Kiss return to comic book stores this month with the first issue in a new series inspired by their 1981 album Music From 'The Elder'.

The series, titled simply Kiss, launched yesterday, and is being written by Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman) with art by Kewber Baal (Army of Darkness, Battlestar Galactica). Although the record's prog overtures failed to resonate with the band's audience at the time, scotching plans for a movie and tour, it's acquired something of a cult fan base over the years — and as far as Chu is concerned, it was an album ahead of its time.

"It's a huge challenge. Kiss is iconic. Legendary. It's global and cross-generational," Chu told Previews World. "So much has been done before with Kiss in comics, a lot of fun and crazy stuff, so for this series, I thought, why not go more serious? For research, I hunkered down and listened to the 1981 album Music From 'The Elder' several times. Like the movie Blade Runner which came out around the same time, people didn't know what to make of it. If that album came out now, I think it would be entirely different reception. So this storyline is more focused on mythology, heroism, and legend, and inspired by themes, lyrics, and song titles from that album."

The first issue, which you can now preview, takes readers to "a world without sun and a world without heroes" in which "Four young friends embark on a dangerous mission - to uncover the truth about the mysterious Council of Elders and their underground home, the city of Blackwell. But first they need some help from the past."

As fans are aware, this is far from the band's first foray into the comics world. Their publishing ventures started in 1977, when they teamed up with Marvel Comics for projects that included an appearance in Howard the Duck and a one-shot Kiss "super special" release whose ink included the band members' own blood. They've since returned to the comics pages on a number of occasions, most recently teaming with IDW Publishing for a series of titles starting in 2012.

"Kiss has had a four decade-long, proud history in comic books, starting with Marvel Comics in the 1970s, and now with Dynamite's Kiss comics," Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons said in a press release. "Kiss is America's number one gold record award-winning group of all time, and we are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as having our own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Having our own comic book, I have to say, rekindles the thrill I first had as a young teenager, as I followed the adventures of my favorite superheroes. This is going to be fun."

Chu, for her part, agrees wholeheartedly — and admits her role in the title fulfills a lifelong dream. "The editors over at Dynamite approached me with some really cool titles, but I wanted Kiss," she told Bleeding Cool. "Everyone listened to Kiss when I was growing up. My family was pretty strict and my mom hated anything that wasn’t classical music, so my brothers and I never got to join the Kiss army like everyone else. I figured this is my chance now."

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