Killadelphia #2 Review

by Jay Hill on January 01, 2020

Written by: Rodney Barnes
Art by: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colors by: Luis NCT
Lettered by: Marshall Dillon
Published by: Image Comics

When James Sangster Jr. returned to Philly after his father, James Sangster Sr., was killed, more than old memories returned to haunt him. And, after standing face to face with his dead father, this issue proves that is just the tip of the bizarre things happening in the City of Brotherly Love.

This issue uses its time beautifully. It opens with a deeper look at Tevin the young vampire that James Sangster Sr. was chasing down in issue #1. The scene is immediately compelling and makes his character an interesting addition to the cast. Next, Jr. and Sr. talk things over with Jose, the coroner. Turns out, after one little bite, his dad got turned into a vampire. Sr. now has a link to the father of the vampires, and one of the Founding Fathers of America, John Adams. With how bizarre of a situation this is, Rodney Barnes is able to wrangle the strange ideas into a believable narrative. Especially, when the team of Jr., Sr., and Jose turn vampire slayers and start taking out the woken dead that fill the morgue. But, the biggest of the bizarre moments is when the baddie shows his face. That’s right, 2nd president of the United States of America, John Adams is the main villain of this comic. He and his league of nightwalkers are shown plotting their sinister plan for what I can only assume is control of the country and possibly the planet. The entirety of this issue was big on the action-horror feeling, but it showed glimpses of the other themes in it. We got another look at a mysterious political plot point along with social ideas sprinkled throughout the issue. The fact that Adams is hiding in the slums of the city with an army of, apparently, mostly black individuals, left me with the feeling that there is a reason for that; whether or not it will be weaved into the story is yet to be seen. The addition and exploration of Tevin is what interested me the most in this issue. The group of Jr., Sr., and Jose could be seen as the ultimate good guys of the story. They work in law enforcement and Sr. especially is the quintessential good guy; he didn’t even let death stop him from finishing this case. John Adams and his army are the bad guys. But, Tevin represents a grey area in between the two. He is seen turning his back on Adams in this issue and ending the issue with a score to settle. Previews of the next issue also seem to show him getting together with others. So, not only were the scenes he was in interesting, but it seems the role he will play is what could define the story going forward.

Jason Shawn Alexander continues to heighten the atmosphere with his art. The opening scene with Tevin is great as he draws him creepily floating around the hospital room. He is great at drawing people of color and keeps their features realistic. The colors of Luis NCT are also on display in that opening scene. He used the dark of the nighttime to frame the panels and add definition to the cityscape. He then drains, now vampiric, Sr. of color to show the juxtaposition between him and the "living". The art team shines in the scenes showing John Adams and his brood. The first scene with Brittany being picked up is both drawn and colored brilliantly to solidify the mood. Then, the grand scenes in the brood’s base and the reveal of John Adams are great. The shot of the corrupt cop hanging has a nice use of perspective, and Alexander’s group shots are excellent. Luis uses nice muted colors and then highlights other elements for a chilling effect; he brings out the color of Adams’ eyes and the red of his shirt. The best show of collaboration by the art team is the full-page shot of the vampires leaping from the morgue. There’s a great use of dynamic illustrating by Alexander to give a feel of chaotic movement. And, Luis finds the perfect spots around the deep shadows to color the skin with slight paleness, the fangs with an unnerving whiteness, their eyes with an inhuman yellow, and then jutting brushes of red to invoke terror.

This issue picks up where the last issue left and doesn’t look back. It wastes no time when establishing the threat, new characters and their motives, and showing us how the characters we’ve already been introduced to are dealing with this crazy circumstance. The writing is as top-notch as the art. This series is definitely something special and distinct. I trust the people behind it to keep going with full force.

Our Score:


A Look Inside