Monday, August 23, 2021

Comics Review: "Killadelphia #16" Gives Us a Sign


STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Jason Shawn Alexander
COLORS: Luis Nct
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated “M/ Mature”

Killadelphia and Elysium Gardens created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander

“Home is Where the Hatred Is” Part IV: “Have a Little Talk with God”

Killadelphia is an apocalyptic vampire and dark fantasy comic book series from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander and is published by Image Comics.  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. and his father, revered Philadelphia homicide detective, James Sangster, Sr., thought to be dead.  He is actually a vampire.  Now father and son lead a ragtag team comprised of a medical examiner, a dead president, and a rebellious, but special young vampire (Tevin Thompkins a.k.a. “See Saw”) in a bid to save Philly from an ambitious and murderous former First Lady.

As Killadelphia #16 (“Have a Little Talk with God”) opens, Jupiter and the now vampire former President Thomas Jefferson have a long-awaited confrontation.  But after the harsh words, can they (vampire) kiss and make up?  Meanwhile, Tevin chats up Anansi, and boy, does God have a mouth on him.  Can Anansi bring Jim, Jr. back from the world of the creatures of the night to the world of the living, and if He can, why should He?

THE LOWDOWN:  Killadelphia moves into the second half of its third story arc, “Home is Where the Hatred Is.”  Perhaps, this is the story arc that most reveals the complexities and multiple layers of Killadelphia, making it more dark fantasy than mere vampire comic book.

Twisting and turning the narrative with sharp-teethed glee, writer Rodney Barnes won't let anything lie.  Nothing is as it should be or as we would expect it to be.  So Killadelphia #16 is one of this series' best issues … if not the very best.  Barnes is also all sharp elbows with uncomfortable truths – like the Brad Pitt reference Anansi drops.

As with the previous issue, artist Jason Shawn Alexander and colorist Luis Nct dance through Barnes' script, bringing each scene or sequence into life with its own unique look.  The graphical storytelling seems to evolve with the story, the lurid and the surreal side by side and proudly delivering the unexpected.

Wow, the bitter and resentful would call Killadelphia #16 “woke,” but truth defends itself very well.  And sometimes, some of us should realize that history is your story and maybe it is a tale telling more than some of you wanted.  Yes, I have a vampiric thirst for Killadelphia, and you, dear readers, can have that, also.

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

[Killadelphia #16 has a backup feature: “Elysium Gardens” Part 9 “Hellfire” by Rodney Barnes, Chris Mitten, Sherard Jackson, and Marshall Dillon.]


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

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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