After the Cape #1 Review

Story Title: N/A
Reviewed by: Mathan “Wow” Erhardt

Written by: Howard Wong & Jim Valentino
Penciled & Inked by: Marco Rudy
Lettered by: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Kristen Simon
Publisher: Image Comics

The issue begins with Ethan lying in bed dreaming of a promising future. He then begins his day; waking up his two children and sending them off to school. His wife comes home from her job, working graveyard at a diner and the two make quality use of a kid-free house. Ethan then sets out on his day, but decides to stop off at a bar before his scheduled meeting.

Then we flashback to a lifetime ago, when Ethan was the superhero Captain Gravity. We witness, possibly his lowest moment; an intervention by his colleagues, which results in his getting expelled from the group.

Back in the present the guys Ethan was to meet find him drunk at the bar. He assures them that he can continue with the plan. They then proceed to rob a bank aided by Ethan’s powers. Afterward when it comes time to split up the money, Ethan gets greedy and takes more than his share, via intimidation using his powers. His cohorts are less than happy.

Ethan returns home, basking in his newfound wealth and promises his family a brighter tomorrow. After the promise is made, the phone rings. On the other end is a third party that his cohorts have turned to. He threatens Ethan’s family and demands a meeting. Realizing that his life of crime is far from over Ethan returns to alcohol.

Wong has created a captivating story. While the notion of a down on his luck hero turning to crime isn’t new, Wong presents it in such a stark fashion that is feels revolutionary. He manages to make Ethan a character that’s easy to despise, yet oddly sympathetic. He also has me equally dreading and anticipating the next issue.

Rudy’s art is the perfect fit for the story. The black & white art makes the story feel that much more real, as though it’s a documentary utilizing archival footage. His faces emote and his body language is impeccable. The actual bank hold up is perfectly illustrated. The art is so perfectly rendered that I wouldn’t mind seeing Rudy’s work uncolored in the future.