REVIEW: ‘Cloaks’ #1 (of 4)

(BOOM! Studios, 2014)

Written by Caleb Monroe
Illustrated by Mariano Navarro
Color Artwork by Gabriel Cassata
Lettering by Ed Dukeshire

Summary: Adam D’Aquino is a young master of illusion who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Sort of a modern day Robin Hood, so to speak. To many he is known simply as “The Kid” and to a few his true identity is known. Now when some of those few, who are not very nice, come looking for him, Adam finds himself stumbling into something he perhaps didn’t ask for. There are 6 basic tricks to illusion magic, and Adam has mastery over all of them.

Review: This actually a pretty solid opening issue. We get to know Adam and some of the things that make him do what he does. And while he is a criminal, he’s also a nice young lad who pays back what he’s been given. I find that endearing, and already I’m rooting for him.

I’m a huge fan of magic, illusionist magic, spell magic, whatever you wanna classify as “magic” chances are I’m a fan of it. There’s something sinisterly wonderful about playing God and getting to control the elements for yourself. Adam seems to think so as well, as he relishes in what he does. And he loves to see people’s reactions to it. Though some of his past is shrouded in mystery, we do get enough to understand why he loves it. The mask he wears is also very reminiscent of the Anonymous movement going on in the real world right now, and how Adam works in this issue if he were real, I’m sure he’d be a member.

The pacing of the issue is quite wonderful, with it feeling like by issues end that a lot happens. And a lot does actually happen. Even though there are a few pages in the middle where the pacing takes a fluctuating dip, it never gets too bad that I found myself not enjoying the story. Monroe seems to have a grasp on where he’s taking the story and I trust the next 3 issues will be in good hands.

Some of the problems I did have were few, but mostly in the beginning we don’t get information on who Adam is talking to when a kid mentions to him he’d like a brother again. I wonder if that’ll come back up, but for now it seemed kind of out of place. There were a few other out of place moments as well, from the awkward segue of Adam doing a magic trick for mind reading and then next we see him he’s pilfering a safe. The two ARE connected, but getting from one to the other took out of the story for a brief moment.

There is also a page where we see Adam as a kid talking to someone who was/is his father and the man looks almost like a slightly younger version of the man who captures Adam near the end of the issue. I’m sure this was coincidence, but seeing two very close resembling characters in the same issue also took me out of the story when I realized it.

The art by Novarro is really good and a perfect fit the story in my opinion. It’s very kinetic, an full of energy. There’s no moment when I thought the character’s were static and simply posing for a shot that SHOULD be in motion but is simply frozen. That’s a good thing, since the story just kept moving at a brisk pace. His style actually reminds me just a bit of a mix of Paul Pelletier’s art style and  Mark Buckingham’s. Not a bad pair of powerhouses to be compared to, really. But in the end  Novarro does have a style of his own, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of his work.

Cloaks is shaping up pretty well with a strong first issue. I am hopeful the final 3 will be worth the monthly wait to see how the story plays out. Here’s to hoping Cloaks doesn’t pull a fast one over our eyes and make us want it to disappear while it steals our money. That would just be a shame.

Final Score: 3 Illusionist Magic Tricks out of 5


DERRICK-image

Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

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