“SINS OF THE FATHER,” Part One Featuring the show-stopping talents of SPAWN series artist JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER and the writer behind such hit shows as Wutang: An American Saga, Marvel’s Runaways, and Starz’s American Gods—RODNEY BARNES. When a small-town beat cop comes home to bury his murdered father—the revered Philadelphia detective James Sangster Sr.—he begins to unravel a mystery that leads him down a path of horrors that will shake his beliefs to their core. The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality… and vampires. Welcome to KILLADELPHIA.
Killadelphia has arrived. The tragic mystery steeped in gothic influences delivers a dark story focused on family trauma and the relentless pursuit of eliminating evil from society by those who uphold the law.
Before you dismiss this series as “yet another vampire story”, make sure you dig a little deeper into the premise and execution of Killadelphia. This is top-tier comics from a remarkably talented creative team who utilize vampires more abstractly than anything on the shelves today. Blended with a classic noir mystery, this horror story captures a sense of originality that will undoubtedly hook you in.
While the scripting is quite good, Killadelphia #1 is defined by the Jason Shawn Alexander’s remarkable artwork. The same dark and brooding atmosphere he brought to Spawn lingers in these pages, this time punctuated by a more grounded horror. This story is exactly what I would’ve liked to see out of Alexander so it’s nice to see him excel so much with every panel. As we sway between the dark reality of death and the surreal nature of existence, Killadelphia #1 finds its success in guiding readers through the apparent dread with consistency and coherence. Too often can stories like this get lost in the appeals to stylistic artwork and dialogue-filled panels, but not this one. It’s a book that packs a visual punch while also remaining focused on the story at hand.
This is not to say there isn’t a lot of dialogue, however, as there is plenty. But it isn’t cumbersome on the story and the pacing doesn’t drag on. Instead it moves rather briskly, creating tension in the unknown simply by how fast the situation develops. It’s an excellent use of horror themes that all build to the shocking cliffhanger. I kept thinking I had this book, and even series, figured out and it kept surprising me. The ending page was the ultimate surprise to really nail down the fact that this story can’t be easily boxed in. It’s quite content being it’s wholly original self and it’s honestly all the better for it.
Those who haven’t been thrilled with Alexander’s artwork in the past might not find Killadelphia to be something for them, because it does lean heavily on his artistic prowess. For what this series seeks to be though, I believe it is a truly impressive accomplishment. This is a vampire story that still feels original while not delving into being cliche. It’s an engaging mystery that knows when to bring the horrors and when to tease your imagination.
Most importantly, Killadelphia #1 stays true to the very human sensibilities that drive the heart of this story. Family trauma which oftentimes establishes a cycle is a prominent theme that is woven into the exploration of society’s implications both culturally and criminally, making this every bit of a crime thriller as a horror.
Don’t just take my word for it though, go check out the first issue of Killadelphia now and see the dark mystery unfold for yourself! If you dare…
As we sway between the dark reality of death and the surreal nature of existence, Killadelphia #1 finds its success in guiding readers through the apparent dread with impressive consistency and coherence.
Killadelphia #1: Here’s to You, Old Man
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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