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30 Years Ago: Kiss Star in Their Own Comic Book

Kiss Marvel Comic
Marvel Comics

These days, we’re very much accustomed to the merchandising juggernaut/rock band known as Kiss — and “selling out” for commercials and tie-in products is simply second nature for most pop artists.

But in the ’70s, lending your music or your likeness to a major corporation could still cost you some cred — which is just one of the reasons why it made headlines when Kiss teamed up with Marvel Comics in 1977.

Of course, we’re talking about a band that wore makeup, adopted over-the-top stage guises and filled its¬†shows with fireworks and fake blood, which made them more of a natural fit for the comics than, say, the Moody Blues. But Kiss took things one step further by donating a vial of blood from each of the band members and having it mixed with the ink used to print their full-length Marvel debut — a 40-page ‘Super Special’ that included a superhero adventure as well as other assorted photos and behind-the-scenes features.

It’s worth noting, for hardcore Kiss fans and comics completists, that the band made its first Marvel appearance in the pages of Howard the Duck¬†— but nobody’s blood was used to make that, and Howard was known for subverting the rules of the Marvel universe anyway.

The “blood comic” was released to quite a bit of fanfare, and today, copies in good condition can fetch more than $200 on the used market — but it was just the beginning of the band’s long comics career, which includes more Marvel appearances as well as an Archie crossover and new series launched in the ’10s.

Kiss Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

Next: Top 10 Kiss '70s Songs

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