Killadelphia #5 Review

by Jay Hill on March 27, 2020

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

Former president and current vampire, John Adams, has fired his first shot on the city of Philadelphia. As the sun rises after his bloody night of terror, the few who are trying to stop this mayhem start to gather their forces. If they’re unsuccessful, John Adams will take Philly and possibly the country.

The true force of Adams’ army has been revealed. In one night, they overran the city and scored what Adams calls the first “victory”. Now that their might has been shown, we get to see the plan to stop them. I've said that I think Tevin is one of the most interesting characters in the series and, in this issue, his importance to the story is made abundantly clear. The seemingly unstoppable force of Adams and his vampires now has an opponent seemingly strong enough to stop them. I liked the introduction of Tevin’s weapon; it was perfectly placed after a time where it seemed nothing could come between Adams and his goal. And, the underlying ideology that Tevin holds is also quite interesting. He has stated multiple times that not only does he disagree with Adams, he feels the real destiny for society is a world with no rulers. It will be interesting to see if that comes into play. Another underlying aspect of the growing opposition is the struggle that appears to be going on inside Sangster Sr.’s mind. He seems to be battling with himself and that may pose a threat to the cause.

However, one element that seemed a possible risk for the team is given a bit of reconciliation in this issue when Jr. and Sr. share a moment. Their constant bickering over old wounds is set aside and they seem to get on the same page. And, keeping with the family angle, Brittany, who grace’s the cover, is contacted by her sister. We learn that she used to be a vampire, like Brittany, and we see some of their backstory. This background was very interesting to me and I’d love to see more of it. But perhaps the biggest thing this adds to the narrative is the idea of being able to turn back. Seesaw could play a critical role now that we know of that power, and the end shows that a confrontation is imminent (that Benedict Arnold line was brilliant).

The art and colors of this series have done wonders for the mood of this already dark, gritty, and grounded feeling tale; the opening morning shot exemplifies this. The sunny colors of dawn mixed with the solemn imagery was a great way to drive home the aftermath of the dark and violent night the city had just gone through. And, the last panel with the tear dropping was paired nicely with the beautiful words. Then, the sunny first page is juxtaposed by the next page of the dark underground. The show-stealing shot of the issue is the splash of Sr. betwixt Angels and Demons. With art that has such a touch of realism, even with the supernatural content of the story, this shot seemed to be the most “out there” visuals we’ve seen thus far. Another of those moments happened when Tevin displayed his power. That scene had some trippy effects and the coloring was nice.

The chips are stacked higher in this issue. Adams got his “victory” last issue and now we are shown what he is up against. Tevin continues to be my favorite character in the book but, in this issue, Brittany and her story really grabbed my attention. The atmosphere that has been built in this comic is quite unlike any I’ve read. It’s a historical political revenge horror story with a dash of class warfare and a noir-ish detective angle. As long as the issues keep coming, I’ll keep reading because this team is doing some great and creative work.

Our Score:


A Look Inside