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GothamGal takes on The Cape by Joe Hill
Joe Hill is one of my favorite authors. A fan of his novels, I jumped at the chance to snag a bundle of his comic work in eformat. Comixology included The Cape within the moderately priced bundle, and I am so happy I got the chance to read it.
The Cape starts off as something most kids can identify with–a security blanket. Once Eric gets too old to carry the blanket around, his mother lovingly creates a cape out of the remnants and he loves it. Soon, Eric is wearing the cape everywhere, becoming his daily wear until the day he gets stuck in a tree he should not have been able to climb. He falls out of the tree, his brother watching, claiming that there was a moment where he felt like he was flying, until the cape got stuck in the tree and Eric landed hard on the ground–nearly dying in the process. He is put back together, but him Mom throws away the cape, and Eric lives a pretty hard life. He is continually reminded of the accident and really acts like he has no future. Through all fault of his own, he ends up in his mother's basement and sees the cape of his childhood–but now he realizes it has power–it allows him to fly. Because Eric is in such a dark place, he goes VERY dark and uses his newfound powers to become the perfect anti-hero.
I loved this concept–it was part The Giving Tree and part the origin story of either your favorite super hero or super villain. I wondered in many ways if there had ever been a chance that Eric would have turned good, or if he was almost meant to use his dark heart and powers for that purpose.
I have read other books (and graphic novels) by Joe Hill and with The Cape he has turned me into a lifetime reader. This, while a one off, is a great, full story that pulls you in and will change the way you think about super powers and the people whom may wield them. I would love to see Hill's take on another popular concept–even another children's story. Yes, I equate the blanket in this to the tree in the aforementioned The Giving Tree because I think it just fits beautifully. Even with it's dark bits, The Cape proves that a Joe Hill is a masterful spinner of tales and is worth a try–even if you have not read comics previously–a good story will be able to draw you in and get you involved.
As I said, I picked up my electronic copy of Joe Hill's The Cape at Comixology during a bundle sale, but it can be found at your favorite retailer.