REVIEW: ‘Killadelphia,’ Issue 8

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Killadelphia #8

Killadelphia #8 is written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by Luis NCT and lettered by Marshall Dillon. It is published by Image Comics. The “Burn Baby Burn” story arc continues as Abigail Adams and her legion of vampires spread terror throughout Philadelphia. In the Underworld, James Sangster Sr. undertakes a long and harrowing journey to reunite with his late wife.

That latter plot point turns out to be the driving force of the issue, as well as a chance for the creative team to put their own stamp on another piece of mythology. That piece just happens to be the Underworld, with the ferryman of the dead Charon playing a significant role. Charon and Sangster Sr. discuss the nature of death and what lies after that, their conversations holding shades of Dante’s Inferno.

Readers will also be hit by an emotional bomb when Sangster Sr. reaches the end of his journey. It’s rare to see Black male characters express their emotions, and I’m thankful that Barnes’s script actually delves into what the man is feeling. Sangster Sr. holds guilt over his frayed relationship with his son and agony over his wife’s death, and even though he’s immortal those emotions still burn within him. Barnes brings a human element to all his monsters, and this is no exception.

Alexander literally brings a new dimension to his art as he gets to depict Heaven and Hell. For all the horror of the past issues, they took place on Earth. Hell is a different story. The suffering is forever engulfed in flames and rivers of blood twist throughout the realm. Charon himself is a frightening fight, clad in bone-white robes; his ferry is built out of skulls locked in an eternal scream. In contrast, Heaven looks peaceful and is teeming with life.

Adding to that vibe is NCT on colors. While he uses fiery reds and oranges to convey the horrors of Hell, bright blues and blinding whites give Heaven an otherworldly, peaceful look. Vibrant violet flowers spring up from the ground, completing the vision of paradise.

In addition to the main story, Barnes and Alexander continue their backup story in part two of “Elysium Gardens.” This further deepens the lore of Killadelphia‘s werewolves, whose lineage stretches back to the Roman Empire. How this ties into the main story remains to be seen, but I’m looking forward to it as werewolves are my favorite fictional creatures. The stark black and white colors also make “Elysium Gardens” feel like an old-school horror comic; Alexander further adds to that vibe by giving the first page a “Mature Readers Recommended” banner.

Killadelphia #8 is an emotionally taxing comic, adding new twists to its lore while providing a character with closure for their past. Although the main plot hasn’t advanced that much, this was still a good read and this book is slowly becoming one of my favorite stories on the stand.

Killadelphia #8 is available wherever comics are sold.


'Killadelphia,' Issue 8
4.5

TL;DR

Killadelphia #8 is an emotionally taxing comic, adding new twists to its lore while providing a character with closure for their past. Although the main plot hasn’t advanced that much, this was still a good read and this book is slowly becoming one of my favorite stories on the stand.