LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS: SURVIVING MEGALOPOLIS #1 [Review]

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LEAVING MEGAPOLIS: SURVIVING MEGAPOLIS #1/ Written by GAIL SIMONE / Art by J. CALAFIORE / Published by DARK HORSE COMICS

[FULL DISCLOSURE: Matt Morrison contributed to the Kickstarter for LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS VOL. 1]

Once Megalopolis was considered the safest city in the world. This was because many of the world’s greatest heroes called Megalopolis home. Yet Megalopolis’ defenders would ironically prove to be the city’s downfall.

Numerous Congressional investigations were unable to get to the bottom of precisely what happened to Megalopolis. All that was known for certain was that something happened during the attack of a giant monster burrowing out of the Earth. After that, every super-powered being in the city went mad!

Over the following days, the ordinary people of Megalopolis were hunted for sport by their former heroes. For some reason, the heroes had no inclination to leave the city, though they stopped any attempt by the city’s people to abandon it. Only three civilians managed to escape, thanks to the sacrifice of a woman named Mina Gutierrez and a moment of lucidness from the greatest hero of all, The Overlord.

A month has passed since then and the last thing Harold Lamb wants is to go back into the war zone he just barely escaped with his life. Sadly, a group of mercenaries hired to search what’s left of Megalopolis for a rich man left stranded there during a business meeting aren’t giving Harold much of a choice. Though they do try to strengthen his resolve by telling him they have reason to believe that Mina Gutierrez is still alive in Megalopolis as well…

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At the time of its publication in late 2013, I stated that Leaving Megalopolis was easily the darkest, most-disturbing work of Gail Simone’s career. I stand by that assessment two years later, with the whole of Red SonjaSecret Six and Clean Room to consider. Let that thought sink in a moment.

Surviving Megalopolis proves equally twisted. Those expecting the usual Simone ribaldry will be surprised that what little humor exists here would make even Deadpool say, “Dude! Not cool!” The focus of this series is upon how truly horrific out-of-control super humans would be to the civilians caught in the middle of things and Simone explores the terror of the situation beautifully.

Jim Calafiore’s artwork is equally beautiful. If indeed “beautiful” can be used to describe scenes of men having their skulls cracked with a pool ball and seemingly dead bodies being dragged from the depths. There is a sense of gothic splendor to Calafiore’s work here and the action sequences are well-blocked.

The only real flaw to Surviving Megalopolis so far is a minor lack of accessibility. While new readers can start with this book and have the story so far explained to them, those who have read the whole of Leaving Megalopolis first will get so much more out of this issue. It’s not enough to negate my full recommendation of this book to all fans of dystopia horror and twisted superhero stories but I would strongly advise reading the original Leaving Megalopolis first.

Rating 5

 

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