Joe Hill's The Cape #1

A comic review article by: Maxwell Yezpitelok
Let's open this review with a really bland and boring question: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD SUPERPOWERS? Okay, now try that again without the bullshit, you self-deceiving bastard -- What would you really do if you had superpowers? If even thinking about that made you feel uncomfortable –and especially if it didn't—then by all means buy this comic.

IDW's The Cape works fine as a cool little story, but it works even better as a beginning: I'm not surprised to find out that it was originally meant to be a one-shot, but I'm delighted that it's been extended into a miniseries. I suppose an ongoing comic based on the character would be too much to ask, especially since Mr. Joe Hill is already giving us the fantastic Locke and Key… but man, wouldn't that be cool. Am I getting ahead of myself? Sure, but it's hard not to get excited after reading a comic that's so obviously inspired and motivated by ideas.

Good ones, too. The main concept would be something like this: As a kid, Eric would never let go of the cape his mom made for him and used to fantasize about having superpowers. What happens when he finds that cape again as a lonely unemployed adult for whom things haven't quite worked out the way he planned? If you're familiar with Mr. Hill's work, you probably know he's not just gonna sit around and mope for 20 pages -- some fantastical shit is about to go down. I'm just going to point out that, although the one-shot's story contains a perfectly satisfying beginning, middle and ending, the character is interesting and complex enough to support an ongoing comic, should they decide to take that route (crap, there I go again).

As I said before, this beast is fueled by ideas. Messieurs Hill and Ciaramella's enthusiasm is palpable in their writing, infecting the wonderful storytelling of Mr. Zach Howard and the rich and nuanced coloring of Mr. Nelson Dániel (an accomplished artist in his own right). About Mr. Howard: usually when a review praises an artist's storytelling skills, you can expect the work to be understated and sparse. This is the exact opposite -- his art is detailed, modern, and yet it's at the complete service of the story (a rare talent: just look at, well, almost everything DC is putting out). Really, my hat is off to Mr. Howard. Who else could make a sequence of a dude flipping off a tree look so cool?

This is the type of story you'll wanna read again as soon as you finish the comic, and thankfully it's produced with enough attention to detail to withstand the extra attention. Mr. Ciaramella's script is elegant well-paced: the comic really does read like it was written by one person. At no point would you suspect it was an adaptation of one of Mr. Hill's short stories if I hadn't just told you. I know this because I didn't suspect that either until I used Google just now to check the spelling of “Ciaramella”. Good thing I did, otherwise I would've looked really foolish for not mentioning such an important fact in my review. Guess it's time to shut up now, huh.

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