Leaving Megalopolis (Leaving Megalopolis, #1)
When the caped heroes of the world's safest city inexplicably all turn into homicidal lunatics, no one is safe.The only rational thing to do is get the hell out of town. If only it were that easy...

Leaving Megalopolis (Leaving Megalopolis, #1) Details

TitleLeaving Megalopolis (Leaving Megalopolis, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 20th, 2019
PublisherPainfully Normal Productions
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Superheroes, Fiction, Horror, Graphic Novels Comics

Leaving Megalopolis (Leaving Megalopolis, #1) Review

  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    A North American city lies in devastation following a massive superhero battle – it’s Metropolis post-Man of Steel!Mina, a cop with a secret, leads a group of survivors through the ruins of Megalopolis while avoiding the superheroes-gone-bad. They’ve gotta make it to the bridge out of the city to safety – but will they make it? And what’s turned all the heroes into crazed murderers anyway?Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore’s short but pretty decent superhero-horror comic takes the same approach as Th A North American city lies in devastation following a massive superhero battle – it’s Metropolis post-Man of Steel!Mina, a cop with a secret, leads a group of survivors through the ruins of Megalopolis while avoiding the superheroes-gone-bad. They’ve gotta make it to the bridge out of the city to safety – but will they make it? And what’s turned all the heroes into crazed murderers anyway?Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore’s short but pretty decent superhero-horror comic takes the same approach as The Walking Dead. That is, the evil superheroes are the background – the real focus is on the ordinary people struggling to survive. It’s an approach that works for The Walking Dead – usually the reasons behind the zombie apocalypse stem from some mad science experiment gone wrong – but not for Leaving Megalopolis. The questions are too big to ignore, like:Why is Megalopolis seemingly the only place the superheroes are contained? Why aren’t they flying about the globe causing havoc everywhere else – why just this city? Why do human sacrifices keep them at bay? Are they like vampires who only need to feed once a night? What are comics in this world – like non-fiction? Because the superheroes in the comics are real, so what are the superhero comics if not chronicles of their lives? Or did the superheroes come from the comics? If not, why was this format adopted for the superheroes?It’s hinted at that the superheroes all had head injuries when attacking some giant monster so maybe that’s why they underwent complete personality changes, but otherwise the other questions kept me from fully enjoying the comic.That and the message of hopelessness and misery that’s at the core of this book put me off. There are flashbacks to Mina’s past where we see her mother burned by her psycho father, and then people in the present turning on one another to survive. The superheroes meanwhile are purely hellbent on carnage. So… humans and superheroes are both shitty? The story’s themes are just a little too nihilistic for my taste.One of the characters makes a reference to the Overlord (Superman) comics being too “grim and gritty” these days which I read to be a commentary on DC’s line post-Moore/Miller – but then I realised Megalopolis is far grimmer and grittier than anything DC ever put out!Jim Calafiore is a helluva talent. He produces fantastic art from the start with those silent panels showing the destruction wrought by the superheroes, and some good character designs throughout (though it’s easy to tell who the superheroes are based upon: Superman, Wolverine, Fire, The Flash, Firestorm, and Hawkman). I wasn’t aware of his work before this book but I’ll keep an eye out for titles with his name attached from now on.Simone does create a good character in Mina and on the whole I found Leaving Megalopolis to be a gripping read. Underdeveloped, which partly might be due to the relative shortness of the book (some 80 pages), but still more interesting than a lot of what Marvel and DC publish, and if she and Calafiore returned to this world, I’d definitely join them. Fans of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable (Waid also writes the intro) and Garth Ennis’ The Boys will enjoy Leaving Megalopolis the most.
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  • Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.I adored this! There were only some bits I wasn't too crazy about but, for the most part, I loved this! I sincerely wish they'd put together a live action adaptation because it is a really cool concept. Sure, both DC and Marvel have dabbled with "What if superheroes were evil?" but they never did it with quite the same level of having the supers attack the humans. This series did a great job at glossing over the explanation as to why the heroes turned on the public. We don't need a hug 4.5 stars.I adored this! There were only some bits I wasn't too crazy about but, for the most part, I loved this! I sincerely wish they'd put together a live action adaptation because it is a really cool concept. Sure, both DC and Marvel have dabbled with "What if superheroes were evil?" but they never did it with quite the same level of having the supers attack the humans. This series did a great job at glossing over the explanation as to why the heroes turned on the public. We don't need a huge drawn out reasoning, this book is more about the normal people trying to survive. I adored Mina as a character! This is why I adore Gail's books: she knows how to write complex, well written female characters. Mina has layers; she's not just a good guy or the jaded woman with a dark past. We get enough explanations as to why she behaves the way she does.I liked the bits we saw of the other crew members, as well. I love the art and the climax was really well done. The short little one shot at the end was interesting. Especially the hints at the relationship between Scout and Tomahawk? That was unexpected.So, all in all, definitely a recommend for me.
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  • Cheese
    January 1, 1970
    I bought this after seeing it advertised as a successful start up and the preview and idea of the story caught my attention.The best thing about this comic is the artwork. It gives so much character to the 'heroes' before they even start dialogue. They are drawn with such Intuition and they really deliver. However, the heroes have no powers. The real heroes are the people trying to escape. No spoilers here, but the one thing volume 1 lacks is not enough character background. It starts from the o I bought this after seeing it advertised as a successful start up and the preview and idea of the story caught my attention.The best thing about this comic is the artwork. It gives so much character to the 'heroes' before they even start dialogue. They are drawn with such Intuition and they really deliver. However, the heroes have no powers. The real heroes are the people trying to escape. No spoilers here, but the one thing volume 1 lacks is not enough character background. It starts from the outset after the event a bit like Pulp fiction, and then there are small flashbacks and snippets of information.My only negative experience with the book was not with the story itself but with the creator. If you read through to the story to the bonus back pages the author explains his character naming for some of the characters with super powers and you can see that absolutely no imagination went into it the naming of some of the lesser known characters and none of them have any original background, instead based on his favourite marvel heroes. I thought that was a bit poor. If I was starting up a new comic I would create a whole new world. New characters, new powers, I wouldn't copy cat. It came across as lazy. Anyway like I say not part of the story, which was good. Can't wait for volume 2, if there is one??????
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    I very much want to read more tales of the Megalopolis. This was one well put-together book, especially considering that Simone and Calafiore put this together themselves through Kickstarter.I loved how they teased the horror of this post-insanity world - heroes gone stark-raving bejeebers. There were some obvious comparisons to The Boys and Crossed (both by Garth Ennis, who's a big favourite of mine), and yet this felt like it mined territory of the passers-by (not the loonies) but didn't spend I very much want to read more tales of the Megalopolis. This was one well put-together book, especially considering that Simone and Calafiore put this together themselves through Kickstarter.I loved how they teased the horror of this post-insanity world - heroes gone stark-raving bejeebers. There were some obvious comparisons to The Boys and Crossed (both by Garth Ennis, who's a big favourite of mine), and yet this felt like it mined territory of the passers-by (not the loonies) but didn't spend a lot of time being melancholy and trapped. I much prefer the humans taking some actual steps to deal with their plight - not just shitting themselves and counting the hours until they die.In that way this was less a caricature (Boys) or brutal horror (Crossed) but something a few steps from each. It doesn't spend a lot of time meandering into each character's background, nor in pedantically explaining what actually happened. And kept the pace and tension going, but neither did it burn all its fuel on blood or fists or running. Somehow they pulled off the feat of making a 100+ page book breeze along, and leave lots of room for future exploration, but didn't feel decompressed and bloated.Well done - both writing and art. Look forward to hearing about a future companion!
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  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the scariest book I've read this year.I think we've all read/seen episodes where the good guys "go bad." It's a pretty standard trope. Super Sentai has an evil Blue arc just about every single season.You have never seen the concept done in as brutally terrifying a manner as this. It's visceral and disturbing and sometimes hurts to turn the page. This book is about the things you love turning against you in ways you are incapable of actually imagining but Gail Simone is. It's honestly too This is the scariest book I've read this year.I think we've all read/seen episodes where the good guys "go bad." It's a pretty standard trope. Super Sentai has an evil Blue arc just about every single season.You have never seen the concept done in as brutally terrifying a manner as this. It's visceral and disturbing and sometimes hurts to turn the page. This book is about the things you love turning against you in ways you are incapable of actually imagining but Gail Simone is. It's honestly too much for me at points (there are multiple dog deaths. I am never able to handle dog death), but the writing is solid, the art is uncomfortably good, and the characters are shockingly thorough given how short a time is given to meeting them. Basically, this book makes The Dark Knight look like Stellaluna. If that sounds like something you're interested in, definitely read it. If not, walk away slowly and don't make eye contact. This story is built to disturb.
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  • Ethan
    January 1, 1970
    I backed this book as a project on kickstarter, and got my copy in the mail today. As soon as I go inside, I sat down, tore open the package, and read the entire thing cover to cover. It didn't take very long - I finished the entire book, plus the backup story, in about 30 minutes. So it's short - very short. And probably because of this, it seems to take a lot of storytelling shortcuts, leaning heavily on old tropes and well-worn themes that don't need to be fleshed out in any great detail. The I backed this book as a project on kickstarter, and got my copy in the mail today. As soon as I go inside, I sat down, tore open the package, and read the entire thing cover to cover. It didn't take very long - I finished the entire book, plus the backup story, in about 30 minutes. So it's short - very short. And probably because of this, it seems to take a lot of storytelling shortcuts, leaning heavily on old tropes and well-worn themes that don't need to be fleshed out in any great detail. The story is basically another take on the old "everyday people can be just as heroic as superheros" schtick. The execution is competent, but it's not exactly breaking new ground. People make grand, selfless gestures at just the right moment, and stand up for each other in the face of overwhelming evil and ultimately serve to show that the better angels of human nature can be powerful enough to overcome our inherent demons and so on and so forth. I'm a big fan of Gail Simone, but I've got to say that this is a weaker example of her work. I've a feeling she probably could have done much better if she'd had more space to work with, and the little number 1 at the base of the spine suggests that she might get some, in the form of a future sequel. It isn't bad by any stretch of imagination, it's just... pedestrian. The artwork, though, is really well done. Very high-quality work, especially for an independently published book. Hats off to Jim Calafiore, the man knows his craft.
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  • Cale
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very dark book - A city where the super heroes have gone psychotic and killed almost everyone. The story is an escape, as a small assortment of regular people try to get out of town. This has a lot of parallels to the Zombie genre, with as much of the conflict coming from other normal humans, and the super heroes are the looming threat. The characters are made fairly memorable, the humans at least. The action is quick and brutal when it comes, with more of the story being the tension This was a very dark book - A city where the super heroes have gone psychotic and killed almost everyone. The story is an escape, as a small assortment of regular people try to get out of town. This has a lot of parallels to the Zombie genre, with as much of the conflict coming from other normal humans, and the super heroes are the looming threat. The characters are made fairly memorable, the humans at least. The action is quick and brutal when it comes, with more of the story being the tension rather than the conflict. Simone's writing and Calafiore's art work well together, exploring the horror of hope gone to despair. This is a Book one setup, but it stands pretty well on its own; it doesn't really need more story to tell.
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  • Brian Poole
    January 1, 1970
    Leaving Megalopolis reunited the creative team of Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore for a dark, dystopian superhero tale.Some time before the start of Leaving Megalopolis, a calamity befell the big city where most of the costumed heroes lived. During a fight with an odd beast, they all became “infected.” Now in ripped, dirty costumes, with major physical deterioration, the heroes have turned Megalopolis into a deadly hell. They hunted the normal people trapped in the city. Killing them seemed to aba Leaving Megalopolis reunited the creative team of Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore for a dark, dystopian superhero tale.Some time before the start of Leaving Megalopolis, a calamity befell the big city where most of the costumed heroes lived. During a fight with an odd beast, they all became “infected.” Now in ripped, dirty costumes, with major physical deterioration, the heroes have turned Megalopolis into a deadly hell. They hunted the normal people trapped in the city. Killing them seemed to abate their madness for a short time. They also seemed unwilling or unable to cross the city’s borders. A small band of normal people attempted a desperate dash for a ruined bridge that would lead them out of the city. Their reluctant leader was Mina, a tough young woman in a cop uniform with some tragedies in her past. The small band braved the ruined city, the crazed heroes and other humans willing to sacrifice them to protect themselves.Dystopian superhero stories are nothing new. Leaving Megalopolis tried to distinguish itself by mixing in horror, science fiction, a “quest” story and some feverish interpersonal drama among a small band of survivors. The parallels to recent zombie tales and movies like Escape from New York seemed intentional. Simone is a smart writer with a facility for putting fresh spins on familiar genres and whipping various pop culture influences into something engaging and fast-paced. Focusing on the normal survivors instead of the crazed superheroes was a good move. It gave the reader an entry point into the horrors of the story and enhanced the aura of constricting dread. Simone crafted some nice character moments along the way, showing how humanity failed or thrived in such an unforgiving environment. Ultimately, Mina emerged as the only truly memorable character; a final act cliffhanger centered on her was probably the best incentive to seek out the sequel.Calafiore did some good work with Leaving Megalopolis. His big screen aesthetic and clean, direct style fit the story well, moving the action along at a brisk pace. He crafted some truly unsettling imagery along the way and did a decent job with teasing expressions out of the characters (though occasionally some of them lapsed into a generic “open mouth gape”). Some of the gorier images won’t wash with all sensibilities. Calafiore really shined in designing the fallen heroes, playing with familiar comic book types in creative ways. He also scored with showing their degradation. Colorist Jason Wright made some nice contributions, especially in the panels where the fallen heroes’ powers flared up. Overall, it was solid work that supported the plot quite effectively.Leaving Megalopolis is a chapter in a bigger story and not necessarily a complete tale in its own right. The reasons behind the heroes’ fall remained unknown and Mina was left in a dire predicament. Some fans might be hesitant to jump in. But it’s pretty solid and entertaining and worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of the creators’ previous collaboration on Secret Six.A version of this review originally appeared on www.thunderalleybcp.com
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    I was already a fan of Gail Simone, but this is my first exposure to Jim Calafiore and he is sensational. His long experience on regular superhero comics would be a great background for this way darker than normal gritty superhero/antihero story. Also gorgeous colors by Jason Wright and strong, clear lettering from Dave Sharpe and I have so say that on all the technical levels, Leaving Megalopolis is great.It wouldn't matter if the story and characters were compelling. Terrible things happen, an I was already a fan of Gail Simone, but this is my first exposure to Jim Calafiore and he is sensational. His long experience on regular superhero comics would be a great background for this way darker than normal gritty superhero/antihero story. Also gorgeous colors by Jason Wright and strong, clear lettering from Dave Sharpe and I have so say that on all the technical levels, Leaving Megalopolis is great.It wouldn't matter if the story and characters were compelling. Terrible things happen, and things that would disappoint you with humanity if you didn't already suspect some things were likely, but still, still ultimately compelling, and with hope. The bits of hearings that we get in the middle feel exactly how they would go, and make the ending more touching, then the letters from a mall deliver the final punch. Really great comic built on a history of all we know of superhero comics.
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  • Travis Duke
    January 1, 1970
    A dark super hero story that I thought was really good. The story is that city is in disarray after a strange event has turned the super heroes into villains. The surviving humans are the main characters in the story and its about how their surviving these good guys turned bad. Lots of action and great artwork, I especially liked the art work for Fleet. By the end of the book you get a pretty good understanding of whats happening but also a good cliff hanger. Artwork is above average. I would to A dark super hero story that I thought was really good. The story is that city is in disarray after a strange event has turned the super heroes into villains. The surviving humans are the main characters in the story and its about how their surviving these good guys turned bad. Lots of action and great artwork, I especially liked the art work for Fleet. By the end of the book you get a pretty good understanding of whats happening but also a good cliff hanger. Artwork is above average. I would totally read volume 2.
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  • David Caldwell
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel was funded through Kickstarter.Megalopolis is the safest city anywhere. That is because it is the homebase for a bunch of superheroes. But when these superheroes face a threat in the form of a monster that rises up from the ground, They become twisted homicidal killers. The heroes are in constant pain and the only way to relieve it even temporarily is to kill normal humans. Killing other superhumans doesn't seem to satisfy them. The superheroes begin a deadly game of cat and m This graphic novel was funded through Kickstarter.Megalopolis is the safest city anywhere. That is because it is the homebase for a bunch of superheroes. But when these superheroes face a threat in the form of a monster that rises up from the ground, They become twisted homicidal killers. The heroes are in constant pain and the only way to relieve it even temporarily is to kill normal humans. Killing other superhumans doesn't seem to satisfy them. The superheroes begin a deadly game of cat and mouse as humans try to reach the safety of the city limits.I looked at several other reviews before writing mine and they made some good points. We have all seen stories of normal humans rising up as heroes equal to super powered beings. We have also all seen stories of heroes going bad. Finally this is a dark story with gruesome deaths of both people and animals, a lot of swearing, abusive behavior, and hope being crushed at almost every turn. But this story combines them in some new ways and opens up a lot of room for further stories both before and after the one told here.It is a quick read but it still manages to pack a lot of information into itself. Characters are well developed even if they only get a few moments in the spotlight. The artwork is gorgeous and quite often tells quite a bit of the story in a single panel. One such example is the panel with an army tank sticking out of a building several stories above the ground in the opening pages.One thing that I expected but did not see was any hint of superviliians. By that I mean those people the heroes fought before turning into crazed killers. I didn't expect them to suddenly "turn good" and start defending the normal people(even though that is also a frequently used storyline) but I was surprised that at least one of the bodies seen wasn't a bad guy. I thought that the heroes would have loved to get some payback once they turned. Perhaps that will be seen in later volumes.Overall nicely done. Definitely not for younger readers though.
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  • ***Dave Hill
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't enjoy this Kickstarted tale as much as I wanted to (despite my appreciation for both creators) or expected to (because of same). In part, that's because the story is so short -- a thin volume that feels more like a children's illustrated book in thickness -- and in part because the territory is so familiar -- super-heroes gone maniacally homicidal. The reveal of how this comes about is more original, but also comes across as a bit of hand-waving.Which is mostly okay, because the story i I didn't enjoy this Kickstarted tale as much as I wanted to (despite my appreciation for both creators) or expected to (because of same). In part, that's because the story is so short -- a thin volume that feels more like a children's illustrated book in thickness -- and in part because the territory is so familiar -- super-heroes gone maniacally homicidal. The reveal of how this comes about is more original, but also comes across as a bit of hand-waving.Which is mostly okay, because the story is not about the heroes, but about the poor civilians of Megalopolis, once the safest city on Earth, now the most lethal. Here we dip into "Walking Dead" territory (though more along the lines of flying, super-swift, insanely strong dead), with life and death survival bringing out the best, the worst, and the ugliest in behavior."Leaving Megalopolis" is by no means bad. It's just not good enough to avoid a sense of disappointment, and not long enough to become immerse into.
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  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore had a very good run on The Secret Six. They decided on a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new project, and out of the few Kickstarters that I have helped fund this is the best one yet.Megalopolis is the safest city on the planet because of all the superheroes who live there. Until, an earthquake releases an entity and gases from underneath the Earth. The reader can determine for themselves exactly why the heroes become homicidal maniacs who hunt and kill for fun. Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore had a very good run on The Secret Six. They decided on a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new project, and out of the few Kickstarters that I have helped fund this is the best one yet.Megalopolis is the safest city on the planet because of all the superheroes who live there. Until, an earthquake releases an entity and gases from underneath the Earth. The reader can determine for themselves exactly why the heroes become homicidal maniacs who hunt and kill for fun. At the very least this is a new twist on a disaster scenario.Simone in these few pages creates a very three dimensional character in Mina. Yes,in less than a 100 pages she does what many modern authors requires 300 pages for.Oh yeah, The Overlord twist was really telegraphed, but I enjoyed it regardless.
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  • Bill Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Kickstarted by fans, this original graphic novel is a survivor horror story with costumed heroes standing in for zombies. The narrative follows a band of survivors as they attempt to leave a generic city full of crazed costumed psychopaths. As with most of these stories, the streets are bare except for the survivors and their enemies. There is a neighborhood association that kills people that play their music too loud. There are a few gleeful murders with bodies ripped apart by the costume-weari Kickstarted by fans, this original graphic novel is a survivor horror story with costumed heroes standing in for zombies. The narrative follows a band of survivors as they attempt to leave a generic city full of crazed costumed psychopaths. As with most of these stories, the streets are bare except for the survivors and their enemies. There is a neighborhood association that kills people that play their music too loud. There are a few gleeful murders with bodies ripped apart by the costume-wearing maniacs.The tone is on the far side of the Watchmen or the Dark Knight. Picture the invasion scene in Watchmen and in that scene, people in spandex are tearing bodies in half spattering the landscape. That's Leaving Megalopolis- Nihilism, Gore and all.
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  • Jennifer Lavoie
    January 1, 1970
    I am so glad I helped Kickstart this project. When I got the book in the mail I was thrilled. The story is fantastic, the art is beautiful, and the quality of the book itself is top of the line. The story is dark and follows residents of Megalopolis as they try to flee from the city. After some sort of accident, all of the cities heroes have gone crazy and instead of helping the citizens, they're harming them. I can't wait to read more of this series. It really is fantastic and engaging. I hope I am so glad I helped Kickstart this project. When I got the book in the mail I was thrilled. The story is fantastic, the art is beautiful, and the quality of the book itself is top of the line. The story is dark and follows residents of Megalopolis as they try to flee from the city. After some sort of accident, all of the cities heroes have gone crazy and instead of helping the citizens, they're harming them. I can't wait to read more of this series. It really is fantastic and engaging. I hope there's another Kickstarter for it, because I'm definitely eager to help out for more!
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  • Leilani
    January 1, 1970
    I backed the Kickstarter instantly even though the plot didn't appeal to me because I love Gail Simone, and my reading experience was pretty much what should be expected from that - the characters were surprisingly well-fleshed out for such a brief story, but the plot was everything I don't care to read in comics. I'm not a fan of grim and gritty. It had Its moments and the end wasn't bad, but ultimately I'm just not the target audience for this kind of story.
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  • Eddie
    January 1, 1970
    If you read anything from this team before you know it was well done. If they were going for depression that what I had when I finished. The city fell apart pretty fast, I might have too much faith in mankind, just thought more people would stand up.
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  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable read - but it was a bit dark. Apparently, this was a Kickstarter program first! That's pretty cool. Gail Simone always does good work. Apparently, I'm just rambling now. Anyway, recommended.
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Gaile Simone. That enough is enough to want to make me read this. Obviously, the story is awesome, and completely bat$hit crazy.
  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    More like a 3.5, but I rounded up. Review to come.
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Nice art, but holy crap nothing happened in this book. oh well. maybe just not my thing...
  • Nima Ghadiri
    January 1, 1970
    Superhero comic books, when told from the perspective of the ordinary civilian, can be outstanding work like Kurt Busiek's Marvels series which followed photographer Phil Sheldon as he documented this brave new era. However I do find the additional hook of superheroes turning evil a guilty pleasure, and Leaving Megalopolis follows this theme.The benchmark for me is the plot, though not the execution, of the Injustice book from DC, a comic series which was spun out of a computer game. The central Superhero comic books, when told from the perspective of the ordinary civilian, can be outstanding work like Kurt Busiek's Marvels series which followed photographer Phil Sheldon as he documented this brave new era. However I do find the additional hook of superheroes turning evil a guilty pleasure, and Leaving Megalopolis follows this theme.The benchmark for me is the plot, though not the execution, of the Injustice book from DC, a comic series which was spun out of a computer game. The central premise of Injustice is that that Superman loses his head when Gotham's Joker destroys Metropolis with a nuke and kills Lois Lane and his unborn son. Superman sets up a totalitarian state to bring about order and the story features the rebellion against his fascist rule.Not all the heroes in that book are "bad" though. Perhaps the most similar comic to Leaving Megalopolis is The Boys from Garth Ennis which portrays a world where superheroes have been corrupted by their celebrity and their increasingly thoughtless and rash actions require a secret taskforce to monitor and deal with. I enjoyed the over-the-top nature of the book though the protagonists were rather stereotyped (The affable Scot, the Cockney geezer, the French one (who was called "Frenchie") etc....). It isn't a classic by any means, but it is entertaining fluff.Leaving Megalopolis features even more unhinged superheroes who have unaccountably turned into deranged murderers after encountering an alien. It is unashamedly violent, akin to The Boys, and also sends up popular superhero teams (think Avengers or Justice League) in similarly dark ways. We follow a group of protagonists who want to escape the city of Megalopolis where these superheroes reside. The sense of horror is real, though I did feel that the characters were not as memorable as I might have hoped, with the exception of main protagonist Mina and her cliffhanger leaving the possibility of a sequel. I found the art unsettling in a way that mirrored the palpable tension in the writing, in particular the rage of the superheroes and their glee in causing chaos.The main criticism was that I wanted the characters to be fleshed out more. Often certain features of plot were insinuated but there did not seem to be any follow-up, for example there is a hint that one of the band of survivors has done something bad previously, but we never find out what it might be and the book becomes sympathetic towards him. I enjoy mystery and complex characters, but perhaps there was a bit too much shrouding in all but the main character Mina.Nevertheless, if you do enjoy your stories dark and your worlds dystopic, I recommend that you check this series out, particularly if you enjoy the theme of corrupted heroes.
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  • Ann D-Vine
    January 1, 1970
    Comic superstars Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore, fresh(ish) from their collaboration on the fan-favourite Secret Six, decided to make a book all on their own. With the internet magic that is the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, and a legion of devoted fans with faith enough to lay down their own money to help make it happen, Simone and Calafiore successfully pitched Leaving Megalopolis - a dark tale of superheroes gone very, very bad.The end result is a gorgeously illustrated and deftly writte Comic superstars Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore, fresh(ish) from their collaboration on the fan-favourite Secret Six, decided to make a book all on their own. With the internet magic that is the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, and a legion of devoted fans with faith enough to lay down their own money to help make it happen, Simone and Calafiore successfully pitched Leaving Megalopolis - a dark tale of superheroes gone very, very bad.The end result is a gorgeously illustrated and deftly written epic of suspense, intrigue and heartfelt human relationship. Simone's penchant for writing realistic and immediately identifiable human characters shines brighter than perhaps it ever has, as Leaving Megalopolis takes a formula traditionally applied to post-apocalyptic zombie films and twists it into something subtly meaner. A group of survivors in a cordoned-off city must attempt a daring escape from once-dependable superheroes who have been turned irredeemably evil.Simone depends mostly on well-worn archetypes of both the superhero and post-apocalyptic genres. For the survivors, it's the usual assortment of down-on-their-luck Joe Schmoes whose lives are already falling apart at the seams. Simone's fantastic and reliable use of strong female protagonists is well in play here, with (arguably) the main character here a headstrong, slightly bitter cop with a deeply troubled past. She carries the bulk of the emotional resonance in the story - flashbacks to her traumatizing childhood, seemingly teaching her lessons tantamount to "don't trust anyone," are frequent, and the conclusion (if one can call it that) seems to act solely to build her up as a sort of legendary figure. But the real humanity of the plot comes from the way individuals band together to act as a group, coming to trust one another and accomplish the seemingly impossible. So, while definitely a strong lead comes up the front, there's no doubt that Simone intended every survivor here to be taken as seriously as the next. I think she's accomplished that task aptly. Meanwhile, the superheroes are deeply twisted variations on the well-worn classics. I shan't spoil, because there's a ton of enjoyment to be found in seeing the "capes," as they're called, revealed. Sort of like in a monster movie, any time we're in their presence they are given a huge gravitas. They pull the entire story in around them, and they're exceedingly rare, I should say - like any good horror story, the horrors are kept mostly unseen to let the reader's imagination conjure up terrors more horrifying than any writer could accomplish out of sheer paranoia. (I hesitate to call this a flat-out "horror" story, though it falls into the category quite fittingly nontheless.) My favourite cape, though, has to be the Flash-esque speedster, who is the first to show up (naturally) and taunts the few survivors that have gathered at that point with what amounts to nothing more than childish pranks. Well... you know. Fatal, nightmarish, childish pranks.Reading Leaving Megalopolis is a unique joy, with two creators at the top of their game, both individually and as a unit. The concept, though easily abused by lesser minds, is given a weight and a grandeur that really cements the events unfolding in Leaving Megalopolis as genuinely terrifying. Simone's script provides characters that think and feel like real people, lead up by a masterful protagonist whose personal revelations will hit close to home for I assume a great many readers, and Calafiore gives every single panel, every street, every face and every agonizing act of cruelty such intensity and life that I shudder to recall the most heartbreaking of scenes. But sadly, Leaving Megalopolis has a glaring flaw... and weirdly, it's one I'm noticing more and more of.Okay, I get it, okay? I get it. Making comics is hard. It costs money, it takes time. Maybe Kickstarter doesn't fund everything, maybe artists get tired. I don't know. But Leaving Megalopolis, presented (despite Dark Horse's weird addition of "volume one" onto the packaging) as a whole and complete story, has the notable disadvantage of not being whole or complete. I don't mean this in the Pacific Rim or original Star Wars kind of way, either. Don't get me wrong. I love fictional universes that are developed in a way that makes it seem that there are other stories to be told just around the corner. That feeling is alive and well here, with hints and snippets of information coming fast and thick that build up the mythology of Megalopolis City as if it has existed in our collective consciousness for years. I love that.I love significantly less the fact that this volume ends on a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger! I mean, okay, I guess I can see that the story sort of has an ending, but then there's a tease to something absolutely fantastic and it just gets swept away! "The end," the book proclaims. But... no! It's not the end! I don't know if there's any plans to actually follow-up this volume, but if there isn't, what an absolute tease. I usually like endings that disarm the reader - I'm a big fan of cop-outs, weirdly, especially in comedies - but there's such a thing as going too far. Tipping the hat that there'll be continuing adventures is fine, and I encourage it. Gail Simone basically tips the hat straight off her head and into her open palm, though. Like I said with my recent Ms. Marvel review - there are worse criticisms for a book to receive than "I wish there were more of it," so I'd take it as a compliment. I really didn't want Leaving Megalopolis to end where it did. Is that harsh? Perhaps. I feel it's a flaw. I feel like the book hasn't properly wrapped up, even if you take it as a tiny trimming from a larger world. Megalopolis is teeming with stories, there's no doubt about that, but I'm particularly focused on this story... and I feel like THIS story didn't end, more than anything. But hey. Besides that, this is possibly the best form I've seen Simone and Calafiore in since... well, since Secret Six. So I can do nothing but wholeheartedly recommend it, and I'll probably re-read this soon, if only so I visit Megalopolis again. It's a delightful place to visit, after all. Well... "delightful". Y'know. Terrifying, horrific and heartbreaking. Oh, you get what I mean.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    You can see germs of an interesting idea behind this gory genre subversion, and I'm sure that you could get a decent class or book-club meeting's worth of discussion out of it. Among other things, it seems like the creators are trying to tackle the questions of "What does it mean to be a hero; who is a hero?" And the artwork is definitely well-drawn.I just couldn't get into it, though. As with many subversions, there's a deliberate ugliness at work: the aforementioned gore, and some good old ult You can see germs of an interesting idea behind this gory genre subversion, and I'm sure that you could get a decent class or book-club meeting's worth of discussion out of it. Among other things, it seems like the creators are trying to tackle the questions of "What does it mean to be a hero; who is a hero?" And the artwork is definitely well-drawn.I just couldn't get into it, though. As with many subversions, there's a deliberate ugliness at work: the aforementioned gore, and some good old ultra-violence, and a heaping double-spoonful of cynicism verging on nihilism, alleviated only in brief moments. And for me those moments and the aforementioned potential for provoking thought or discussion just aren't enough to save this work from feeling... juvenile. It feels like a teenager just thought, "Whoa, what if superheroes went crazy and started murdering people instead of saving them? THAT WOULD BE SO METAL!!!" and then didn't consider that comics already have, you know, super-villains.If you're into that sort of aesthetic, go for it. But I'm afraid I can't recommend this book.
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  • Jani
    January 1, 1970
    Leaving Megalopolis is not easy. If it was, it would be a poor setting for a comic book series. Instead, Megalopolis is full of superheroes gone mad who are hell bend on slaughtering any normie they sense. A uniformed officer is only one of the victims when a metropolis-like city's superheroes go homicidal after a battle with a monster. Nevertheless, the uniform still has power and whether she wants it or not, people start flocking to her and she finds that she not only has to save herself but a Leaving Megalopolis is not easy. If it was, it would be a poor setting for a comic book series. Instead, Megalopolis is full of superheroes gone mad who are hell bend on slaughtering any normie they sense. A uniformed officer is only one of the victims when a metropolis-like city's superheroes go homicidal after a battle with a monster. Nevertheless, the uniform still has power and whether she wants it or not, people start flocking to her and she finds that she not only has to save herself but a ragtag bunch of survivors too. I liked the main character Mina and some of the other characters in this extreme setting were fleshed out surprisingly well during the short album. However, I did not like the overtly grim and brutal setting and how the violence and coolness of violence aspect were emphasized. I understand that even in the Walking Dead, it is the characters that matter and the zombies are only a background (here the zombies are replaced with malignant superheroes), but nevertheless I did not like the splattery setting and its use.
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  • Fraser Sherman
    January 1, 1970
    3.5. Reminiscent of Irredeemable, this has a group of regular people struggling to get out of the city (think Marvel's New York) after the Avengers/Justice League type team has gone psycho. A good read.
  • Zachary King
    January 1, 1970
    Genuinely unsettling, but a fine page turner!
  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    interesting idea that was successfully carried out
  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    Black Hammer meets Jupiter's Legacy meets Walking Dead.
  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting ideas. But seemed a bit too short.
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