Killadelphia #10 Comic Review
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colorist: Luis Nct
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Jason Shawn Alexander
Variant Cover: J. Scott Campbell & Sabine Rich
Burn Baby Burn Part IV
Kill Them All
“But this is their Boston Tea Party”
What You Need to Know
Abigail Adams’ plan for Philadelphia continues to unravel, with the city now plunged into darkness. Abigail plans to strike fear into the hearts of the people in the City of Brotherly Love by cutting them off from all forms of communication and from their loved ones. Not all of Abigail’s flock seems to believe in her master plan, however, as Toppy has his doubts. We even learn more about Toppy’s history. Jupiter seems to be using Abigail’s plan as a reason to create his own form of chaos. With the Sangster family and company surrounded by a nest of vampires, can they survive long enough to stop Abigail?
What Just Happened
The issue flashes back to Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876 from Toppy’s point of view. Toppy’s real name is Fergus O’Neil and he was an undertaker. In the present, Philadelphia has been plunged into darkness with all electronic communication shut off. Federal troops have been sent to Philadelphia in response to the threat.
James Jr., James Sr., Jose, and police lieutenant Zimmerman battle vampires in Abigail’s brothel. The Lieutenant shoots the liquor in the bar to cause an explosion allowing them to escape. Lieutenant Zimmerman does not escape the explosion.
Toppy was the overseer for the O’Neil plantation on the banks of the Missouri River. Toppy was his master’s prize possession. Toppy joined the confederacy during the Civil War and was promised freedom after the war. Toppy gained his freedom after the Civil War and was gifted his master’s top hat as a token of appreciation. Toppy took his family Northwest and clashed with the local Cheyenne tribe. Toppy and his family settle down in Deadwood and he opens an undertaker business.
In the present, Jupiter has freed the turned prisoners and lets them run wild. James Sr. lashes out at James Jr. and blames him for the death of lieutenant Zimmerman. James Sr. apologizes and states that he should be with his wife in the afterlife. Jose informs James Jr. that James Sr. was at peace with his mother.
In the past, Toppy agrees to watch over a couple of caskets with the only condition is that they are not to be opened. Before Toppy can process this request, a man on horseback alludes that he attacked his family. Toppy comes home and witnesses his home on fire and his family killed in the fire. Toppy pledges to get revenge. Before he can leave, James Adams and Abigail Adams emerge from the caskets he was asked to watch. James Adams calls Toppy by his name and empathizes with him regarding the death of his family. James offers to take Toppy’s pain away by “sharing his gift”. Toppy agrees, and James turns him. Toppy murders the men responsible for the death of his family and leaves Deadwood with his top hat as a reminder of who he once was. In the present, Jupiter arrives at Abigail’s hideout and announces he is there to kill Abigail. The 3rd installment of Elysium Gardens follows this issue.
Angela or Zubia is told of her past and she identifies in a flashback to North Africa in 829 A.D. The warriors return from Sicily to celebrate their victory when the full moon causes their change into werewolves. The werewolves then slaughter their own people. The warriors were banished from Africa. To survive, the warriors became pirates and pillaged other ships and towns. In the 1600s, the warriors learned of the African Slave Trade and attacked slave ships and freed slaves. A storm destroyed the warriors’ ship and they washed ashore in South Carolina in 1906. A Gullah woman named Sebe witnessed their arrival and also recognized the curse they have through her rootwork. Sebe stated the curse from La Vecchia kept them from aging but turned them into werewolves on the full moon. Zubia is informed that the witchkin who cursed them are in Los Angeles and she needs to lead her fellow warriors into battle.
I am really enjoying how we are learning the backgrounds of a lot of the supporting characters in this book. I have been curious about Toppy’s background for a few issues now and this was welcome character development. Toppy actually being a tool of his master who did not have any sympathy for his fellow slaves was an interesting conflict of identity that Rodney Barnes gave him. Toppy even joins the Confederacy to gain his own freedom, which proves he only cared for himself and his family at the end of the day. That selfishness leads Toppy to let his guard down as he sets up roots in Deadwood, but he is eventually reminded that he is a Black man in a world that hates Blackness. In the present, I believe Toppy is beginning to finally realize this and is rightfully questioning Abigail Adams’ master plan as another type of white supremacy.
Things are looking bleak for the Sangster Family and friends. The death of Lieutenant Zimmerman leaves them down one ally as they barely escaped Abigail’s brothel. James Sr. and James Jr.’s relationship is falling apart, as James Sr. still resents his son for disturbing his afterlife with his wife. The Sangster family must resolve their issues as they seem like the only people capable of combating the vampire threat.
Jupiter is starting to reveal that he is his own man at the end of the day. As of now, his goals and Abigail’s goals are in line, but Jupiter is alluding to a plan that is his own at the end of the day. Jupiter turning the prisoners and letting them escape is his way of allowing them to have their revenge on a system that institutes modern-day slavery. Jupiter and Abigail’s plans will eventually collide, and I believe only one of them will survive the ensuing conflict.
The Elysium Fields back-up story has made a welcome return. We learn that the African warriors did return back to their people in North Africa the werewolf curse forced them to slaughter their own people until they were banished from their homes. The warriors became pirates and pillaged and plunged to survive. The warriors also learn of the transatlantic slave trade and attacked slave trips and freed slaves. A storm forces the warriors to the united states where they learn they are immortal but still cursed to become werewolves. The key to ending their curse may be in Los Angeles. I hope that Rodney Barnes brings these characters to present-day and introduces them to the conflict already at play.
Rodney Barnes continues to weave a compelling narrative with multiple characters’ motivations shown. A vampire civil war seems to be brewing, and the people of Philadelphia are going to be caught in the middle. The Sangster family seems to be imploding right when the city needs them the most. Jason Shawn Alexander continues to impress with his incredible artwork. Not many artists can make gratuitous violence look so beautiful. This book continues to be consistently excellent.