Superheroes have been a landmark staple to the comic medium since its inception. It’s hard to find a new and interesting take on the “superheroes gone bad” story. In almost every story of this type, the rogue hero always finds redemption or seems to be possessed by an evil entity or just manipulated into doing bad things. Mark Bertolini’s new graphic novel “Long Gone” gives readers a pretty unique angle on that formula. You probably won’t be prepared by how astonishingly graphic, intense and original this book is. I certainly wasn’t prepared for it when going in.
The basic premise of the book is simple. The world’s greatest heroes have snapped and have gone on a mental killing spree that kills off most of the human race. They kill every man, woman and child they can find. Rarely do you every see superheroes turned into such horrific monsters. Bertolini has basically created a world like The Walking Dead, but instead of zombies it’s deadly superheroes. Can you imagine a world where humans with the powers of “Superman” have become crazy, murderous, rapist, monsters that are unkillable. That’s scarier than any movie monster ever created in my opinion. The former superheroes have destroyed the government, taken over the world and have left it a broken down wasteland.
The other great twist to the story is the hero of the book. It’s not some lone hero that’s defying the other superhumans or an army of secret government soldiers out to get revenge. No, the hero of this story is a retired army soldier, Abraham Connelly who happens to be an old grandfather with a bad back. He looks like Bruce Willis at age 70. Speaking of which, I would love for Bruce to do this movie once he gets to that age. The only reason he wasn’t killed during the original attack by the “super humans” was because he was still in his bathtub then they destroyed his house. When he emerged from the chaos he sees his whole family dead, along with everyone he ever knew. So how exactly does this old man get his revenge on an army of superhumans? Well I don’t really want to give that away. The action is intense and the twists come by the dozen. The ending will really throw you for a wallop.
If you’re a fan of Bertolini’s last superhero story “Breakneck 215ink, you know he can deliver the goods on great comic storytelling. If there’s one thing I thought was a bit lacking in the plot, it was the “Superhumans” themselves. Most of the characters weren’t really fleshed out. We never get much back story on why all of them went totally kill crazy. I would think there would be one or two that would oppose them, but it seemed like they all just up and went crazy at the same time.
The art by Ted Pogorzelski is gritty and pulpy. He captures the mood and feeling of the story perfectly. He’s not a slick, stylish artist, but that style wouldn’t work with this story. This is an ugly world with ugly people doing horrible things. The scopes of his panels are grand. You’d need the budge of a dozen Avenger movies to pull off the devastation shown in the book. The violence is not for the weak. You will see dead bodies hanged by the hundreds, children blown to bits, limbs flying off and guts blazing at you. So, I would suggest not giving this book to a young child to read. This is an adult story. ET Dollamn also turns in a bang up job with the lettering on the book as well. He makes the book look professional on level with that of the big two. So many times on indie titles the lettering can hinder my reading experience, but not here.
So in closing, I’m suggesting that fans out there should seek this book out. It’s currently released by Markosia Publishing. You can order the book online through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or at the Markosia website. It’s a definite must read for fans looking for a dark, gritty, apocalyptic take on superhumans. Seek this out.