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Killadelphia 2 Main

"Killadelphia #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

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Written by Rodney Barnes
Illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander
Colored by Luis NCT
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 1st, 2020

Review:

Jimmy set out to solve his father's murder and discovered the existence of vampires in the process. It's a bit of a curveball and he certainly wasn't expecting it, but he's hooked now and looking for answers. His investigation, aided by the police coroner, leads him to the second President of the United States, John Adams, as the big bad behind all of this.

Killadelphia takes a very methodical approach to vampires, akin to that in The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro. It looks at it through a police procedural mindset, analytical in its handling, looking at the facts and without getting into hysterics. Jimmy and the others he's enlisted in this search have quickly accepted that vampires exist. Now they're deciding what to do about it.

Artist Jason Shawn Alexander strikes a nice balance between reality and the supernatural. There's a grit to the artwork with a photorealistic look, yet it occasionally stretches or contorts, showing how we're venturing into parts unknown.

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One way to tell when we're getting into the spookier side of Killadelphia is how the page is laid out. When Jimmy is going over the facts, the panels appear more structured, like they have a solid foundation. This changes quite a bit when vampires show up with strange angles and images that spread across the page and multiple panels.

Luic NCT's colors also play a part in this differentiation. Jimmy's scenes are brighter, not with sunlight, but with harsh fluorescent lighting, like there's no place for the truth to hide when he's on the case. Contrast that with the dark and moody atmosphere of the vampire sequences. Shadows loom all around the characters, particularly the human ones who suddenly realize their life is ending. There's a clever use of yellow in some of these pages, giving the vampires a sickly look at times. This plays up their unnatural qualities.

The inclusion of John Adams ties Killadelphia further to the city of brotherly love. We get a look at the man's operation and it's vast. He's very much like a mob boss, but one that's been able to operate in secret for over 200 years. This presents a rather chilling approach to vampires, as any trace of Adams' humanity has been washed away with time and bloodshed. He is completely ruthless in his actions, yet he does work to try and make the city a better place by targeting criminals. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in subsequent issues.

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The only thing that feels a little off in Killadelphia is how the word balloons kind of float with very thin, almost non-existent tails. This makes it occasionally difficult to parse out who is saying what. In most cases it's not too much of a distraction, but in some of the heavier conversation scenes it can be a little tough.

Killadelphia presents an interesting and chilling tale, mixing historical fiction with horror in a more serious manner than we're used to. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter this is not. Instead, it's a direct approach, digging into history, violence, and vampires.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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