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Black Cloak #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 13 critic ratings.


Eisner Award-winning writer KELLY THOMPSON heads to Image for the first time with BLACK CLOAK, an all-new series with artist MEREDITH McCLAREN!

Runner style mixes with SAGA-esque drama in a delectable fantasy/sci-fi blend as two Black Cloaks try to solve the murder of a beloved prince in Kiros, the last city in the known world, before his murder tips the city into war.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Amazon ASIN

13 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    Black Cloak #1 starts its narrative off in an excellent fashion. It introduces memorable characters and surrounds them with both a plot and a world that is begging to be explored.

  • 100

    Comic Crusaders

    They say that nothing ventured is nothing gained. With this little idiom sitting in your head consider this, what would one of the best most consistent writers currently working at Marvel possibly do as their something ventured? Like many of those who have gone before, Kelly Thompson of Captain Marvel fame, is writing for Image Comics for the first time.
    For anyone who listens to the No-Price Podcast, or read my previews reviews, you will know the esteem that I hold Kelly Thompson. Striding away from the cross media icons of Marvel may seem like a bit of a risk. Yet Thompson delivers a story that feels like a mix of Blade Runner, with fantasy elements thrown in for good measure. The strength in Thompson’s writing is the intelligence with which she writes. At no part does she actually give a play-by-play of this new world. Instead, it is the investigation into the murder that provides the reader with the hows and whys of this existence, although, please bear in mind that these are coloured by the characters disparate worldviews. The dialogue may seem a tad different to your expectations; for Marvel Thompson delivers the required level of quips and humour. Here, things are a tad darker as Phaedra has to deal with her with the present situation, carrying its own implications on the past. How this affects things will be built upon in future issues.

    The art is provided by Meredith McClaren who delivers a very stylised, almost European art. I remember seeing McClaren’s work on Super Sexy Fun Time and was totally enamoured with it so much I had to interview her on Outside the Panels (click here) I am pleased to see her work once again, though of course here there is less sexy and fun times for those involved. World building is hard; there has to be references to recognise to compete with the newer elements. McClaren does well to consolidate both of these aspects. There are some minor inconsistencies around facial elements, though these do not detract from the excellent storytelling, delivered in a manner that demands your attention. McClaren also provides the colors for the book, doing so in, at times, an over digital way. Normally I am against this style, but here it offers another opportunity to create the strangeness in this new world. Becca Carey provides a nice easy font that reads so well, she gets a cover credit! Well done Image Comics.

    Comparisons abound, when made are purely metaphorical. The idea of a disliked police force and a multi tier society can be seen in any number of movies and books. By taking this road, Thompson is showing her writing mettle for those that may think she is just all about a certain Carol. I am massively impressed by the setup of this book and look forward to how things play out.

  • 100

    Lotusland Comics

    ‘Black Cloak’ is another newsletter-only comic so good that some skeptics will have to admit that Substack is a viable vehicle for great comics. It’s made all the more convincing when such talented people like Thompson, McClaren, and Carey are behind the stories. This hard-boiled crime drama set in a world of fantasy is supremely entertaining and addictive. It is totally worth a subscription.

  • 100


    The Black Cloak #1 is a perfect fusion of fantasy and mystery and highlights the best of both.

  • 96

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    Black Cloak #1 is a fantastic start to this Image Comics debut. Kelly Thompson’s script seamlessly blends genres into an impossibly intriguing whole and crafts characters and lore that are inescapably compelling. The visuals from Meredith McClaren bring the wide array of mystical characters and this cyberpunk-esque sci-fi/fantasy to life with a distinct style and stellar visual direction. Be sure to grab this series debut when it hits shelves on January 11th!

  • 95


    ‘Black Cloak’ combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and noir into something wholly original and compelling. Move over, ‘Saga.’ This is my new obsession.

  • 90

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Thompson crafts an entertaining and intriguing world in this first issue. The story has some great characters and an interesting premise that immediately grabbed me as a reader. I really enjoy the main character and her interpersonal drama and the mystery at the heart of the story is engaging.

    The Art: McClaren delivers some fun and entertaining visuals with a great style that plays well with the premise of the story and the world of its characters.

  • 90

    Multiversity Comics

    Comic fans know that their favorite medium can be wonderfully immersive. You can lose time marveling over a page, and your imagination does the work of showing you what is just off the side of the panel. “Black Cloak” is a fantasy comic to get lost in. A mélange of familiar tones come together in a charming, ominous fantasy city, “Black Cloak” will definitely be an ongoing series you will want to follow.

  • 90

    First Comics News

    Kelly Thompson, who has written many titles from her long-standing run on “Captain Marvel” to “Deadpool” and “Amazing Spider-Man” makes her Image Comics debut with this new series that’s been described as Blade Runner meets Saga as two Black Cloak detectives, Phaedra and Pax are doing their best to solve a murder of a prince in the city of Kiros before chaos reigns supreme. This was a great mixture of Fantasy and Sci-Fi that will no doubt bring in readers Phaedra and Pax are characters that readers may fall in love with due to Thompson infusing their personalities with such vigor and brilliance it’s hard not to like them. This series is off to a wonderful start with its engaging dialogue and a mystery that’s worth the time to see unfold so I recommend this for anyone who wants to get into a good indie title.

  • 89

    Geek'd Out

    There will no doubt be comparisons to books like “Saga” and rightly so. But Black Cloak is so much more than that series’ less graphic equivalent. The near-seamless blending of crime procedural and fantasy epic create a genre all its own, with characters that are both truly fantastic yet utterly relatable. The world-building is top-notch and its cliffhanger ending will leave you reeling til the next issue…which reminds me, I need to go add this to my pull list, like, yesterday.

  • 80

    It’s easy for readers to invest in Black Cloak’s world and characters. The debut issue offers enjoyable artwork, lively dialogue, layers of intrigue, and possibly something more to say. Black Cloak #1 ticks the right boxes for sci-fi storytelling, hooking readers in to see its mystery unfold.

  • 80

    Big Comic Page

    Black Cloak was the first new comic I’ve read in 2023 and I’ll be happy with the bar that this has set. After first read I had to immediately dive in again, not because I felt like I had missed something, but because I enjoyed it so much. Tempering expectations a little, my concern is whether this story will be able to maintain the feel and ‘fantastical’ mystery as the story is revealed. If the team can keep this up, Black Cloak is set to be a book I’ll be happy to keep coming back to.

  • 60

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    I’m sure there will be many fans of Black Cloak #1, but it just didn’t click with me. Too much jargon, confusing art and a lackluster mystery made the book tough to get through, but there’s hope in main character Phaedra Essex, who’s the highlight of the book and manages to partially save it.

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