I’m having a bit of a rough time remembering when this comic used to be about a young illusionist that’s wrangled into the eponymous secret organization. In its latter half, Cloaks more resemble a crime procedural in the TNT vein with a wunderkind detective who may or may not be way over his head in giving the save-the-world thing a try. This issue packs a lot of story in trying to move us along to its climax. Things start out with Adam trying to discern Evy’s first target following her acquisition of the Cloaks case files. Once Adam figures it out, we’re privy to some interesting fight scenes between Adam and his Cloaks’ colleagues, and Evy’s tricked out buddies, one a pain-resistant dude and the other an acrobat. Despite Adam’s best efforts, the team ends up playing right into Evy’s hands, leaving things open for a neat wrapup next issue that doesn’t seem to promise much in the way of grand surprises (My money is on resurrected parents in the final pages).
That’s not to say this issue was terrible, it’s just that I think it’s lost its original hook in order to complete its four-issue narrative while also giving us brief glimpses of Adam’s parents. At this point it no longer seems clear why Adam was set up as an illusionist in the first issue. Here he seems more like a detective with only one real instance where he explicitly displays any of the skills he acquired during his tutelage.
And in actuality this issue is a lot stronger than the previous. For one, Adam is a much more engaging protagonist, his detective skills on full display here with Mariano Navarro doing some interesting work in a few scenes that have Adam retracing his steps in order to figure out Evy’s next move, putting Adam’s illusionist mask on her to symbolize her hidden intentions. It’s great to see Adam problem solve in these scenes as the previous issue made all his skills appear so effortless that they lost all their impressiveness.
In spite of the necessity for some laborious exposition, Caleb Monroe manages to make the dialogue here much more engaging than previous issues. In particular, Adam’s conversation with his colleagues have an energy to them not previously seen. Most of all though, Monroe makes an interesting choice in furthering Evy’s character, positioning her as an addict of sorts, one that craves information on people and is amassing a team to increase her analytical prowess.
While I don’t have huge expectations for the final issue, I think Cloaks will wrap things up interestingly enough. Maybe they’ll even include a trick or two. Who knows.
Writer: Caleb Monroe Artist: Mariano Navarro Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/5/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital