Posted by:
Chris Bushley

Review: The Cape #1


WRITER:  Jason Ciaramella ARTIST:  Zach Howard COLORS:  Nelson Daniel LETTERS:  Robbie Robbins PUBLISHER:  IDW RELEASE DATE:  December 22nd, 2010 Based on the short story "The Cape" by Joe Hill   Don't be fooled by the name. This book has nothing to do with a framed cop and his quest to reunite with his family, but it is one of my favorite short stories brought to life in comic form!  Straight from the pages of Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts, "The Cape" is a story about every boy's childhood dream - a magic cape! Made from his baby blanket and deceased father's marine patch, Eric wears his "cape" with pride, defying his brother's attempts to capture him in their backyard game of superheroes. One day, high in a tree, the branch Eric is standing on breaks, but instead of plummeting to his death - he floats! Moments later, the blanket tears and Eric falls being impaled on the very branch that once held him high above. From that single magical yet horrific moment, Eric's life seems destined for failure, as if all his hopes and dreams were used up in that instant of disbelief. Years later, living in his mother's basement, Eric finds his old blanket and to his surprise, he floats yet again! Zach Howard's art is gritty, suspenseful and most of all  magical. From childhood dreams to down-trodden adulthood, Howard conveys each sequence perfectly, leaving you breathless all the way to the shocking conclusion.  Ciaramella does a great job of transferring Hill's vision to comic form, hitting upon all the right emotions needed to make this type of story believable. Though the pacing did seem quick at points, and I really wish that this was a three issue mini instead of a one-shot,  it was well worth the cover price. I just wish there was enough time to build up Eric's character into someone you truly care for. The lack of innocence in the character leaves the ending not as shocking as it should be, but that doesn't make this book any less of a great read! It brings a glimpse of humanity to the world of super heroes, a humanity that isn't always pretty. This is a wonderful tale of magic and redemption, and also one of caution; don't always believe in magic or those who wield it!