The Vampyres in Philadelphia may be the harbingers of Armageddon. Can Anansi bring disparate gods together to fight against Corson and his armies? Find out in Killadelphia #26 from Image Comics!
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Greg Tumbarello
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 28, 2022
Previously in Killadelphia: Anansi and Corson meet. Corson wants Armageddon on Earth; Anansi wants to save the world. If humanity is wiped out, he reasons, what will become of Immortals with no worshippers? Corson counters that Armageddon is inevitable and suggests that the gods and demons have already lost their purpose. James Sangster reflects on his life and his surprising undeath, as well as the realization that through desperate times, people clung to the hope that things would turn for the better. Jimmy reflects on the irony of finally being able to work through his relationship with his father only when his father became a Vampyre. But all too soon, James is struck down.
LOVE AND LOSS
Killadelphia #26 opens with a weather report. The Black meteorologist finishes her forecast, spots a spider, and returns to her dressing room, swearing. She may be known as Octavia, but she is Oya, the goddess of transformation and weather. She does not have time for Anansi and his shenanigans. But he tells her that the great war is upon them.
Anansi’s story cuts back and forth with Abigail’s story and her memories of her past. James Sangster is dead; John Adams weeps for him; Abigail remembers a time when she used to feel emotions. But she does have a constant thread of love for her husband. She recalls her youth, the opportunity she had to learn and to study, her first meeting with John. They shared similar philosophies, and he often sought her counsel. Her optimism changed when one of her children died at birth.
Anansi reminds Oya of the time when Lucifer fell, and they had to war against him in their lands. But his minions have bred on Earth. Now Corson’s war threatens not only Earth, but also all the realms of existence. He believes they must assemble all the gods to face him, united. Ironically, the meeting place Anansi chooses for the first small assembly is Chuck E. Cheese, mainly because he feels it will slip beneath Corson’s notice. He does not yet have all the gods, but already there is disagreement.
Anansi next travels to Asgard. Odin realizes that they need to be prepared for battle, but he is not interested in Midgard. Anansi ponders this – gods turning away from the people who worshipped them – and wonders why.
PHILADELPHIA IS ONLY THE START
The story has gotten so big in Killadelphia #26 that the art is necessary to keep everything flowing as the words focus on a couple of the main ideas. There is a lot to juggle here, but it is handled deftly. We see more of Abigail’s life not only to put her in the spotlight for a while, but through her thinking about John, we also see the present-day carnage that has led to her introspection. It is ironic that the bloody chaos of Toussaint and his army lead to the quiet flashback of a young lady’s life in a wealthy family. She had a lot in life, and even though she lost her humanity, she thrived on what she gained from becoming a Vampyre.
The gods continue to be interesting as characters. I like the way that the eternal war between good and evil is omnipresent and Corson as a force for destruction is not confined to one specific group. I also like how some of the gods choose to live among humans, taking on a human form. This gives them an updated look, like Oya’s, which they can also drop at any point to appear in a more traditional aspect. It also leads to the humor of the incongruous when a small group of them meet at the restaurant.
BOTTOM LINE: IS IT THE END OF EVERYTHING?
Killadelphia #26 is a book that transcends traditional horror, using it as a backdrop for a deep dive into some philosophical conundrums. Although the concepts may be big, we see them through the minds and actions of individuals, so there are personal connections that hold everything together.
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Toussaint is gaining the upper hand, but does this play into Corson’s plan?