The Cape by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, Zach Howard, and Nelson Daniel
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews is likely well aware that I read a lot of Joe Hill. He’s not always an A+ writer but many of his books are and those make up for a few misses. Any prolific writer is bound to have a couple of missteps. It means they’re trying out different things, and that’s good!
The Cape is one of his graphic novels and it maintains his trademark supernatural horror. It is a complete series that can be finished in one sitting if you so desire. It actually does have a solid ending so there is no worries about it being cancelled before you get satisfaction.
The Cape follows Eric, a rather tragic figure who is going through the lowest point of his eternally low life. As a child he had a security blanket that was turned into a cape when he got too big to sleep with it. He believed the cape could make him fly. When testing this theory he fell from a tall tree and sustained a traumatic brain injury that would shape the rest of his life.
As an adult he is unemployed, reliant on his family and friends, and does nothing but play video games to pass the time. He managed to steal his brother’s girlfriend due to their shared love of games but even she is sick of his lack of ambition now and has left him, he suspects, to go back to his very successful doctor brother.
In a night of desperation he rediscovers his old cape and learns that he was right all along, it does give him the power of flight!
What would you do in Eric’s shoes? Would you become a hero and win back your love? Would you start a new life full of adventure? Or would you become a villain?
Eric chooses a dark path with his newly discovered powers. His sad life has made him bitter and spiteful, he uses his new flight powers in creative but pretty evil ways. The Cape does not take the optimistic view that given an opportunity people will perform well. Some people are just assholes.
Joe Hill understands that any power can be used for good or bad. He’s written about magic and supernatural powers on several other occasions and is able to showcase all sides. The Cape is a highly entertaining story about what happens when someone gets a second chance after having their potential squashed early and repeatedly.
I strongly recommend checking out this self contained graphic novel. The Cape is one volume and not part of a larger series. Anyone can enjoy it without any prior knowledge of Hill’s larger works or comic books in general.
5/5 cape wearers 🦹🏻♂️🦹🏻♂️🦹🏻♂️🦹🏻♂️🦹🏻♂️
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If you like darker graphic novels check out The Boys