Saturday, January 29, 2011

Evan T. Reviews The Cape

Ok, ok. So if anyone who reads this blog is anything like me, the have seen the commercials for The Cape. You've been hesitant. NBC did so well with Heroes season 1. Then they did us wrong with Heroes: the rest of the seasons. You might still be gun shy about a NBC superhero series. I'm here to tell you that you are only partially right.

Here are the things going right with this show.

First thing: Old school hero storytelling. I know I might be in the minority of comic fans but I really liked the four color style (four color style, for those who don't know, is the storytelling of old, heroes and villains and the like. Before realism and grim and gritty took hold of comics). The first episode is the origin. We have Vince Faraday, a cop in Palm City. The local madman/super villain Chess ends up framing Faraday.The Cape is a hero who is made by the Lillian, like most great heroes were. He trains with a mentor (Keith David...he should be in more stuff) and becomes a force to be reckoned with. I enjoyed the pacing and flow and it really hearkened back to the olden days of comics.

Second thing: Summer Glau. Yeah, from Firefly to The Sarah Conner Chronicles I like Miss Glau. So sue me. She plays (SPOILER ALERT) a oracle-like character named Orwell, one of the few well named characters (see below). She pulls off the super knowledgeable role and her character fills the support role for The Cape. She works well in ensemble casts and definitely works well here.

Third Thing: The Circus of Crime. The group that finds hero Vince Faraday is an evil group who rob banks. The include a hypnotist (Ruvi), the circus ringleader/illusionist (Max Malini), a circus performer of unknown ability, possibly an animal trainer (Raia) and my favorite. A little person strong man (Rollo). The scenes with The Cape learning from everyone in the circus are fun and upbeat. The group work well together and are a light spot in the series

Not so fast! here are the things I didn't like.

First Thing: The names. I know coming up with new and copyrightable names is difficult. You don't want to go to the well one too many times. These names seem like my nephew came up with them. The hero who uses a cape as a weapon? He's The Cape. The gangster arms dealer with the scaly skin disorder? Scales. The main villain who has chess piece contact lenses? Chess. Come on guys, i really feel like you could have done better. Here are some names I just came up with. The Cape? Now The Black Mantle. Scales? Agamid. Chess? Castling. That's two minutes of work NBC.

Second Thing: I'm confused. It seems as if this world has costumed villains but The Cape is the first hero. Why? Scales has a scale disorder? Is he a mutant? Are super hero powers real in this world or is this more of a Watchman style hero and villain situation? It's possible that these questions might be answered but I found myself wondering the whole time about this stuff.

Third Thing: SFX. Quite simply they are of the straight to video circa 1999 quality. Every time The Cape uses his cape (let me tell you, it's a lot) it looks horrible. Just out and out fake. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't use real effects for the cape. It really removes me from the story and that makes it difficult to enjoy the product as a whole.

Overall I liked The Cape. I'm going along for a few more episodes. I would love to get a little input on this from Carlyz or The Editor on this series. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

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