Maybe the title of this Creator-Owned Comics Spotlight should be Leaving Me Wanting More.
After a recent move, I have been looking for a new comic book store to call home. While trying out a couple of different locations, I found Leaving Megalopolis on the shelf. This great book is written by Gail Simone with art by Jim Calafiore. Colors were provided by Jason Wright and the letterer is Dave Sharpe.
The truth is I had missed the boat on this book because I hadn’t been familiar with Kickstarter at the time this book was crowd funded. For those of you not in the know like I was, Kickstarter allows various creators to help get funding from the public (crowd funding right) to help on production costs for their work.
I had heard about this book after the fact on various podcasts, but the opportunity didn’t arise to get my greedy hands on it until I stumbled on it in this shop. And man it was worth every penny.
Like just about everyone else, I really enjoyed Simone and Calafiore’s run on the Secret Six from DC. Watching these two collaborate on any project is like watching your favorite band throw a reunion tour. It scratches that itch you have and is certainly a performance to remember.
What can I say about this story? It is a wonderful look at what humans will do to survive in a war zone. For the citizens of Megalopolis, the end times are nigh and they are living in an apocalyptic setting.
And what of the dangers lying around every corner? These poor souls aren’t faced with slow moving zombies or a super rabies virus. Instead they are at odds with their former superhuman protectors who once made Megalopolis the world’s safest city.
Super speed death attacks, scooped up by flyers and given the swan dive of doom, and super strength feats of killing are the norm for those stuck in the city.
The creative team wastes no time showing us the destruction in Megalopolis as well as the dangers thatvawait our main characters. The focal point of the story is Mina, who becomes the leader of a group of survivors even though she seems reluctant.
She tries to come off as rough and uncaring but her icy exterior melts as she looks to protect a battered teenager and picks up other survivors along the way. The story also flashes back to Mina’s backstory to show how she became the type of person who distances her self from others and the many hard times she has faced in her life up to and including the current crisis in the city.
The writing and art in this story do an amazing job of showing how people struggle to survive in a city gone mad. It draws us in with concern for our main characters and shows how they come together as a group in order to survive. However, it also effectively uses the story and pages to show another group. While this group did manage to come together, the methods they employ for survival are a stark contrast to our main group a highlight the heart these characters truly have.
Thanks to the efforts of Simone and Calafiore, this story has great world building without losing any focus on character building. The visuals are stunning as the designs for the super-heroes are really cool and distinct.
But what would the art look like without the colorist or the script be without the letterer. The art and designs really are complemented by the colors used by Jason Wright. His use of earthier colors and tones in the flashback sequences to Mina’s past are provide a nice contrast to the colors employed in the city scenes. And the city absolutely looks like a war zone from the darker hues that seem to permeate through the current day events down to the details of the dirt and grime all over the devastation.
Dave Sharpe also does a tremendous job with his well placed lettering. The word balloons and caption boxes are easy to follow and never diminish the art. He also shows his chops in sections where the lettering is a call back to the style we see on the front of covers or in intro pages to comics we are all familiar with.
In closing, this book has a fantastic journey with a real poignant ending that really needs to be read. There is also a great 14 page story at the end this time with the whole team minus Gail Simone further expanding on this world. In short I would love to visit Megalopolis again with this creative team, though it probably wouldn’t be a good time to live there.