Wednesday, August 11, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: KILLADELPHIA #11

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.(December 2020)

Rated “M/ Mature”

“Burn Baby Burn” Part V: “Changing the Story”

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 #11 (“Changing the Story”) opens with the second president of the United States, John Adams, languishing in the … “Afterlife.”  He was the mastermind of a vampire revolution, but he was thwarted by several individuals, one being Tevin Thompkins.  Now, a kind of surrogate son offers a kind of surrogate father a way back.

Elsewhere, the real father-son duo, the Sangster boys, settle into the reality of doing-it-one-more-time.  Meanwhile, there is a change of story for John Adams' queen-of-the-damned-wife when she recounts her love for another damned … wife (so to speak).

Meanwhile, the rebellion born within the rebellion takes a turn.

THE LOWDOWN:  As I first write this review, it is Christmas Week 2020.  Killadelphia #11 hits comic book shops Wednesday, December 23rd, two days before the Christmas … of the apocalypse.  And just as we dread a mutation from across the pond, Killadelphia's story mutates.

Writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander work as if they were a single unit.  The work of each has merged into a single powerful graphical storytelling narrative that has made Killadelphia the best vampire comic book in a long time … if not the best vampire comic book ever published in North America.

Of course, Luis Nct's fiery colors burn stronger than ever, and Marshall Dillon's lettering keeps order in the streets of Killadelphia.  Sometimes, I think that I am running out of ways to praise this wonderful comic book.  Oh, hold on!  Have I said that the final issue of the story arc (issue #12) is 40 pages long?!  If Beale Street could talk, it would tell you to read Killadelphia right away.

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

10 out of 10

Killadelphia #11 has a backup feature:
“Elysium Gardens” Part 4 “By Any Means Necessary”
Story: Rodney Barnes
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander
Layouts: Sherard Jackson
Letters: Marshall Dillon

The back-up feature, “Elysium Gardens,” first opens on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California on April 28, 1962 and then, moves to Sicily, 827 A.D.  Now, the story moves … back to the future or present in L.A.  After hearing a eulogy/speech given by Malcolm X, Angela/Zubiya and her pack decide to use their curse as a key to “Black Liberation.”

Well, I certainly didn't expect an appearance by Malcolm X … even in a comic book that features President John Quincy Adams.  And Jason Shawn Alexander's uncanny depiction of Malcolm captures the soul of this man's public crusade.  I think that is all I can say … at the moment.

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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