Saturday, March 27, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: KILLADELPHIA #7

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Jason Shawn Alexander
COLORS: Luis Nct
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander with Luis Nct
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S.(August 2020)

Rated “M/ Mature”

“Burn Baby Burn” Part I: “Jupiter Rising”

Launched by Image Comics last year, Killadelphia is a comic book series from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander.  The series focuses on a police officer caught in a lurid conspiracy, one masterminded by the second president of the United States, John Adams.  A vampire, Adams made the corrupt, but historical city of Philadelphia vampire-ridden.  Colorist Luis Nct and letterer Marshall Dillon complete Killadelphia's creative team.

James “Jim” Sangster, Jr., a Baltimore Police Department, came home to Philly to deal with the final affairs of his recently murdered father, revered Philadelphia homicide detective, James Sangster, Sr.  But Senior was not dead; he was of the undead.  It took the son, the vampire father, the chief medical examiner (Jose Padilla), and a rebellious vampire (Tevin “See Saw” Thompkins) to lead the battle to save “the City of Brotherly Love” from a vampire apocalypse.

Killadelphia #7 (“Jupiter Rising”) opens six months after John Adams brought Philly to its knees, before his ultimate destruction.  Jimmy and Ms. Padilla are part of the front line forces that keep the bloodsuckers in check.  But what of the remnants of John Adams' family, the ones who waited patiently for centuries along with him?  What is Abigail, Adams' “widow,” up to up there on Chestnut Hill?

Plus, it is April 28, 1962 on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California.  Watts is on fire.  And the patrolman in Los Angeles Police Department Car 2713 is about to have a fatal encounter with a “suspicious Negro woman.”

THE LOWDOWN:  Killadelphia's first story line, “Sins of the Father,” was quite fantastic.  In six issues, the Killadelphia creative team established this comic book as maybe the best vampire comic book of the twenty-first century.

What writer Rodney Barnes offers in Killadelphia is what some of us readers wish we could find in Marvel's Blade comic books, but better creator-owned than being owned.  Barnes quickly switches gears and delivers a first chapter of the second story arc that may be as powerful as the opening act of the first story arc.  New readers don't need to have read the first six issues in order to understand Killadelphia #7, but they will want to because it is so... bloody good.

Artist Jason Shawn Alexander offers a little night music that promises to keep this dark fantasy fresh and full of possibilities.  His art goes for the throat, and with colorist Luis Nct throwing red hues after him, Alexander will make you love and be afraid of Killadelphia, as it should be.  After all, this is a horror comic book, but, as read under Marshall Dillon's lettering, the character and the drama will move this comic book and narrative beyond mere genre considerations.

Comic book news sites have been reporting a surge in sales for Killadelphia #7.  These new readers are about to get a treat, and maybe some of them will sock away a few copies in their coffins as an investment.  All the smart immortals are making their way to Killadelphia.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of vampire comic books and of exceptional dark fantasy will find that Killadelphia is an essential read.

10 out of 10

[This comic book includes the extra story, “Elysium Gardens” by Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Marshall Dillon

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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