The vampire horror is leveled up in "Killadelphia #3"

Writer: Rodney Barnes, Art: Jason Shawn Alexander, Color: Luis NCT, Lettering: Marshall Dillon, Editor: Greg Tumbarello.

Image Comics debuted the new series Killadelphia: Sins of the Father this past Halloween. Since then, each subsequent month’s issue continues to level up this horror-noir story with action, bloodlust, and empathetic character arcs. I missed out on reviewing Sins of the Father Part II due to the holidays, so I’ll take a moment to quickly go over it before diving into Part III.

After the events of Part I, JJ comes to learn from his newly undead father James Sangster that there are vampires in Philadelphia. The mass of vampires are largely made up of African Americans. JJ fell into their hands on a tip he had of a suspect named Tevin, who he long thought to be behind a series of linked murders in the city of brotherly love. In Part II, we come to discover Tevin’s role in all of this commotion and horror. He is not everything James is making him out to be, and we witness a tenderness in him that will also be a driving force for the plans he has in store.

In Part III, writer Rodney Barnes switches in between flashbacks to the past and present and in between two different sets of first person narratives. Barnes is spellbinding in making both ebb and flow in harmony, a mark of a well-honed writer. The flashbacks serve as an obvious origin story for the true antagonist of the series. Origin stories aren’t always appealing, but Barnes serves this one up on an enticing silver platter, and I just can’t help wanting more. Not to worry, Part IV will be out within the next month.

Jason Shawn Alexander is back as illustrator and honestly, I can’t imagine anyone else tackling this assignment. Alexander is just so good at telling this story through his art, and he shifts it in the mildest of ways to distinguish the flashbacks from the present. He is able to detail each character’s mannerisms, down to the way they hold and smoke a cigarette. Even furrowed brows are distinctive from person to person. All of this is complemented by the coloring of Luis NCT, who expertly emphasizes the gore and horror in the story without it being “too much.” Though, I do have to say the content of Killadelphia, at least this issue, is very much for mature readers.

Killadelphia:  Sins of the Father, Part III is published by Image Comics and is on sale January 29, 2020.

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