While both The Cape and its prequel The Cape 1969 have been available in other formats, IDW’s deluxe hardcover edition brings the two parts of this emotionally charged tale together in a beautiful hardcover volume that also includes an extensive art gallery and the original Joe Hill short story with the author’s notes. This new format is ideal for hardcore fans who are completists, as well as newcomers to the work.
I, personally, knew nothing about The Cape before reading this edition, and I ended the book feeling like something inside me had irrevocably changed. The story of love, revenge, sacrifice, and vengeance reached to something inside of me and drew it to the surface before I recognized its presence. At the same time The Cape is not an easy read; its dark, heartbreaking plot feels just realistic enough to make readers examine their own relationships and actions, which felt slightly uncomfortable. When combined with the mysterious explanation for the cape’s powers in The Cape 1969, it becomes haunting and powerful.
The artwork in The Cape 1969 and The Cape works well to present the story’s world as realistic without appearing photographic. Many of the chapters are very monochromatic, which adds a layer of mystery and magic to otherwise mundane settings. For example, the Vietnamese camp in The Cape 1969 looks very drab and brown; even the green tones are muted and seem to have a layer of dust across them, which projects Captain Chase’s fear and despair at his fate.
Overall, The Cape is not a story that will appeal to everyone, but I highly recommend it for anyone who can appreciate tales that don’t always feel good to experience. It is a wonderful snapshot of how mysterious abilities do not always turn someone into a hero. This new edition also includes some lovely extras that could please even long-term fans of the series.
4.5 Semper Fi Badges out of 5