Ever since the introduction of the kid sidekick and the “pal” character in superhero comics, kids young and old have fantasized about being that person.  If the superhero world were real, and you couldn’t be the secret pal of the hero, would you be willing to answer his phone calls and pick up her dry cleaning?

caped01cover.jpgStruggling journalist Jimmy Lohman has it tough, his first day in Capitol City and he’s involved in a hostage situation with the villain Gemini and the hero of the city – Edge.  One thing leads to another, and desperate for any foot in the door he can get, Jimmy ends up as the assistant to the hero.  As expected, there is a lot of shock and confusion as the newbie tries to wrap his mind around the fact that heroes do need help organizing their calendar so they know who they’re supposed to race around the world, answering calls from the commissioner, and responding to the millions of fan letters arriving daily.

Interestingly, in cinema, the final genre that emerges, signaling the essential end of the popularity of the current movie trend as the next one begins, is the spoof.  The endless stream of FILL IN THE BLANK Movie is a perfect example.  It seems comics have found their meme that also signals a change what readers want from their comics.  Instead of the rock’em sock’em stories of the dark superhero, that ask you to suspend disbelief on every panel, comics today are attempting to put a realistic spin on superhero tales.  The Boys, The Mighty, Irredeemable, and to an extent Invincible are examples of titles taking this approach, and Caped is getting in on the trend.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as there are many disillusioned superhero fans who want to continue to read superhero adventures, just not told in the same way they’ve been reading them for the last 35 years.  And that’s what makes Caped interesting.  Readers don’t have to wait until issue #5 for Jimmy to discover that his boss is really Edge. Those who pick up the issue, get a peek at Lobis and Moiselle’s interesting take on the support structure of the superhero team, and while certain ideas are thrown in the reader’s face very quickly, it comes across as natural, as the reader is seeing the world in a whole new way, just like Jimmy Lohman.

While the story is solid in its idea, and the art is good, the first issue seems a bit abrupt in the execution, as there are jumps in location and time that can cause the reader to have to go back and reread certain sections again to make the connection between Point A and Point B.  It doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the issue, but was a concern for me.

Caped does it for me.  I like the real world feel of the universe that has been created, and I’m interested in seeing how the cub reporter/turned assistant deals with a hero that turns out to be a little less than stellar once his methods are revealed.  I want to see where the writers plan on taking the story, so I know I’m hooked for the rest of the series.  If you are looking for something that doesn’t have the graphic sex and violence like The Boys, Caped #1 is a good read and deserves 4 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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