Superheroes and Lovecraftian madness: “Leaving Megalopolis”

Leaving Megalopolis

Leaving Megalopolis Volume 1
Original Graphic Novel Review

The following is written by Jason Aiken.

If you would have asked me what my favorite comic book series was from 2010 through 2011, my answer would have been Secret Six. The series was written by Gail Simone with artwork by Jim Calafiore (from issue 17 through 36), and published by DC Comics. It was a great book in the tradition of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad, focusing on a team of villains whom you just couldn’t help but root for. When the title was cancelled with issue 36 I was really bummed. Until I heard about the Leaving Megalopolis Kickstarter campaign a year later in 2012.

Leaving Megalopolis (purchase it here) is an independent, creator owned graphic novel written by Gail Simone with artwork by Jim Calafiore, the beloved creative team of Secret Six. In 2012 they set their Kickstarter goal for $34,000.00. They raised $117,660.00. To say there was an interest in this project from the comics community is an understatement.

click to enlarge

On the surface the book appears to be an apocalyptic type tale, with the superheroes of Megalopolis turning on the citizens who they have always protected. An easy pitch would be The Walking Dead, but with homicidal superheroes instead of zombies. Luckily for the rest of the world, the insane supers are confined to the Megalopolis city limits.

Now why would Lovecraft eZine readers be interested in this? Well that’s the unexpected kicker. The source of the superheroes’ madness is a giant tentacled monster that the heroes vanquished prior to going insane. The battle is shown in a few flashback pages with the heroes battling the creature as it emerges from a hole in the ground.

The story mainly focuses on a group of survivors, who are struggling to leave the former safe haven of Megalopolis and cross the bridge outside of the supers’ reach. If you are interested in seeing what a Lovecraftian creature’s effect would be on superheroes, then you want to check this book out. Calafiore and Simone pull very little punches when it comes to violence, and that’s just in their mainstream work. Seeing them truly be able to cut loose in this independent title all of their own is a sight to see. Both are in top form. The action scenes are great and the story has plenty of twists, turns, and suspense.

I’ve had the Kickstarter version for a while, but Dark Horse Comics released the mass market edition on September 30th, 2014. You can also purchase the digital version from Comixology if you are into that (although I think the price tag is just a bit steep for a digital original graphic novel). If you like Lovecraft, The Walking Dead, and super heroes, this will be right up your alley.

lmegap4Leaving Megalopolis

Written by Gail Simone

Illustrated by Jim Calafiore

Colors by Jason Wright

Letters & Production by Dave Sharpe

Jason Aiken is the producer and host of Pulp Crazy. A video blog and podcast dedicated to classic pulp stories and themes.

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