On the brink of Armageddon, Washington attempts to rally what forces he has to the cause of defeating the Dark Realm. Is this another war that will give rise to a new form of government and life? Find out in Killadelphia #27 from Image Comics!
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander and Germán Erramouspe
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Greg Tumbarello
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 25, 2023
Previously in Killadelphia: The battle against the Vampyres in Philadelphia may be the first step in Armageddon. Anansi talks to Oya, a goddess living among the humans. He reminds her of the time that Lucifer fell, and they had to war against him in their lands. He feels that Corson’s war threatens not only Earth, but all the realms in existence. He is trying to unite all the gods to work together against him. In counterpoint to this, we also see Abigail’s story from her youth to her great love for John. Alas, she finally meets her end in battle.
GODS AND FABLES
Killadelphia #27 opens as George Washington fights and thinks about death. He has seen a lot of death in his time since it is a side effect of battle. But in becoming undead, he died first. He has some memory of his experience of death, and it is an interesting take to find that there can be a whole range of emotions from shame to beauty associated with something that can be so final, not to mention shock.
The story cuts to Anansi who ponders faith. Not the faith that people have for their gods, but the faith that gods have for their worshippers. He has maintained contact with people and has always seen their virtues. It would be easy, he thinks, to blame the present battle on the Dark Realms. But in the pursuit of power, there is much vice, and so much of that originates with mankind itself. People may profess to still seek out gods, but what do gods choose to do when their creation seems bent on destroying itself?
Washington compares the Revolutionary War, which had the goal of democracy, to the current war which just seems to be fighting with no central focus. He starts to wonder whether this is a war that can be won. Was he just manipulated into this position by the Eterna? In a brilliant bit of storytelling using his introspection, he considers his death where he did not think grand thoughts about the nation. And he realized that his existence was to be a fable for future generations. In a way, he became a sort of god at the cost of his humanity and his real life.
Anansi decides to face things head-on. He is a god, but he is not the most powerful of them. Still, he is not afraid to take a chance and meet face-to-face with Satan.
A WAR WITHOUT A FOCUS
I really like the scenes with Washington in Killadelphia #27 because they use the connections from the past to the story’s present to make some powerful points about living, dying, and facing the fact that what people remember of you may not bear any resemblance to the truth. Washington does not wear an eighteenth-century hairstyle, but he does wear a miliary coat from that era. Juxtaposed against the present carnage we visit the Revolutionary War, his death, and his contacts with the Eterna. He was once the man of the hour and came to believe that he would be so again, only to have that belief die on the streets of Philadelphia.
In contrast, Anansi’s scenes show him as solitary, set apart from his believers even when they are there. The spiders he is associated with seem to recognize him as a companion more than any person. But he exists in part in the world of the gods, and those panels feature a warm, golden glow. They’re gorgeous, and yet they seem incongruous in a world headed toward Armageddon. It’s like the art reflects his hope and optimism that there is still some good in mankind.
BOTTOM LINE: FALLEN EXPECTATIONS
Killadelphia #27 uses the climactic battle to focus in on more characters, several of whom have died or will likely die in this battle. What else would we expect with Armageddon? It is interesting to have a horror story depict even Vampyres as acting heroically and meeting their ends even with melancholy.
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Every large battle is made up of the struggles of individuals.