by Will Holden

I know what you’re thinking, “This looks like a superhero book”, and you’d be right. But beneath the capes and tights veneer is a story which belies its horror influences.

Written by Gail Simone with art by Jim Calafiore, Leaving Megalopolis was originally produced with funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign and was subsequently published by Dark Horse Comics in 2014.

The story revolves around all the superheroes of the titular city, Megalopolis, going inexplicably insane and turning on the citizens they used to protect. A small band of survivors attempt to flee the city but are doggedly pursued by the bloodthirsty heroes. This is where we pick up the tale, the initial event has already taken place with little explanation as to why the city has descended into madness. This gives a real sense of tension and chaos as the reader is plunged straight into this world headfirst.

Jim Calafiore’s art is a wonderful accompaniment to the story, with this team having worked together on Secret Six for DC Comics to great aplomb. Calafiore’s art provides diverse characters full of expression, be it the fear and awe of the survivors running for their very lives or the fury and hatred painted on the faces of the deranged heroes. The city feels like a living, breathing place akin to Metropolis or Gotham and while clearly modelled on New York, it has an identity all its own.

This graphic novel has the façade of your grandad’s superhero books but it reads like a zombie or monster horror story, the focal characters are powerless in the face of overwhelming assailants and can only try to escape their fates.

5 headless citizens out of 5.

Pick up a copy of Leaving Megalopolis here:

Or head over to your local Travelling Man store!

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