Stuff and Nonsense: Graphic Novel: The Cape


Graphic Novel: The Cape

The Cape by Joe Hill & Jason Ciaramella with illus. by Zach Howard & Nelson Daniel (IDW, 2012)
Sometimes it seemed like I was still falling out of that tree. Like I was going to fall forever.
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Eric who had a blue cape. He was mostly happy. One day, while playing superheroes with his older brother, Eric fell out of a tree ... and in falling, something happened ... and then he was badly injured. Recovering, Eric asked for his cape back, but his mother said she has enough to deal with without  it ("You almost got yourself killed because of that silly thing. I have enough to worry about -- I don't need to add a crippled kid to the list") and threw it away. Time passes and Eric grows into a not-very-nice, whiny man who feels he never got a fair shot at life. Then he and the cape are reunited. And all hell breaks loose.

From the very first page, I thought Eric was an unbearable asshole and I read the book quickly, waiting for him to get his comeuppance. Which he did, but not fast enough to stop Eric from committing a whole range of atrocities. I admit I cheered at the end and was relieved to see Hill did not leave an opening for a sequel (although I understand a prequel is in the works which ... well ... I dunno).

The story telling was excellent, the illustrations so well done with careful use of color and just enough funkiness (?) to give us a taste of Eric's skewed reality. Unfortunately, I was so thoroughly creeped out by Eric that I’m not sure I actually enjoyed The Cape. Even the horrifically funny bear-as-murder-weapon scene and the poignant flashbacks to his childhood, didn’t make me feel better about this book.  It's one of those books I give other people to read, just to know if they'll find it as fucked up as I did.

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