Written by Caleb Monroe
Illustrated by Mariano Navarro
Colors by Gabriel Cassata
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: 9/3/2014
Adam D’Aquino is just your average New York City orphan. No parents, no job, no real home…and he’s the best damn street magician this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. BOOM! Studios presents Caleb Monroe and Mariano Navarro’s “Cloaks”. A twisty, turny, upsidedowny kind of mystery thrill ride that keeps you guessing and always on your toes.
The story centers on D’Aquino as the main character, and we are introduced to the idea that he is an orphan in the first scene, the funeral of a mentor of his. This flashes us forward to D’Aquino as a popular street magician working the streets of New York. There is a beautiful full-page spread where the six basic magic effects are explained to the reader, very interesting stuff. It is during this street performance that we see that there are aspects of D’Aquino’s life that are less than savory, as he steals the watch of off a spectator. However, he redeems himself by pawning off the collected watches and taking the earnings to the local church where he spent his youth. The story really escalates from this point. D’Aquino is asked to work a private function, there is a simple misunderstanding, the authorities are involved, and things get really messy from there. Phew!
The one thing that I could not shake from my mind while reading this story was the amount of heart that it had. I’m not sure if it’s because it feels like an underdog story, or if there’s just a natural essence to it, but something kept making want to cheer for this kid. For those of you familiar with Caleb Monroe’s work (Hunter’s Fortune, Remnant, Steed and Mrs. Peel) you will recognize the swiftness in storytelling and the absence of wasted space. Monroe keeps the reader entertained and working, the case always developing. This is my first exposure to Mariano Navarro (Protocol Orphans) and I must say that Boom has latched on to another talented artist. The form is fluid and loose, but exact and clean at the same time. Wait until you see the cool mask he wears.
I love reading and reviewing books like this because they give a break from the explosions and muscles that are so common between the staples. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good brawl sequence, but sometimes I just need to root for the little guy. Here here little guy! Happy reading!