In December, we’ll be releasing a one-shot that will be the best thing you read all month. No, really — you can accuse me of being biased, which I am, but that doesn’t mean the statement is any less true. We’ve put out a lot of good comics this year, and I’m not ranking them by any means (I love them all, of course), but I can tell you that THE CAPE, which is in stores December 22, will remind you why you love comics in the first place. In short, without hyping it too much, it’s what Mark Millar would like SUPERIOR to be.
Reason 1: THE CAPE is a Joe Hill story — not related in any way to the coming TV show despite sharing the same name. It was the story that originally caught my attention three years, when I first read Hill’s 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS short-story collection. The story that made us want to see if Joe had any good ideas for comics. So THE CAPE (along with the book’s other standout story, “Pop Art”) is really the reason LOCKE & KEY exists. If the images above don’t make it clear, despite the story’s “superhero-esque” title, it’s definitely not your average “you will believe a man can fly” tale of superheroics. It’s much nastier, and better, than that. Here’s the description of the story from Joe’s blog:
Eric is a twentysomething burnout, who just lost a girlfriend and a job. Once, though, he was the Red Bolt, and with his home-made cape he could fly. Now the cape is back in his hands, and Eric’s future is looking up… and up…
Reason 2: It’s a self-contained story. It’s pretty rare in today’s comics world that there are unconnected, standalone stories that don’t require any knowledge of anything or anyone. THE CAPE is just that — 22 economical pages, telling a complete story (that all said, there’s a good chance that there will be a full THE CAPE miniseries next year. But that won’t have any bearing on your ability to enjoy the full, finite story being told here. Jason Ciaramella, who also worked with Joe on the KODIAK one-shot last summer, again works with Joe to adapt the tale to comics, and they really did a great job bringing the story to life here.
Reason 3: The art will amaze and astound you. The pencils and inks are by Zach Howard, who’s one of my very favorite people and one of the most talented artists working in this industry today. Zach was the artist on my first published comic (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, in 2005) and as much as I loved his work then (my biases abound here, I know), he’s only gotten better. You can also catch his work on display on some of our G.I. JOE: COBRA covers. And as much as his work on this issue astounds, it’s made that much better by colorist Nelson Daniel. Nelson’s work on these pages really does complete the whole “dream team” aspect of this issue, as you can see from his work on Zach’s covers above and the interior pages also posted here.
Reason 4: Gabriel Rodriguez is also involved with the issue. That’s Gabe’s cover directly above, the SUPERMAN 75 homage (Gabe handled both art and colors on the image). And since Gabriel is another of my favorite people/most talented artists around, as well as the co-creator of LOCKE & KEY, it just adds to the project’s allure, having him contribute this incentive cover.
Reason 5: See below (technically, this is five more reasons in itself, since every page shows you what you’re in for).
Reason 5.1: Alright, just one more thing. THE CAPE features the only cover you’ll see all month that features someone spreading good holiday cheer in this fashion (this is for a cover exclusive to Jetpack Comics in New Hampshire. You can get this one directly from Jetpack. The back cover’s got an additional and equally warm holiday wish from Joe, too):