Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and J. Calafiore

Pros: great story, multi-racial cast, beautiful artwork

Cons: some gory scenes

A group of civilians tries to leave Megalopolis, The Safest City Anywhere, after the heroes who once protected the city begin killing everyone.

I bought this comic as part of a kickstarter campaign.  Its production was delayed due to illness and an extension of the story, so I only got it recently.  It was worth the wait.

Megalopolis is a cosmopolitan city, so the characters in the book are from varied backgrounds.  Mina, the caustic ‘leader’, had a traumatic childhood, seen in flashbacks, that makes it hard for her to care for anyone other than herself.  Yet she forms a group that hopes to make it out of Megalopolis to safety. 

The comic is filled with harsh realities, some swearing and the aftermath of horrific acts.  However, there’s also something amazing in the idea that humans - under the worst circumstances - can become heroes in their own right.  The characters constantly try to pass off responsibility - for their lives, for their safety - to others, only to have it made perfectly clear that if a hero’s coming, they’ll have to play that role.

The story expects you to piece together what’s happening and works perfectly for an apocalyptic premise.  I really liked the realism of the artwork and the fact that some of the more gruesome acts were hinted at rather than shown. 

It’s a pretty brutal story but a great start to a series.

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