This spoiler warning is irrelevant. Under no circumstances should you be missing out on this comic.
Were you ready to return to Megalopolis? Of course you weren’t. You may have been excited, sure. But ready? Never. It’s hard to ever really prepare for a series like this. You have to go in expecting the unexpected. And if you’re a fan of the original Leaving Megalopolis, you’ll be happy to hear that Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis kicks off the start of what might be the wildest collaboration between writer Gail Simone and artist Jim Calafiore to date. The two worked hard at creating this city together and, with help from colorist Jason Wright, they have brought it back with more apocalyptic fury than ever.
The comic opens with Southern Belle alongside a bevy of other superheroes-turned-villains. It’s far from clear what she’s planning, but it looks as if her primary goal is to cause pain. It may upset some readers that the superfiends do not perform any great mischief in this one, but it looks like we’ll be getting quite a bit of them in future issues. What we see of them here is about on par for the opening of a series. The main difference is that the usual format has been flipped; while many would put this scene at the end, Simone puts it at the beginning. She begins generating interest immediately.
No, the end is a much different scene. It involves a rather strange fight scene, made all the stranger by the villain’s shift in tone and dialogue from the beginning of the fight to the end. While this fight is happening, there’s also a fight going on outside of Megalopolis. These two fights are interwoven quite well, and the effect is that two characters—almost simultaneously—are revealed to be a little more than we may have initially suspected them to be. The one outside of Megalopolis, who appears to be calm-spoken in his attempts to bring back an escaped character to lead a search for Mina (who he expects to still be alive), may actually be a bit of a violent psychopath. The Crimson Shadow, who appears at first to be a violent psychopath, may actually be the one hero in Megalopolis who isn’t a homicidal maniac.
Throughout this twist-laden roller coaster of a narrative, we are treated to artistry that packs a few twists in its own right. The art is somehow dynamic and colorful in the style of classic superhero comics, yet simultaneously dark and brooding. It’s superheroes meet apocalypse after nightfall, and this is more than just the color work. Calafiore’s use of light and shadow definitely add their fair share to the proceedings. The grime that covers the flesh on costumes of former superheroes such as Southern Belle and Ribbon doesn’t exactly hurt, either.
Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 will leave you wanting a lot more. Waiting for one month for the next installment will be pain. Waiting five for the complete series will be torture. But this is not to say that you will not walk away with a sense of fulfillment. Instead, you will be thankful for a return to this world, and you will be itching with excitement for the weeks to pass so that you may venture into Megalopolis again.
With astounding artwork and intriguing plot structure, Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis will please fans of the original book while enticing newcomers to go out and buy it. My suggestion? Don’t wait too long. As more and more newcomers see this issue, the original will be flying off of shelves and out of storerooms across the globe.