Tuesday, June 22, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: KILLADELPHIA #10

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
VARIANT COVER ARTIST: J. Scott Campbell with Sabine Rich
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S.(November 2020)

Rated “M/ Mature”

“Burn Baby Burn” Part IV: “Kill Them All”

Published by Image Comics, Killadelphia is a comic book series from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander.  At the center of this series is a police officer caught in a lurid conspiracy in which vampires attempt to rule Philadelphia, “the City of Brotherly Love.”  Colorist Luis Nct and letterer Marshall Dillon complete Killadelphia's creative team.

Killadelphia focuses on James “Jim” Sangster, Jr., who comes home to Philly to deal with the final affairs of his recently murdered father, revered Philadelphia homicide detective, James Sangster, Sr.  Not dead, but undead, the father joined the son, the chief medical examiner (Jose Padilla), and a rebellious vampire to lead the battle that saves Philly from the vampires.  But that was just the first battle, and this is an apocalypse.

Killadelphia #10 (“Kill Them All”) opens in Deadwood, South Dakota, 1876.  And this is the story of Fergus O'Neill.  He is a slave, a slave who is a plantation overseer, and a dead-eye shooter, who eventually becomes the mortician known as “Toppy.”  This is the story of how Toppy becomes a vampire and an ally of Abigail Adams.

Elsewhere, the Sangster boys, Ms. Padilla, and Police Lt. Zimmerman battle a vampire horde, but the battle goes awry when one of the soldiers forgets the weapons of war.  Now, cracks rapidly appear in the foundation of a defense force.

Meanwhile, there is a rebellion being born within the rebellion.

THE LOWDOWN:  As I first write this review, it is Thanksgiving Week 2020.  Killadelphia #10 hits comic book shops Wednesday, November 25th, one day before the Thanksgiving … of the apocalypse.

I am thankful for Killadelphia.  I am thankful for Rodney Barnes' scripts, the writhing dishes of blood pudding that is this narrative.  I am thankful for Jason Shawn Alexander's powerful art and graphical storytelling.  I am thankful for Luis Nct's fiery colors of damnation.  I am thankful for Marshall Dillon keeping peace in the border towns of undead lettering.  For all I know, these creative knuckleheads are also immortals … because Killadelphia can't be this good – unless it is a work of the supernatural.

Every issue, I am surprised, and Killadelphia is still killmatic 10 issues on.  So, dear readers, give yourself a reason to be thankful this year and pick up Killadelphia #10 and also the trade paperback, Killadelphia Vol. 1: Sins of the Father.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of vampire comic books and of exceptional dark fantasy will want Killadelphia.

10 out of 10

Killadelphia #10 has a backup feature:

“Elysium Gardens” Part 3 “The Skin I'm In”
Story: Rodney Barnes
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander
Layouts: Sherard Jackson
Letters: Marshall Dillon

The back-up feature, “Elysium Gardens,” first opened on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California on April 28, 1962 and then, moved to Sicily, 827 A.D.  Now, the story moves … back to the future or present in L.A.  Angela does not want to believe that she is Zubiya or a werewolf, but she may be forced to accept that it is a time of reckoning for her kind.

Previously, I wrote that Rodney Barnes' story and Jason Shawn Alexander's art recalled the black and white horror comics magazines of Warren Publications (like Creepy and Eerie).  However, this is something new, and “Elysium Gardens” looks like it wants to break more than just a little ground.  I'm more sure of that, now.

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


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