Cape Fallen is a prequel of sorts to The Cape, which is all about a guy named Eric who gets the chance to basically be Superman. Problem is he’s not the most moral of men and he proceeds to enact vengeance on everyone who ever disappointed him. This new series from IDW focuses on the three days the original story skipped over as he became acquainted with his powers. One might imagine he did terrible things, but this first issue suggests otherwise.
So what’s it about?
Read our exclusive preview.
Why does this matter?
Aside from this being inspired by Joe Hill’s excellent short story, it also continued to fill in an important gap in the original comic series. It involves Eric mistakenly visiting a campsite he attended with his father where he finds a bunch of LARPers. This issue begs the question, “What would such a broken man do when faced with good-hearted people?”
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This first issue does a good job mixing in flashbacks of Eric’s youth visiting a cabin just outside Boston with his time just after acquiring superpowers. He rushes to the camp to find some solace but instead finds an old classmate who bullied him along with a bunch of strangers. They’re all LARPing in a role-playing game and he doesn’t know what to think. Writer Jason Ciaramella does a good job thrusting Eric into a situation anyone would be surprised by. Given how his mental state is probably nowhere near normal, readers will attempt to dissect the character as he ogles his dressed-up new friends.
The most fascinating element of this issue is how Eric deals with such positivity. The characters around him are friendly and even loving. It puts into question how he does the things he goes on to do in The Cape seeing as he’s getting some rather positive energy from this group. The use of flashback adds to the psychoanalysis and helps flesh out Eric’s personality.
The art by Zach Howard (with colors by Nelson Daniel) is out of this world with their detail and expressiveness. The wood grain of a table, the detail of errant trees in the background, hell even the facial hair is detailed to the point where you can’t look away. The book is gorgeous and realistic in a way that makes the characters even more relatable.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It probably goes without saying, but if you haven’t read The Cape you may be at a loss for the purpose of the book. Without knowing what Eric goes on to do in the original series some of the weight of the story is lost. The character gets interesting flashbacks, but knowing what he goes on to do helps add context to this issue.
Is it good?
A good first issue that mixes flashbacks very well into the narrative. It also looks fantastic. This is a psychological drama that should not be missed.
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