REVIEW: ‘Killadelphia,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Killadelphia #9

Killadelphia #9 is written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by Luis NCT, lettered by Marshall Dillon, and published by Image Comics. Part three of the “Burn Baby Burn” storyline focuses on the backstory of the vampire Jupiter while the Sangster family has a rather prickly reunion.

The creative team has never shied away from using history to shape their story. In fact, it has been the driving force of the series. Here, the focus shifts to Jupiter’s life before he was a vampire, and when he was a slave under Thomas Jefferson’s control. Barnes’ script slowly reveals Jupiter’s past and unveils the reason for his violent tendencies. We also learn that he is a descendant of the Yoruba and that extends to the way he hunts. “I dance four hundred years of suffering,” he says in his closing monologue. “I dance the dance of Death.”

The second half of the issue focuses on James Sangster Jr’s reunion with his father. Sangster Sr. is understandably bitter given that he was literally ripped from paradise by his son, and this drives an even bigger wedge between the two. While I liked the emotional stakes this added to the ongoing story, the Sangster plotline doesn’t really advance that much save for a horrifying cliffhanger. Perhaps the next issue will swing the spotlight back on them.

Alexander and NCT continue to impress with their artwork. Alexander’s vampires are utterly inhuman with their protruding fangs and glowing yellow eyes; they also move with ferocious speed and violence. Alexander also brings the emotional baggage of the characters to the forefront with their facial expressions. Anger, sadness, desperation: the looks often say more than the dialogue does. Alexander’s art also has a realistic vibe to it; Sangster Sr. bears a striking resemblance to actor Phil Morris, for example.

NCT employs a neat visual trick for the issue, using black, white, and grey for the flashback sequences and a varied palette of colors for the modern-day sequences. The flashback sequences also stand out due to the light brown skin of Jupiter and other Black people, as well as the dashes of bright red blood and glowing yellow vampire eyes. It adds to the horror aspect of the title, which these artists have more than mastered.

In lieu of the ‘Elysium Gardens’ backup, Alexander provides a series of paintings at the end of the issue. These paintings are equal parts mesmerizing and horrifying, featuring images such as a body chopped up into pieces and a woman wearing a mask covered in blood.

Killadelphia #9 fleshes out the background of one of its major antagonists while slowly upping the stakes for its protagonists. With this issue, Jupiter falls into the stereotype of “antagonist with a righteous cause” that the X-Men’s Magneto and Castlevania‘s Dracula also fits. I hope to see more of him in future episodes and see how the Sangsters deal with a nest of vampires.

Killadelphia #9 is available wherever comics are sold.

Killadelphia #9
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TL;DR

Killadelphia #9 fleshes out the background of one of its major antagonists while slowly upping the stakes for its protagonists. With this issue, Jupiter falls into the stereotype of “antagonist with a righteous cause” that the X-Men’s Magneto and Castlevania‘s Dracula also fits. I hope to see more of him in future episodes and see how the Sangsters deal with a nest of vampires.