cover image Sins of the Father (Killadelphia #1)

Sins of the Father (Killadelphia #1)

Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Luis NCT. Image, $9.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-5343-1569-3

Fast-paced, violent, and not afraid to get a little goofy, this supernatural thriller works as a blood-drenched horror comic and as timely advocacy around Black lives and police violence. Philadelphia police detective Jimmy Sangster revives a case abandoned by his late father and winds up on the trail of a vast, centuries-old vampire underworld. Soon he’s at the center of an all-out war as competing factions of the undead battle for control of the city and the nation. In this modern gothic cityscape, Black vampires ambush corrupt cops, street-level vamps say things like “gimme another hit of that blood, kid,” and the conspiracy goes all the way to the top and a conniving undead president. Writer Barnes has a TV background (Runaways, American Gods), so it’s not surprising the pacing mimics bingeworthy shows, plunging into action with little background explanation and never slowing down. Alexander’s hyperrealistic, heavily photo-referenced art creates an appropriately dark atmosphere, spattering dynamic fight scenes across rain-drenched streets and shadowy housing projects. Full of sex, blood, and National Treasure levels of audacious nonsense (turns out everyone’s searching for a book of vampire secrets), this smart, stylish thrill ride runs on enough social relevance to appeal to an audience outside of gore hounds. (July)