Capes

This is my month for non-powered superheroes, I guess. I just watched the first two episodes of NBC’s “The Cape” and quite enjoyed it. (Though I’m reading now that the pilot was two hours, so I guess that’s all I’ve watched.)

The Cape is an old-school style escapist hero, a guy with no powers but a handy selection of escape artist and magician sleight-of-hand tricks and, well, a nifty cape. Add in a stable of villains that could easily be Batman B-listers and you’ve got a pretty decent formula for a show. There’s a dash of humor that keeps it from getting campy (most of the time). Summer Glau plays (the so far criminally underused) Oracle Orwell, providing high-tech eyes and ears for our hero.

It has a plenty of problems. The direction is a bit lacking. The main villain of the show, a guy named Chess, is played perhaps a little over the top compared to the rest of the show. The Cape learns skills like hypnotism and how to fight with his fancy cape in a matter of days (weeks maybe?). In a comic book, that would have been something the hero spent years or decades doing off in some Eastern nation before he returned for his vengeance. I can understand their desire to speed it all up, though. Other than our hero, none of the characters has really been developed, but I expect that to change – if it doesn’t the show will have some serious problems.

Still, there was plenty for me to like. I’ll be watching. I expect it’ll be canned before too much longer.