While many people associate capes with superheroes, most superheroes don’t wear capes.
Sure, the big two do: Superman and Batman. But for the most part, capes aren’t much in fashion anymore. “The Incredibles” laid out the case for why capes are a hazard so I don’t need to repeat it.
So naturally television, which is always on top of superhero trends, comes out with a new superhero show called “The Cape.” It’s about a superhero with a super cape. Or at least that’s what I was led to believe from the previews. The reality isn’t nearly as interesting.
Borrowing most of its plot from “Robocop,” “The Cape” stars David Lyons as Vince Faraday, one of the few good cops in Palm City. Things are so bad that the city is about to turn the police department over to OCP, I mean billionaire Peter Fleming (James Frain), who is secretly the evil villain Chess. He took that name because he has the power to play chess — I guess.
Fleming frames Faraday for his crimes and in the ensuing police chase is believed to be blown up. Faraday is saved by the circus of crime (which isn’t a rip off from “Robocop,” but rather Marvel Comics), led by Max Malini (the awesome Keith David, better known as the voice of Goliath from “Gargoyles.”).
In order to fight the evil Chess and get back to his wife and son, Max must pass on to Faraday all the Super Powers of the Circus. Holy crap, are you kidding me? Why they don’t call him Circus Man instead of The Cape? Oh, and the cape – it’s not even a super-powered cape. It’s just a cape with certain unique traits that he can whip around and use to toss people around and deflect knives and such.
It’s all so stupid. And yet strangely earnest and somewhat likable. It’s like they all know it’s incredibly dumb, so just roll with it. Two episodes aired last night on NBC — and they’re being rerun tonight if you’re interested. I thought the show was choppy. I like the circus team, especially Max. I could do without Faraday’s whining family. Oh, and nerd icon Summer Glau plays a mysterious computer chick.
It’s OK. Better than “No Ordinary Family.” It feels very retro, like it’s a syndicated action show from the ’80s that would normally be airing on weekend afternoons. I’ll stick with it for a few episodes, or until it’s canceled — whichever comes first.