As much as I love fun, heroic superhero comics that rely on tales of the fantastic to entertain, I also love a good dose of reality every once in while. I love superhero comics like Watchmen, Astro City, and more recently, The Boys, because that’s how I envision superheroes if they were to live in our world. No one in our world is perfect, so why should superheroes be? (This is why I never had a problem with Infinite Crisis – Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman acted like humans and not just gods – but that’s for another day.) So when I first read about After the Cape in Previews a couple a months ago, I decided I would check it out.
I’m glad I did.
The basic premise to After the Cape is that a superhero – Gravitron, I believe (I don’t have the book in front of me) – has seen better days. He’s an alcoholic, has a wife and kids, and money problems. He was kicked off of his superhero team and has been lying to his family ever since. To alleviate some of these problems, Gravitron decides to take some action that will provide for his family. Well, things aren’t that simple. He gets mixed up with the wrong people. Then there is the matter of his drinking problem.
So what happens to our fallen hero? Well you’ll have to read it to find out. It’s a highly entertaining read, reminding me a bit of older Brian Michael Bendis stuff, like Jinx and Goldfish, but with superheroes. Even the art is reminiscent of those books. It’s in black and white, with really dark blacks and contrasting whites. The art style adds a lot to the mood of the book.
I recommend this book for fans of noir-style tales and reality-fueled superhero comics. It was good and entertaining read. It may not be the most original tale on the racks, but if you’re in the mood for something dark and gritty, then this is the book for you.
Other comics I read this week: (ratings out of 5 stars)
52 #46 – More of Black Adam being crazy. **1/2
Justice Society of America #4 – Lots o’ fightin’. Not much lovin’. ***1/2