Caught Up in Capes

I would feel quite remiss in my librarian duties if I did not talk about a superhero comic book within the first few months of this blog! While checking in new books one day, I flipped open the Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor. My pupils dilated to take in the extreme beauty of Fiona Staples panels. Intrigued, I read the graphic novel that night, cover to cover. While I personally enjoy caped stories, team comic books do not provide me with a lot of enjoyment because new members are always popping in, popping out, getting together, putting out, reincarnated-well, you get the idea.

Hawksmoor is undoubtedly a story worth reading as it is not just a story about struggle for power and balance but a detective story redressed. John Hawksmoor IS the King of Cities, he can feel the energy running through the power grids and command the concrete of the sidewalks to do his bidding. Terrifying if you think about urban jungles we live in but he uses his powers for good (like telling dumpsters to break muggers’ legs) all the while trying to figure out the why he is so city-friendly.

Mike Costa and Staples work well together in this short series by Wildstorm/DC. Hawksmoor’s costume is a black suit, an Everyman outfit, and one of the few stark darks in the entire book. Where a less accomplished artist would use retina-burning gradients to splash-E-fy their pages, Staples employs the grace of more muted color palettes and produces a cohesive book to be thoroughly enjoyed.

-Jen Vaughn


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