Written by Gail Simone
Art by Jim Calafiore
Living in Canada has made participation in most Kickstarter campaigns prohibitively expensive, as the shipping rates for graphic novels have become a touch exorbitant over the last couple of years (thank you Peak Oil). When I saw that Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore, the creators behind The Secret Six, my favourite DC comic of the new century, were collaborating on a creator-owned graphic novel though, and that they had priced it reasonably, I was more than happy to support the endeavour.
Leaving Megalopolis is the kind of book you would expect from these two, were they not fettered by corporate sensibility. The story is set in a city filled with powered heroes, which gives it the reputation of being the safest city in the United States. Something has happened though, and it's turned all of the heroes into killers with no respect for the human lives they had previously spent so much time protecting. Now, they roam the city searching for people who have been hiding out, and force people to turn on one another to survive for a day or two longer.
The closest we come to a hero in this book is Mina, a police officer (maybe) who starts to pull together a small group of people to try to escape the city limits. As we follow them from one disturbing scene to another (this book doesn't reach Crossed levels of gore, but it comes close), we are shown flashbacks to various stages of Mina's life, and come to appreciate her as the sort of complex female character that Simone writes so well.
Jim Calafiore is one of those excellent artists who, I've felt, doesn't get near the recognition he deserves. He has a strong sense of character in his figures, although I started to wonder if some of the Kickstarter rewards involved getting backers drawn into the book, as a few people looked very photo-referenced in places. He also writes and draws a backup story that helps flesh out a few of the super-powered characters we see in passing earlier in the book.
In all, this is a very capable graphic novel. There has already been some talk on-line about revisiting these characters and this location, which doesn't seem like it would be too easy to do, but I do know that I'll be there to support any future collaborations between this duo.