REVIEW: ‘Killadelphia,’ Issue #11

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Killadelphia #11

Killadelphia #11 is written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by Luis NCT, lettered by Marshall Dillon, and published by Image Comics. The penultimate issue of the “Burn Baby Burn” arc finds John Adams residing in purgatory where he is visited by Tevin Thomas, who offers him the chance for redemption. Meanwhile, John’s wife, Abigail, deals with a revolution in her ranks.

Barnes, Alexander, and NCT have slowly been peeling back their antagonists’ layers, exploring who they are as people. While the protagonist is arguably the book’s star, a fleshed-out antagonist can be just as compelling. Barnes’ script puts Abigail and John Adams front and center, exploring the former’s relationship with Sally Hemmings and the latter’s refusal to take responsibility for the chaos he has sown. In particular, Abigail’s flashbacks help show a more human side to her. Up to this point, she’s been extremely heartless and bloodthirsty, so it was nice to see she had some semblance of human feelings. Since the first arc of Killadelphia was focused on James Sangster Jr. and his relationship with his father, this provides a nice contrast.

Tevin also returns after dying in the first arc to serve as the Virgil to Adams’ Dante, albeit with a more modern outlook on the world. Tevin was one of the best parts of the first arc of Killadelphia because he was proof that not every vampire was a bloodthirsty, soulless monster. Here, he offers Adams the chance to redeem himself but, most importantly, doesn’t let him off the hook for his past actions. Many stories forget that redemption is a thing to be earned; thankfully, Barnes is not one of those storytellers.

Alexander and NCT continue to impress with their artwork. NCT, in particular, gets to employ a simple yet striking color palette for this issue. Heaven and hell are represented by bluish-white light and fiery red, respectively, while Purgatory is a washed-out, greyscale. This also applies to the caption boxes: John Adams has tan captions, while Abigail has teal. It’s a good way to differentiate between characters and adds flair to the issue.

Alexander continues to show off his horror chops, particularly with the Purgatory sequence. The issue begins with Adams reliving his election as President. Slowly, the cheering masses begin to age and die. The flesh falls off their bones, their jaws lock in a horrific grimace, and soon they crumble into dust. And according to Adams, this continues to go on and on for all eternity. Not a great way to spend the rest of your eternal life. The backup story “Elysium Gardens” also continues to feature werewolves as a truly terrifying threat; they are twice the size of humans, and their eyes are glowing white specks of rage.

Killadelphia #11 sets the stage for the conclusion to the “Burn Baby Burn” arc while providing its antagonists with surprising depth. January 2021 will bring a super-sized issue, and I can’t wait to see how this storyline ends.

Killadelphia #11 is available wherever comics are sold.

Killadelphia #11
4.5

TL;DR

Killadelphia #11 sets the stage for the conclusion to the “Burn Baby Burn” arc while providing its antagonists with surprising depth. January 2021 will bring a super-sized issue, and I can’t wait to see how this storyline ends.