The Best Comics in November: Gail Simone at Her Finest Yet
Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.
Leaving Megalopolis: Gail Simone is one of those comic writers whose shopping list I would read if she published it... particularly if it was drawn by someone as stellar and gritty as J Calafiore. Leaving Megalopolis is a standalone graphic novel that the two industry badasses managed to fund through Kickstarter, and thank the comic gods they did.
The story follows a universe where pretty much every basic hero template you can think of all inhabit one large, New York-esque city. You've got your Superman stand-in, Flash, Spider-Man, etc., etc. The heroes aren't really important. What is important is the carnage that happens after they all team up in order to take down an enormous alien creature. The day is saved at first, but in its death throes the creature infects every single hero with a terrible nihilism and sadism. The result is that megalopolis becomes a charnel house where former saviors rape and murder for fun, allowing no one to leave even as they themselves are unable to escape.
Simone offers a multi-dimensional script that tackles dozens of different issues all at once. In some ways Leaving Megalopolis is a testament for and against the comic industry itself, as it constantly pushes the envelope as far as acceptable violence and the perceived loss of innocence that comes with leaving behind the light-hearted capers of old.
On the other hand, it's also a fantastic dissection of what happens when you abdicate your power to those on high, failing to realize that they too have flaws. It's not that Overlord, Fleet, and his ilk are geared toward massacre and domination, it's just that when they snap under the weight of their own sudden illness there's not much normal humanity can do about it.
The grim journey of officer Mina as she attempts to lead survivors out of the city like it's some kind of superpowered Walking Dead story deserves to be up there with Cormac McCarthy's The Road, or at least the same level as The Last of Us. Brilliant, beautiful book that should be essential reading for a comic fan.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Piece continues on next page.