Monday, January 10, 2011

The Cape

Store Clerk: "You're a superhero; what they call you?"
Vince: "The Cape."
Store Clerk: Pauses. "You work on that."
If you missed the two-hour premier last night, NBC is showing The Cape again tonight 8pm Central before the regular Monday night hour long shows start next week. And as I checked on Internet Movie Database for spelling, it looks like SyFy Channel is airing episodes too.

Even taking into account I can listen to Keith David (voice of Goliath from Gargoyles) recite the phone book, I really enjoyed the beginning and it looks like it's going to be a decent series. The two-hours establishes the origin story of how Vince Faraday turns himself in the Cape, bringing the comic book character he read with his son to life. What I liked hopefully without spoilers:

Deadman was an acrobat and Bruce Wayne trained under an illusionist and escape artist, but these aspects of their origins don't get played up. The Cape brings this to the forefront as the way for a superhero to have the edge over bad guys, and for a way a Joe Blow police officer can master this stuff without being a ninja in a former life. Though they did drop hints about Vince's military background before his marriage and presumably joining the police force, so he may still have a leg up on Joe Blow police officer.

The white-out effect in comics and cartoons when a character wears a mask has always bugged me. (I have a TMNT poster I defaced trying to fix that as proof.) So I really liked that Chess uses creepy contact lenses to achieve the white-out effect in live-action. I still haven't figured out what the mark in the lens is supposed to be. It's too irregular for a cat-eye slit. I'm guessing it's the silhouette of a chess piece.

Summer Glau's character Orwell--an expose blogger--fills in the sidekick/partner role and updates the superhero mythos for the computer age. But judging by the toys we see her and Chess use, I'm guessing she will have ties to the villain. If it's not the revenge for wrongs done archetype, I think it will be a Spoiler background for her.

Building a BatCave on a budget was a hoot, as well as Vince's attempt to build a Zogger. He has established it far from his allies, so I hope he remembers that as he improves his Zogger.

And let's give the creators a hand for tying in real life concerns: the privatization of prison systems and military operations. The Cape starts in with the privatization of the police force and the second hour centers around stopping the company ARC from doing the same to the prison system of Palm City. But I thought it was handled without preaching.

Since they went there already, I'm curious if they will work in copycat media. The Cape is a comic book character first that Vince read with his son. He copies the outfit and adopts the name as a way to have a relationship with his son (and how long before his wife finds out that her traumatized son hasn't made a new imaginary friend?). I can't help wondering what the creator of the comic book would say about that in their universe? I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be up to me to explore it in a fanfic.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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