Thursday, February 15, 2024

#IReadsYou Review: KILLADELPHIA #28


STORY: Rodney Barnes
LAYOUTS: Jason Shawn Alexander
PENCILS: Germán Erramouspe
INKS: Jason Shawn Alexander with Robert Melendrez
COLORS: Lee Loughridge
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander
32pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (February 2023)

Rated “M/ Mature”

Killadelphia created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander

“There's No Place Like Home” Part IV: “Death of the Dream”

Killadelphia is an apocalyptic vampire and dark fantasy comic book series from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander.  Published by Image Comics, it centers on a conspiracy in which vampires attempt to rule Philadelphia.  The series is currently written by Barnes and drawn by Alexander and Germán Erramouspe.  Colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Marshall Dillon complete Killadelphia's creative team.

Killadelphia focuses on James “Jim” Sangster, Jr., a ragtag team of fighters, and a menagerie of gods and monsters on one side or the other or both in the vampire invasion of Philadelphia.  Of note are a special young vampire (Tevin Thompkins a.k.a. “See Saw”), Anansi the Spider-God, and the infamous rebel leader turned monster hunter, Toussaint Louverture, and his army of killers.

As Killadelphia #28 (“Death of the Dream”) opens, immortal (vampire) Thomas Jefferson mourns the destruction of his compatriot-turned-immortal, George Washington.  But why can't eternally young old Tom Jefferson show real love to the man who has loved him like he was blood, his slave turned vampire, Jupiter?

Plus, See Saw suffers an existential crisis.  What has really changed in Philly since the vampire infestation, he wonders?  Is shit the same in Killadelphia?  Meanwhile, Anansi, a trickster god, tries to trick the great deceiver himself.

THE LOWDOWN:  We are at the middle point of Killadelphia's fifth story arc, “There's No Place Like Home.”  Before this arc debuted, creators Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander warned readers that they were not prepared for what was coming in the arc – which has proven to be true, very true.

I'm not sure what to say about Killadelphia #28, although I can say that love it … to death.  Some of it reads like an enthralling, fiery Black Panther Party tract that throws jet fuel on a gasoline fire.  Other parts read like a hypnotic revenge fantasy inspired by “The 1619 Project.”

In my recent reviews of comic books written by Mark Millar (such as Nemesis Reloaded), I talked about how they recall the craziness and rebellion of 1980s comic books.  Killadelphia is beautifully crazy.  If Fox News and other conservative, right wing, reactionary, KKK media organizations knew about Killadelphia, they would dog Rodney Barnes' name they do Nikole Hannah-Jones.

If such criticism and negativity were to become a reality, however, they would ask you a simple question, dear readers.  If you aren't reading Killadelphia, then, why isn't your dumb ass reading Killadelphia?

NOTE: Killadelphia #28 is also available in a “Noir Edition,” featuring black-and-white line art interiors.

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


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

You can buy KILLADELPHIA VOL. 5 at Amazon.

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