Absolute power corrupts absolutely. That’s the old adage right? So the same can be said for the world of superheroes. Imagine the total destruction that could be laid to waste if someone like Superman ever got it in his head that we puny humans needed to be removed from the planet. We wouldn’t have a prayer. While it is fun to daydream about Gods and heroes that would swoop in to save the day, we would be remiss to not include those visions of a darker nature.
What Simone and Calafiore have done here is nothing new. Evil beings that ravage the planet is a story that has been around for a good long time, but this creative team has taken that nightmare to street level and written about a superhero apocalypse (No, not the blue lipped villain of X-Men lore) from the perspective of a common civilian. But there lies the rub. The heroics of this story sure as hell don’t wear capes.
Mina is a deputy. She’s just a regular old beat cop with a difficult past. She doesn’t wear a cape, she doesn’t strut around in spandex, and yet it’s the actions and leadership of this woman who saves lives. It’s easy to state the argument that the real heroes of the world rarely get the hero’s welcome and adulation that they deserve, but in this story, it’s hard enough to keep everyone alive long enough to make it from one block to the next; let alone worry about a little praise.
Megalopolis finds itself at the epicenter of a super powered incident that turns the beloved heroes of the city into blood thirsty, psychotic monsters that kill on a whim and destroy humans for pleasure. From using citizens as bait to lure out other survivors, to dropping people to their deaths from high above the city, everything that made these individuals super is now what makes them the ultimate threat to survival.
Part cat-and-mouse, part walking dead, part justice league; this tale has a little something for everyone, but what really drives the entire epic forward is the heart at its center. It’s the moments of humanity between regular citizens that makes this book tick. This disaster brings out the true nature of those left alive. Some go mad, others become cowards, and leaders emerge from the unlikeliest of places. Humanity reveals itself when the morals of a person are stripped away. When it’s kill or be killed the time for action becomes paramount.
Mina does what she does best and makes the hard choice; it reminds me of another famous cop in comics that fights zombies, Rick Grimes. Mina is the decider. Her words become the rule by which the group uses to survive, and while she has more than enough reasons to question herself she always does what she thinks is right. Even to the point of sacrificing her life for the safety and wellbeing of the group. (That sure sounds like a spoiler, but it’s not)
The hardcover comes with extras, a 14 page supplemental story, character sketches and descriptions, the creators breakdown pages, and an alternate cover.
Final Thoughts: It humans who are the real heroes of this world gone to super human hell.
Final Grade: 4 Stars
Leaving Megalopolis Vol. 1 HC
Story: Gail Simone
Art: Jim Calafiore
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Dark Horse