You could be forgiven if your first reminisces upon reading the premise to the new and eagerly anticipated Dark Horse Comics, four-issue miniseries, Cloaked, was 1986’s now legendary, genre-breaking comic book/graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns.
That story, in case you’ve never poked your head out from an Archie Digest comic for the better part of four decades (no judgement!), saw writer/artist Frank Miller turn the comic book world upside down, pointing it in a brand-new direction. Over four “prestige format” issues, an aged Batman comes out of retirement and begins ridding Gotham City of the criminal scum that had complete infested it during his absence.
It made for a formidable story and an important work of art, helping bring “comic books” into a more literary spotlight.
Cloaked initially echoes that famous tale but uses that publishing memory as a springboard into a new direction, one that has firm standing within twenty-first century society.
Written by comicdom’s luminous creator and publisher, Mike Richardson (Mask, 47 Ronin, Star Wars, Aliens) and illustrated by Jordi Armengol in a juicy noir-style, Cloaked is a four-issue monthly miniseries that aims to uncover truth – whatever the cost.
Twenty-five years ago, a mask-clad vigilante appeared and in a blaze of violence, rid a city swathed in crime and corruption of its inherent filth. The hero was hailed across all of America for those efforts. And then he mysteriously disappeared, the myth of unknown man, growing with every passing day.
It’s the Batman legend, of course. And Armengol’s wonderfully gritty art will have you salivating, recalling Miller and inker Klaus Janson’s dynamic panel and page construction in that high-water mark Dark Knight Returns series from decades ago.
It’s meant to. But where DKR was a response to grizzled aging, 80’s Reaganism and yuppie-gone-mad America, mixed with the blood of crime, Batman’s inner demons and infamous rogues gallery, Cloaked takes a decidedly different turn.
Like we see in the polarized political headlines of today, at its heart, Cloaked is the uncovering of buried truths and the reveal of realities that go against long-standing beliefs, whatever the cost. Our icons, whomever they may be and for whatever the varied reasons, wear many masks. What happens when we take the mask off?
Make the run to your local comic book shop and find out what lies beneath the disguise by picking up Cloaked #1 today!