Exposing The Myth Behind The Mask: Reviewing ‘Cloaked’ #1
by Brendan M. Allen
Twenty-five years ago, a masked hero came out of nowhere to declare a one-man war on crime. The black-clad vigilante captured the hearts of the whole country as he took down one lawbreaker after another… and then he disappeared. When Jake Stevens is hired to find the long missing dark avenger, his inquiries threaten to expose the myth behind the mask.
I’m going to tell you straight out, Cloaked feels very familiar. Mike Richardson leans heavily into Bruce Wayne tropes with his non-superpowered superhero vigilante. Dude in a mask, fancy gadgets, just outside the law, long sleek black car, has an underage sidekick (named Dicky, no less), fights a clown… This is Batman.
The similarities are so glaring, they can’t be accidental. I’m just having a really hard time trying to figure out to what end.
Leaning further into the Caped Crusader template, Jordi Armengol’s artwork is dark and gritty and grounded in realism. The realistic style works beautifully for this detective noir, as it also would for that other detective noir series from DC.
The biggest flaw in an otherwise perfectly decent comic is the utter lack of originality. It’s just not far enough removed from Batman to be considered satire. The only major differences here are the guns. If you love Batman, but really just wish he had no regard for innocent lives or collateral damage, this is your book. If you really love Batman, though, maybe just go buy a Batman book?
Cloaked #1, published 15 December 2021 by Dark Horse Comics. Story by Mike Richardson, line and color art by Jordi Armengol, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot.
If Batman and Dead Rabbit had a baby, it would be Cloaked. Not exactly Batman, but not far enough removed to be considered satire. Artwork by Jordi Armengol is fantastic, but again, heavily reminiscent of… Batman.