In the Big Apple, a highly skilled street illusionist named Adam blows the minds of crowds with logic-defying acts, while surreptitiously using his artistry to steal from corrupt Wall Street investment bankers and re-distribute their ill-begotten wealth to those in need. He’s a modern-day Robin Hood, but his travails garner the attention of the local authorities. While evading their pursuit, Adam is confronted by three suits and quickly ascertains that freedom has a cost-in order to maintain his liberty, he must join this clandestine Black Ops organization simply known as Cloaks.
Cloaks feels like a bit of an action film pitch in comic book form. That’s not a derogatory comment, just noting that it’s a very streamlined and accessible piece that seems to draw from popular social trends of the past 10 years to form its backbone. Even if all of those pieces together don’t end up saying or meaning much, its an enjoyable enough ride. In this issue we see magic, an occupy/banking crisis reference, flashbacks, parkour and even the odd Anonymous nod. It leaves Cloaks feeling a little disjointed at times, especially when those nods seem thrown in for the sake of the reader rather than to make the world they live in feel rich and believable.
Still, it’s an interesting enough comic, covering the adventures of Adam, who has learnt what seems like real magic, which he uses to not only rob the rich, but also pick up hot ladies. Think Now You See Me crossed with a digital age Robin Hood. It’s not all attractive ladies and managing to live on the street without stinking though (now that’s real magic!). Adam is also a wanted fugitive and the latter half of the first issue involves him being pursued by a mysterious government agency.
It may sound like I’m just recapping things a bit, and though I’m trying to avoid that style, there’s not much else I can do for Cloaks. All first issues, especially mini-series, struggle with getting the balance between exposition and character development and it feels like Cloaks got so caught up in trying to set up its premise whilst jamming in all these little pieces meant to make us care that in the end you can’t. There’s nothing other than the surface level, and whilst that may be enough for
fans of Dynamo or magic in general, its not really enough to grip me personally.
In the end its not as if Cloaks
is bad. Its just average. Those interested in its subject matter will love it and I can’t say you shouldn’t check it out. I’m just not sure if I would recommend it either. Lets hope later issues get better.
Cover image courtesy of Boom! Studios
Cloaks Issue 1 is available via Comixology,
or your local comic book retailer.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.