Much to the surprise of horror comic readers, Killadelphia is a book focused on perspectives and perception. It’s a technical feat for a writer to be able to be a switch-hitter within a single narrative of a comic book issue. This is achieved through a full embrace of the comic book medium in conveying a layered story. One of the prominent intrigues for this piece was the colored textboxes that are able to make an easy transition for the three respective characters. Along with this are varied changes in the lettering to distinguish the characters even further.
At its least, Killadelphia is a blend of police procedural along with a supernatural horror story. At its most, it’s an innovative addition to the comic book medium that can further distinguish itself for how people narrate stories. Rodney Barnes’ writing is not just gripping, it’s alluring, as if you’re already entranced with the flow of the story. In truth, the real highlight that will truly entrance readers is Jason Shawn Alexander’s stellar line work. Sharing the sensibility of chalk drawings, the pieces continuously capture a stark line work within the dark space that gives a burgeoning sense of dread. These lines perform a dual purpose in giving dread but also letting the audience actually comprehend the underlying horror that is looming for these characters. Moreso, the book is brought to life by the unsung heroes of the medium: the letterer and the colorist. While the line art resembles the air of a chalk painting, the colors bring them into an intriguing pastel color. The letterer manages to properly perform a subtle means of informing character, allowing us to understand their psychology. Going further, when both the letterer and colorist pair themselves to distinguish each character, this book acts as a technical marvel.
While it’s a gripping story and provocative thematic book, this series offers new experimentation for the comics medium. Truly, these people are not only the masters of their crafts, but innovators for comics. This isn’t just a good horror book, but an innovative one, the likes of which I haven’t read since 30 Days of Night. Genuinely, this book captures you and lulls you into a newfound fear.
Creative Team: Rodney Barnes (writer), Jason Shawn Alexander (artist), Marshall Dillon (letterer), Luis Nct (colorist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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