Monday, October 25, 2021

Comics Review: "KILLADELPHIA #18" - The Revolutions Begins


STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Jason Shawn Alexander
PENCILS: Christopher Mitten (pp. 21-23)
COLORS: Luis Nct
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (October 2021)

Rated “M/ Mature”

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

“Home is Where the Hatred Is” Part VI: “The End of Things”

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 #18 (“The End of Things”) opens, Abigail Adams and her vampire hordes and legions are tearing Philadelphia apart and tearing through its human citizens.  Meanwhile, back at the heroes' ranch, Anansi is ready to bounce, but at least he is offering some parting words of wisdom.

James Sr. is determined that Jim Jr. and Jose's unborn child – his grandchild – have a better life than he got and than what he gave Jim Jr.  So, he's off to battle … with a few friends.  There's no way they can survive Abigail Adams, so they need allies...  The reckoning for a city and a nation is finally at hand, but are all the players on the board?

THE LOWDOWN:  Killadelphia's third story arc, “Home is Where the Hatred Is,” comes to an end.  I thought that this would be the story arc that most reveals the complexities and multiple layers of Killadelphia.  I thought it would be the one that reveals this series as more dark fantasy than mere vampire comic book.  And it is.

I think I do need a break from the series.  I have run up against a rhetorical wall.  What more can I say?  Every issue I read impresses me and inspires me to create my own fiction.  So I need a few months breather before I take on the next glorious arc and more Rodney Barnes.  I'll have extra time to mine the dictionary for new words of praise and glorification.  Can you imagine what Barnes' Falcon comic book series would have been if Marvel Comics had not canceled it?

As for artist Jason Shawn Alexander:  Jason’s art continues to astound me.  He is just beyond talented.  Isn't it crazy or coincidental that we feel the say way about Jason, Mr. Barnes?  Seriously, Jason's art in this closer is like the best of elements of 1960s and 70s horror comic books, Hammer Films, and Bill Sienkiewicz – all brought together in a way only Jason can do.

Colorist Luis Nct, who has always done great work on this series, lost his mind and created a comic book coloring masterpiece in Killadelphia #18.  Marshall Dillon's lettering brings peace to the story, or at least enough so that we can read through the madness.  And I credit artist Chris Mitten for bringing his “A game” so that his guest art here blends in without a bump.

I'll end this review by saying that Killadelphia #18 is yet another chance for readers to get in now on the best of the best.  However, even if you get far behind, dear readers, it will be such fun to catch up.

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

[This issue includes an afterword by Rodney Barnes.]


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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