A battle for the fate of the world is on the horizon, but who will become allies and who will become foes? Find out in Killadelphia #23 from Image Comics!
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colorist: Luis NCT
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Greg Tumbarello
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 6, 2022
Previously in Killadelphia: As Jefferson and Abigail discuss the Lycans, George Washington arrives with SeeSaw and Aelio. He tells them the existence of their kind is in danger. Jimmy and Tituba track SeeSaw, and we learn she can create an aura that repels beings from the Dark Realm. Washington continues, reporting that the Light Realm has now resurrected General Toussaint as a vampire hunter. The odds are stacked against them now – unless they work together.
A TENTATIVE DETENTE
Killadelphia #23 opens with a meeting among Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Aelio. Adams feels manipulated. For years, he thought he was the only one who was immortal. Aelio admits that the Eterna have been planning for war for hundreds of years, and this was all part of the plan. Washington speaks intensely of protecting their kind, their nation. Jefferson is the optimistic one. Adams grudgingly agrees to go along with them.
General Toussaint rides through North Carolina leaving the dead in his wake, presumably vampires. He recalls how they once fought for Haitian liberation, and now they take that battle to the Dark Realm, fighting for the entire world. He had thought he and his sister, Sanité, had kept the number of Vampyres to a manageable level, but war now seems imminent.
Sangster meets SeeSaw on a rooftop. SeeSaw is not working the with presidents. They muse for a few minutes about their lives and the hopes they had once had.
Toussaint and Sanité ride further north with their army, heading for Philadelphia. They stop for a moment, and Toussaint sees a spider which is actually Anansi. He has come to warn them about what they are heading into. It is no simple vampire hunt. This is an action against Corson, the master demon. Toussaint uses this knowledge to inspire his army further.
The Lycans are also considering what has changed. They agreed to fight along with the initial group, but now the Eterna are involved. Jabir wants to leave, to return to their old life as warriors. Tituba reminds him that the world has changed, and everything is connected. I like this take. While at its heart, this may be an old conflict, but it is taking place in the world and will have ramifications for everyone.
Washington brings John and Abigail Adams face to face. If there is any hope of working together, they must reach some compromise. It is a masterfully succinct distillation of two hundred years of resentment of the system.
The art of Killadelphia #23 is striking in its effectiveness. As it follows the paths of immortals and even gods, whose plans were set in motion decades if not centuries ago, it does so on a very human level. We see this immediately when the three presidents and Aelio meet. They knew each other well two hundred years ago. In Adams especially we see that kinship war with feelings of betrayal.
I like the way gods are portrayed. Anansi appears as a small spider, but then he shifts into a human form. He looks like a young man from this century; he could walk among humans and not be recognized. It is when we see his eyes that we see a subtle difference in them, a slightly different reflection. The eyes are important throughout. Vampire eyes are equally distinct. It is fascinating how something so subtle can draw our attention and help keep clear who everyone is.
BOTTOM LINE: AND THE BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN
There are a lot of factions in play here, as well as potentially shifting alliances. This is a book that requires some careful reading, but it is well worth the reward.
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