Episode 115, “And Hellfire Is Their Name!”
X-Men #132, April 1980
“And Hellfire Is Their Name!”
Written by Chris Claremont, Pencils by John Byrne, Inks by Terry Austin, Lettered by Tom Orzechowski, Colors by Glynis Wein, Edited by Jim Salicrup, Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter
KISS Arose From Jean Grey!
In Which We Discover That Wolverine May Be Murder On The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, But He Better Watch Himself With The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, That You Can’t Toss A Rock In The Marvel Universe Without Hitting An Over-Priviliged Hellfire Club Member, And That Only Jean Grey Can Control Scott’s Blasts… If You Know What I Mean!
Candy Southern Swings, By Which I Of Course Mean That Her Bedroom Has An Actual Swing Set! It’s 1980, Baby!
KISS and Comics:
Gene Simmons, the outrageous “Demon” bassist for the 70’s mega-band KISS, was an outspoken superfan of sci-fi, comic books, and what would generally be called nerd culture nowadays. Back in the 1960s, when he was still young Gene Klein, he contributed to more than a hundred fanzines, writing articles like the above column (left) where he provides analysis of the Creepy and Eerie horror comic magazines. We can see some of his earliest character design ideas for the design of his Demon persona in a sketch he provided for the Starling fanzine (right). For more details on Gene Klein/Simmons comic book fanzine past, check out this article from Russ Maheras.
Gene Simmons has directly attributed the inspiration for much of his Demon look to comic books. Above we show a side-by-side comparison of Gene’s KISS Demon and Jack Kirby’s Black Bolt, from which many design elements (wings, black body suit) were taken. Simmons has also suggested that his Devil Horns hand gesture was originally inspired by the hand gestures Steve Ditko invented for both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
Once KISS became one of the biggest bands in the world, Gene Simmons got to return to his roots, licensing KISS into a Marvel comic. Written by Steve Gerber (creator of Howard the Duck), cover by Alan Weiss and Gray Morrow, with interiors drawn by a team of Marvel artists (Alan Weiss, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Rich Buscema), the KISS Special went on to sell more than
a half a million copies, unheard of numbers for a prestige priced book.
The most infamous aspect of the KISS Special was the publicity stunt in which all the members of KISS had their blood drawn before flying to the printers in Buffalo, N.Y., where they dumped their plasma into the red ink to be used for the comic. Above is the publicity shot of the blood pour, along with poor Stan Lee, the ultimate good sport.
Sexual mores were a bit looser in the early 80’s.
Damn it, man, put some sunscreen on those gams!
Mutant heroes flushed into the sewer growing to enormous size? Urban legends.
Look who’s here! It’s me pointing at me, pointing at me, pointing at me… Hell, it’s pointy Pierce basically forever.
Hmmmm, man purse or blue bow?
Like anyone is looking at any face.
I’m not much of a man
By the light of day
But by night I’m one hell of a lover…
Wolverine could not resist one more round of Limbo at the Hellfire Club.
I told you that if you yielded I would be merciful, but you resisted, so now… WEDGIE!!!
His first victim? Probably that Film Noir shadow.
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