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Review: Cloaked #1

Cloaked #1

Out of nowhere a vigilante appeared to strike fear into criminals. A mix between Batman and the Punisher, the “hero” took on crime in a “major American metropolis” and then disappeared. Twenty-five years later one of the richest people in the world has hired a former police officer, now detective, to try to figure out who the mystery hero really was. Cloaked #1 is an interesting start to the series that sets up an intriguing mystery that mixes noir/detective style with spandex.

Written by Mike Richarson, Cloaked #1 feels a bit like a throwback to 1990s Dark Horse when series like Hellboy and X were just starting out. There’s a “get back to the roots” aspect about it that’s intriguing in its execution and look. The concept of the series is pretty simple, unmask a hero who disappeared but the comic takes that and mixes it with a look and style that’s much more like the recent renaissance of detective comics that have launched in the past decade.

Roger “Jake” Stevens is the detective at the center of the story and his character is rooted in the genre, strereotypes, and clichés. He’s a former police officer. He’s slightly crooked and doesn’t follow rules. He grew up a troubled youth. Then there’s the relationship issues including an affair. It’s almost like check list for the genre was used when creating the character. It’s not a bad thing and in some ways makes getting into the series a bit easier. It’s familiar and allows the reader to just sit back and enjoy the concept without having to really focus too much on the character specifics. We generally know who Jake is since we’ve seen this character so many times in the past.

Part of the throwback charm to Cloaked #1 is the art by Jordi Armengol. Joined by Nate Piekos on lettering, the comic looks like it would have fit right in with the Dark Horse Legend imprint. It also has a certain look to it that has it have a vibe similar to the modern detective comics that have been made popular by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and others. Interestingly, I think the art actually stands out most in the action scenes featuring the former superhero and has me wanting to see a series of that character with Armengol on art. There’s some issues, a sidekick’s forehead looks a little weird and out of proportion, but overall, there’s a solid match of the art to the style of story.

Cloaked #1 is a debut with a lot of potential. The comic ends in an interesting place and it’s easy to make some guesses as to where it will go from here. Hopefully, the series delivers more than my current suspicions but its mix of spandex and detective stories is an interesting one that creates a read that’s just slightly different than what else is on the shelf.

Story: Mike Richardson Art: Jordi Armengol
Color: Jordi Armengol Lettering: Nate Piekos
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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