BOOK REVIEW: Killadelphia Deluxe Edition, Book One by Rodney Barnes

Killadelphia Deluxe Edition, Book One (Killadelphia, 1)Killadelphia Deluxe Edition, Book One by Rodney Barnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Page

Release Date: November 22, 2022

Just when you think the vampire subgenre has been done to death, a graphic novel comes along that grabs one’s attention and reignites one’s affinity for the trope. As the title suggests, one of the ways that this book establishes itself as something different is to lean into setting, a setting with a unique heritage but no particular connection to vampires, in this case Philadelphia. The book takes cross-genre to the extremes, involving not only speculative fiction / horror but, also, historical fiction and detective fiction.

Killadelphia doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it does an exemplary job with an assortment of common tropes and plot devices. Like Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the book mashes up vampires and historical figures, but – in this case – Barnes goes more obscure by using John and Abagail Adams. The book also plays on the dysfunctional father / son relationship as source of tension and character growth. In this case, James Sangster Jr. comes to Philly due to the untimely death of his father, James Sangster Sr., but the father’s death turns out to be more of an undeath, the detective having been caught up in an investigation that led him into a den of vampires. This ultimately plays into a reluctant team up as the Philly vampire scene goes epidemic.

There’s some ancillary material with this deluxe edition, most notably a werewolf comic that takes place in the same universe, called Elysium Gardens. [Otherwise, it’s the usual alternate cover art and author exposition type stuff.]

I enjoyed Killadelphia and would put it in the upper echelon of vampire-inspired graphic novels that I’ve seen of late.

View all my reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.