REVIEW: ‘Killadelphia,’ Issue #13

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Killadelphia #13 - But Why Tho?

Killadelphia #13 is written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by Luis NCT, lettered by Marshall Dillon, and published by Image Comics. “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” kicks off a new story arc, as the newly-resurrected John Adams confronts his wife Abigail and offers his services to the Sangsters as James Jr. is slowly turning into a vampire. Flashbacks recount Adams’ journey through history as a vampire, as he offers a confession to a priest. The issue also contains part 6 of the “Elysium Gardens” backup story written by Barnes and illustrations from Chris Mitten.

In the same vein as the previous story arcs “Sins of the Father” and “Burn Baby Burn,” “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” jumps between past and present, with the majority of the action taking place in the past. While we’ve seen flashbacks featuring Adams before in the series, this issue fully explores what he was up to in the years following his transformation. This includes a short-lived stint as a rockstar for the rather imaginatively named TJ and the USA’s and their hit single “Nights in Monticello.” Adams also falls into the standard trope of “immortality will make you miserable,” only this malaise has extra weight to it as he witnesses the inhumanity that mankind inflicts upon each other. Alexander and NCT highlight Adams’ inner monologue with pictures of various civil rights leaders and their deaths, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. I do appreciate that Barnes isn’t trying to sugarcoat or undercut the gravity of these men’s deaths and their impact on American history. The vampire battles remain a gory highlight, with Tevin Thomas literally ripping an opponent in half and NCT splattering the page with gore.

While it is interesting to see Adams’ walk through history and his confrontation with Abigail (including her reason as to why she’s turned Philadelphia into a blood-soaked vampire kingdom), I feel as though this lessens the impact of what’s happening with the Sangsters. James Jr. transforming into a vampire is a huge deal, especially as he and his father had managed to somewhat patch up their relationship. The despair that both men are feeling is immensely poignant, and I hope future issues address this as it changes the game. Another idea that holds promise is Adams, who is indirectly responsible for everything the Sangsters have been through, working with them to stop Abigail.

Part 6 of “Elysium Gardens” follows a similar track, as the werewolves confront the witch who cursed them and she tells them her history. While it’s rather light on action, the series undergoes an artistic shift as Mitten replaces Alexander on art duties. Mitten puts his own spin on the werewolves’ transformations, with their jaws cracking, teeth shifting into razor-sharp fangs, and fur sprouting over their bodies. While the final transformation looks a little less gnarly than Alexander’s take, it is still a horrifying sight to witness. Personally, I’m curious to see if this story has an impact on the main one.

Killadelphia #13 launches a new story arc that has a bit of a slow burn but fully upends the dynamics of the series, promising a new status quo going forward. With so many new elements in play-including both of the Sangsters now being vampires and Adams on the side of the angels-the creative team has the opportunity to explore a new story and continue to deliver bloodsoaked thrills.

Killadelphia #13 is available wherever comics are sold.

Killadelphia #13
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TL;DR

Killadelphia #13 launches a new story arc that has a bit of a slow burn but fully upends the dynamics of the series, promising a new status quo going forward. With so many new elements in play-including both of the Sangsters now being vampires and Adams on the side of the angels-the creative team has the opportunity to explore a new story and continue to deliver bloodsoaked thrills.