I woke one day and I had an unusual problem, there was no more Walking Dead to read!!! Now never fear loyal Walking Dead reader/watcher, there will indeed be more Walking Dead (of that you can be sure. Just so long as were still using some kind of money, for only in a barter free society will Bob Kirkman, Image Comics and AMC ever let The Walking Dead end). That fact however did not change the fact that I no more issues to read, nor episodes to watch. I was (pause for effect) CAUGHT UP!!
But… but… but… how was I to survive without reading about the trials and tribulations of NORMAL PEOPLE as they fight to survive in an Apocalypse? I mean seriously, it was like my own private end times.
And then an angel descended from the heavens and freed me from my plight. Her name was Gail (I know, I too thought it was a strange name for an angel) but she was here none the less, she sat beside my camp fire with her trusty sidekick Jim, threw me a can SPAM and told me a tale. It too had a band of scrappy normal survivors, it too was in an apocalyptic world… and… well, it didn’t zombies (at first that threw me, but Gail insisted I solder on, for she said this world had something better… it had… homicidal SUPERHEROES!!!).
Well, if you remove me… the campfire… and the SPAM, you pretty much have the setup for Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore’s Leaving Megalopolis an independent comic book the pair funded on Kickstarter back in 2012. Now three years later those people too lazy to originally back the project (say me and you) can have the same pleasure as so many others have had thanks to the release of Leaving Megalopolis on Comixology.
I’m going to avoid telling you the plot in this review because just like The Walking Dead the joy of reading this comic comes from watching how plot unfolds. However I do think you should give this comic a try, so here are a few reasons why. Like just every other story set in a disaster, this one follows a random group of strangers. But where others, like the aforementioned Walking Dead, revolve around characters who seem to exist in some kind of pre-utopian state before the disaster, which therefore requires that the story be about the depths to which high characters will sink to survive, Leaving Megalopolis instead focuses on characters that we might not have liked or respected in the world before the disaster. Where The Walking Dead often makes us shake our head and say “oh no, Rick, really?!?” Leaving Megalopolis instead had me crying out “Yes, Mina! Go, Mina!” and Simone’s backstory for this first volume had me near tears at moments, something that has never happened to me reading The Walking Dead (not even when you bash baseball bats into the heads of characters I like Kirkman!!!).
Simone has performed a trifecta in this story. She has an interesting idea which serves as a good hook to grab the reader, she has strong characters that the reader comes to care about (including one that is my new favorite character in comics) and she has an overall story arc that is well developed and has real consequences for the characters. Simone’s work in Leaving Megalopolis is at least up to the level of her previous work on Batgirl or Birds of Prey if it doesn’t outright surpass it and Jim Calafiore’s art is magnificent, bringing to mind comparisons with Ethan Van Sciver during Green Lantern and Blackest Night. Add on top of all of that the fact that Simone and Calafiore can use their homicidal superheroes to poke fun from time to time at the big two publishers and this book becomes a steal at only $9.99.
In all honesty this one of the best books I have read this year and going forward I’m on board, just so long as Simone and Calafiore bring us back around to Mina in future. I haven’t had enough of that tough as nails (but still completely and beautifully feminine) girl yet and I for one demand MORE! So won’t you give this book a download and join me?
5 Out of 5 Stars