Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Cape

Hi everyone! So the other night I watched the two hour premiere of the highly anticipated new NBC show "The Cape" or as I like to call it, "two teaspoons of Batman with a dash of Punisher and a pinch of Spawn." No but seriously, it was as though the writers intentionally tossed in elements of the Batman mythos they thought would work well in the context of the show and diluted them with motifs common to superheroes with tastes more partial to the "grim and gritty" so as and not come off as too "obvious" to anyone but the died in the wool comics fans like yours truly. But more on that a little later.
The main protagonist of the show is Vince Faraday, a good cop, loving family man, and all around hometown hero. That is, until the police force Vince has sworn to serve and protect on is transformed into a shady corporate entity run by the nefarious bureaucrat Peter Fleming whose dubious ties to organized crime run deeper than anyone can imagine. Refusing to be a part of Fleming's vision, Vince is framed for a series of murders he did not commit and hunted down by his own men in uniform until an explosion appears to claim his life. Believing that he Perished in the fire, the media declares Vince dead when in reality, he barely escapes with the skin on his back. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Vince awakens to find himself held captive in the lair of The Carnival of Crime, a motley assortment of sideshow-esque circus performers reminiscent of the Penguin's Red Triangle Gang from Batman Returns who have apparently found robbing banks to be a preferable way to make a living than taming Lions and jumping through hoops of fire. Eager for retribution against Fleming, Vince utilizes his knowledge of all entry codes for every major bank in the city, aiding the Carnival in its biggest bank robbing spree yet right under the authorities noses. Having proved his loyalty to the Carnival, Max, the group's leader and flamboyant master magician, takes Vince under his wing and determines to teach him the skills magic and illusion. One day, while wondering through the group's hideout, Vince happens upon a unique cape made entirely of spider silk, with extraordinary tactile capabilities. With the support of his new family, Vince incorporates the cape into a dark new vigilante persona inspired by the comic book character of the same name whose exploits he recalled having read to his son in his previous life. Thus is born The Cape!
The rest of the pilot plays out like any typical revenge story with Vince trying to get back at the man who tore his life apart and the system that burned him. I mentioned earlier about some aspects of the show that seemed very derivative of the Batman mythos. One was an enigmatic character named Orwell. An investigative blogger who comes to form an alliance with The Cape and be his informational database of sorts when it comes to dealing with some of the baddies he encounters during his initial costumed escapade. This reminded me a great deal of a character in the Batman mythos named Oracle who works behind the scenes doing pretty much exactly the same thing for ole' pointy ears and the rest of the Bat-family. Another character that made me shake my head a little in reproach was one of the shows featured villains, "Scales" a hulking tough guy with a skin condition guaranteed to hurt his chances get many dates on a Friday night. This dude reminded me a lot of the Batman comics' Waylon Jones, aka. Killer Croc, a brutal thug for hire who resembles, well, I suppose the name pretty much says it all, ha ha.
My other few minor criticisms of the show mainly have to do with pacing as the second hour of the pilot seems to loose some of the steam it built after a truly killer first and the unavoidable potholes in logic that invariably rear up like parading pink elephants in any live action show based on a guy who dresses up like Halloween and go kick the crud out of bad guys. (The Authorities don't suspect that the Carnival of Crime's secret hideout is in the abandoned fairground!? Really!? Vince's own son doesn't recognize his dad is The Cape when drop's by for a night cap!? REALLY!?)
Nitpicking fuss-budget as I am, the truth is that I really did enjoy this first episode quite a bit. There was drama, explosions, fisticuffs and most important to any superhero story, heart. What more could one ask for? Except maybe a smokin' hot fem fatal in skin tight vinyl and a whip. But Seriously, If the pilot was any indication of what the rest of the season has in store then we are in for a really fun ride. And so long as The Cape doesn't take on any boy sidekicks with green tighty tights and pixie boots, I, for one, will definitely be onboard for it!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ross, great review. (sent me to the dictionary a couple of times!)