Written by Gail Simone
Drawn by Jim Calafiore
Published by Dark Horse Comics
This issue starts off with Harold joining Bennett and meeting the rest of the team that’s due to sneak into Megalopolis. The other soldiers are a British man named Samuel, and married couple Rainwater and Ethan. But then to Harold’s surprise (and mine), the group also includes Michael and Meredith.
This was the first possible mis-step of the series for me. I understood why Michael was included last issue, to give a solid connection to the original graphic novel, but including two of the other survivors as well feels like overkill. Trying to look at this “realistically”, it’s hard to imagine that this elite team of ex-soldiers would want one, much less three untrained civilians tagging along. I would think they would present more of a possible liability than anything else.
Anyway, the issue is also intercut with transcripts from a Senate committee hearing about the Megalopolis disaster, talking about various relief efforts to aid the civilian survivors. We see that while the heroes allow food and limited medical aid, they destroy any comforts. A brutal, but also hilarious, splash page shows a bunch of heroes destroying donated Christmas gifts.
We see Mina back at the abandoned comic-book shop with the Crimson Shadow, who is revealed to be a man named Cody, whom Mina knew has a kid. Since as we learned in the OGN, the only heroes who went insane were the ones with super powers, Cody is still sane. For years he’d been faking having super powers, and not even his teammates knew, so they still don’t know. He claims he’s been pretending to go along with their schemes, while secretly helping the innocent. Then Southern Belle shows up and…things get tense.
Back to the soldier team, they enter the city, where they’re immediately confronted by another hero, who is dealt with. But in the confusion Rainwater and Ethan split off from the team. It seems that they have an agenda of their own.
Gail Simone increases the tension in this issue, as the stakes for the main characters rises. And with Jim Calafiore illustrating the action, this book grips the reader from the first page to the last. Very awesome.