Everybody likes revisionist superhero comics, right? Okay, maybe it’s a little overdone, but they’re still at least a little fun if they’re done well. Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis is admittedly not the best title for a comic, but it’s still a fun ride while it lasts. Slightly forgettable, but pretty enjoyable, Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #3 delivers a thrilling chapter in this sequel to the original Kickstarter comic. In the first installment of this series, Leaving Megalopolis, the eponymous city is home to dozens of super powered beings. They are all essentially copies of more famous heroes, something we are accustomed to in the revisionist genre. Due to the fact that they all live in the same city, Megalopolis is the safest city in the entire world… until that all changes. Some type of monster lands in the middle of the city, and in the ensuing battle emits some type of gas that transforms the loving, brave heroes into murderous fiends. The heroes go from protecting the people of the city to hunting them down. In a mixture of The Boys, Crossed, and any human hunting story (Most Dangerous Game, Hunger Games, Battle Royale) that you want to pick, shit gets bad quick. The story follows a mall cop named Mina and a band of survivors as they try to escape the city. It’s also worth noting that the heroes cannot leave the city limits for whatever reason. The comic is essentially a game of cat and mouse. We get to watch as heroes randomly appear and tear humans apart in incredibly gory fashion. Ultimately Mina gets her friends to safety but sacrifices herself, and this is where the second arc begins.
With the help of some very wealthy and well-armed mercenaries some of the previous characters from the first book return to help rescue Mina (who is now believed to be alive). The story focuses on both Mina and her struggles pregnant and alone in this hellish warzone, and the team of survivors trying to rescue her. Okay, so obviously the mercenaries don’t really care about rescuing Mina, and in this issue it is revealed that they are in pursuit of Mr. Valiant, a billionaire tycoon who also happens to be the leader of all of the supervillains. The belief is that the supervillains were untouched by the gas that transformed the heroes and can defeat them and save the city, if they want to do that.
Overall this comic is a fun read and does what it’s supposed to: keep reading it. I read the entire first book in one sitting, it’s definitely enjoyable. My only issue with it is that it’s a little surface level. Sure there are some great attempts by author Gail Simone to give depth to the characters, but in the end it felt like another take on Watchmen’s “what if superheroes were evil” type story, except without all the philosophy. It’s a wild romp through what could’ve been some heavy reading, but in that way it excels. I’m not saying that everything needs to be some deep or philosophical thing, especially comics, and I don’t think that Simone and Calafiore are even going for that.
What they did was create a wickedly fast-paced, violent action movie starring some truly twisted superheroes. If you like watching a bizarro Superman rip people’s spines out, or a murderous Human Torch melt someone’s skull, this comic is for you. The light at the end of this tunnel is that hopefully someone or something will come around that will stop them, but not before this comic gets your adrenaline pumping and your fingers flipping those pages faster than Fleet (their version of Flash) can cut your head off.
Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #3 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Jim Calafiore Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/9/16 Format: Mini-series, Print/Digital