam Raven A witch who is damned to the Psycho Circus. She is usually the first member of the circus to speak to any mortal character, and is a Fortune Teller at the circus. She appears in almost every issue, and is one of the biggest characters in the comics.

The comic book spawned the first-person shooter video game Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child, which featured many characters from the comic book.

Psycho Circus is the eighteenth studio album by American rock band Kiss and the first to involve all four original members since 1979’s Dynasty.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.