Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Gail Simone
Illustrated by J. Calafiore
Colored by Jason Wright
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Megalopolis was the safest city anywhere. A host of superheroes guarded the city: Overlord, the Man of Granite. Red Flame. Fleet. Southern Belle. Until something evil burst through the ground, enveloping the city in a sulfuric cloud and turning the city’s caped heroes into homicidal maniacs. The city was quarantined—shut off from the outside world—but one group of survivors escaped. Now, the group that left Megalopolis is going back in . . .
I'll be honest I had no idea what to expect. That being said Wow this was pretty intense to me. It's no secret that I love Gail and her stories usually just are so good and the characterization is so spot on that I get lost in them. This one is no exception well there is one exception there's a lot of cussing going on here. If this is what they are like now that they are utterly evil then I can't wait to actually get a flashback or read about what they were like when they were good because the difference has to be night and day. Sometimes swearing seems like a gratuitous way to invoke evilness in a character but here it just sets the mood for who they are now. Gail really went the extra mile in differentiating between just using swearer swearing as a tool and as a way of showcasing who someone is.
I also have to admit calafiori interior artwork here is absolutely phenomenal! I'm not sure I've ever seen his line work and composition be this polish before and yes I am counting the time he and Simone work together on the Secret Six. I am infatuated with the familiarity yet uniqueness of each character created here. The city itself seems to have taken on a life of its own and perfectly fits with the characters and where they are in life, the villains. I cannot get over just how good the interiors are here seriously, from the panel a out to page progression you name it everything here is spectacularly done.
Aside from the villains themselves we have another side story going on too. There's a mysterious woman in camo watching them and seeming to be some kind of resistance fighter. We also see a man approached in a bar, he's being recruited to go back into Megalopolis. The characterization here is incredibly interesting and there's a few nuggets among the memorabilia on the walls that kind of lend itself to say this establishment welcome people of all kinds. There's also a proper flashback to young boy buying a comic book in a shot and a girl wondering why the heck this boy would want that book and a character discussion that goes on with I sounds pretty interesting. I really think that the attention to detail there is pretty phenomenal considering what you see online these days in groups or forums.
If the past is going to be any indication of the future this series is going to rock it into the stratosphere. This team has what it takes to really pick up where they left off in telling tales together with that kind of synergy rarely seen anymore. Not to mention when the heroes are secondary in there to try and stop them yeah it means the villains rule of the book and that is something that we don't see often enough.
Dark Horse really knows what they're doing and this team well let's just say they're back and better than ever.