In Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #3, writer Gail Simone slows things down significantly to concentrate on her characters stuck inside her chaotic city. This can be a risky move, diverting from fast paced action, but it is definitely aided by the artists Jim Calafiore and Jason Wright. Together those two do a great job pushing the reader through the suspense, and delving deep into the psych of these survivors.
From the beginning of the issue, with a subway twisted and mangled in the streets, Gail hits the ground running. Setting the theme of the entire issue with a haunting series of images builds the necessary suspense to keep the readers hooked. And not only does she do a great job with the environment, she also does a great job of capturing characters goals and motives with both narrative and dialogue. The wordplay between Cody and Mina was very funny, and I even laughed outloud at a few of their panels together. I also enjoyed the backstory of Meredith. Confronting a character with a traumatic moment from their past is a great way to add depth to the otherwise cardboard cutout personality; it is a great way to show character progression, seeing if what they learned in the past will help or hinder this moment. All of which Gail summarizes beautifully and grotesquely.
However, not all of her dialogue was amazing. Having characters slowly summarize the plot throughout the story feels incredibly forced and out of place. If you want to catch a new reader up on what is happening, lengthen the summary behind the cover. I know this harkens back to the original pulps, where characters constantly stated the obvious, but at this point it is overdone. To that end, having characters constantly say each other’s name is just as ridiculous. They know who they are, and so do the readers. At the very most, have them only drop a name once, so new readers are not completely lost.
As far as the art goes, there is not much to say. It was very well done, and I am often surprised by Jim. His attention to detail is insane. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes just to finish a page because I am staring at his backgrounds. And his faces are quite convincing. If I had to give any criticism to his work on this issue, it would be the car inside of The Crimson Shadow’s lair. It seems a little skewed compared to the rest of the page. Regarding the colors, I thought that Jason did a fantastic job this issue. His use of complementary colors, to pull the reader’s attention to where it needed to go, was well executed, making great use of analogous colors for the more somber scenes. From my observations, I would say that Jason just needs to work on his night scenes. They are all well rendered, but the color palette seemed a bit flat. Using more saturation on the characters in the scene might help with that problem.
Though this issue was well done, the story feels a bit repetitive. There are a copious amount of hero inversion stories out there, and with the twist at the end Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis is dangerously close to become Marvel’s AXIS. Which is something I doubt will go unresolved as the series progresses.
If you are already following the story, and a long time fan of Leaving Megalopolis, I would definitely say pick it up. However, if you are new, I would not start with this one; try some of Gail and Jim’s older issues, from the first series, and make up your mind from there. I give this issue 3 out of 5 stars.
- Writer: Gail Simone
- Artist: J. Calafiore
- Cover Artist: J. Calafiore