Monday, February 8, 2016

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #2 - A Review

Once Megalopolis was the safest city in the world, thanks to its large population of superheroes and mystery men. That changed following an attack by an underground monster, which somehow caused every superhuman in the city to go mad!  Megalopolis was shut off from the world, with only one group of civilians having managed to escape the city.

Now that same group of civilians is returning. Partly due to the promise of payment if they help a mercenary team rescue a wealthy businessman who is trapped in the city but also to investigate rumors that Mina - the woman whose sacrifice allowed them to escape Megalopols - is still alive.

Surprisingly, the rumors are true! And Mina has run into an old friend - now a masked mystery man -  who has quite the story of his own. Unfortunately, the cover that has enabled him to blend in among the crazed heroes may have been blown...

Gail Simone has written some truly macabre stories in the past but the Leaving Megalopolis books may be her most disturbed work ever. There is something anathema about the very concept - symbols of hope being turned into monsters - that mirror the spiritual aesthetic that fuels the horror genre. This makes the story Simone tells all the more effective.

Jim Calafiore's artwork mirrors this twisted view. You can see how the "heroes" might have been inspiring once and that makes them all the more horrifying for how far they've fallen. Dystopia fiction is built around seeing what was once great destroyed and Calafiore's art perfectly replicates that aura of despair.

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