While Heroes is floating into that great TVLand in the broadcast spectrum — and becoming the target of a lawsuit by Jazan Wild over who thought of a carnival first — NBC is not abandoning the world of superheroes. In keeping up with the times, they are swapping out a complicated, sci-fi tinged multi-character soap opera in the Lost manner, with a lead character-focused drama about a dad who wants to make things right. The synopsis sounds pretty lame:

“The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife, Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes “The Cape” his son’s favorite comic book superhero — and takes the law into his own hands. Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming – The Cape’s nemesis – who moonlights as the twisted killer: Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; and Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday.

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So to recap, we’ve got the hero dad.

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…and his hot wife…

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…and his cute kid…
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…and his black sidekick…

una-foto-di-james-frain-86625.jpg …and his hot Brit nemesis. But then you’ve also got…

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Nerd-icon Keith David

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And another nerd-icon Summer Glau! As a blogger, no less.

A mixed bag? Perhaps, but all questions are answered by the trailer which reveals a Batman-issue origin and looks pretty decent. But then so did the preview of Birds of Prey.

Hm, what was that about hot Brit nemesis again?

1 COMMENT

  1. Huh. Well, I was prepared to say this looked dumb, and it does…but once Mr. Keith David shows up, it looks like my kind of fun dumb. Love that bit about the cape from spider silk.

  2. I remember M.A.N.T.I.S, the pilot was pretty good, with a script by Sam Hamm, (who wrote the first Batman movie). When it became a series the entire creative staff involved in the pilot was replaced, elements that made the pilot interesting were done away with in exchange for campy cliches and the whole thing died after a half dozen episodes.

  3. Actually Darren – M.A.N.T.I.S. nearly lasted an entire season. I believe 18 were completed, but the last three were never aired out here in U.S. which had the main character portrayed by Carl Lumbly being devoured by a dinosaur as the season end cliffhanger.

    I once told this to Dwayne McDuffie on his delphiforum and he nearly hit the roof and at the time I told him, Carl Lumbly was down the hall from him recording lines as the Martian Manhunter for Justice League Unlimited- he had to run over and confirm this with him.

    And Kevin, M.A.N.T.I.S premiered when the X-Files was in its’ second season.

    ~

    Coat

  4. Oh it’s even better than just that a dinosaur killed him — it was an *invisible* dinosaur. The whole series was released on DVD last year, I think, and I had to have it.

  5. Invisible?! If you guys are messing with me, I don’t care. There needs to be a story with an evil invisble dinosaur, like Pete’s Dragon!

    And yes, Keith David needs his own show, possibly fighting aliens or Roddy Piper.

  6. I spoke with Keith David’s voice-over agent, she was really cool and gave me lots of time and pointers…I was inquiring about him doing the voice for Cerebus for our film. Something she is very open to discussing, even knowing we are still hustling on the money front she is very forward coming. Great actor, and great agent, too:)

  7. I was waiting for the wife and son to get immediately killed off as motivation for our hero, and when that didn’t happen, this show got a point in its favor. Of course, it had started with a base score of about -5, so that’s not really saying too much. Although Keith David’s appearance did elevate that to maybe a +1, but I stopped watching the trailer after a minute and a half because I was bored … so let’s just say the show’s now at a zero for me.

    It doesn’t look terrible, but it does look like a big “who cares?” to me.

  8. My first reaction to the press release about Jazan Wild suing Heroes was:

    Shouldn’t Gene Simmons be suing you for aping KISS: Psycho Circus?

  9. Another thing I’m going to have to wade through at ComiCon…
    I’d watch this if it were the Hot Wife married to Keith David.
    Otherwise… not so much.

  10. I like the beginning… father reading comics to his son. I hope this show does well, not go for camp but still have the quirkiness of superhero comics without losing their premise.

  11. “I was waiting for the wife and son to get immediately killed off as motivation for our hero, and when that didn’t happen, this show got a point in its favor.”

    I disagree, this way we’re just going to see “I can’t tell them I’m alive” every episode. That will be old in about three weeks.

  12. I thought M.A.N.T.I.S. was two seasons because the tone really shifted half-way through.

    At first it was a little more grounded in the real world but then it started to go CRAZY with the weird Men in Black (who were pasty white and had their eyelids sewn shut) and of course the aforementioned invisible T-rex.

    I guess it was just the front and back half of the first season. I liked the show at the time, but that was also a time when it was such a thrill to see ANY super-heroes on the screen.

  13. I want Keith David to narrate a multi-part
    documentary on the history of Comics in America.

    Could just hear his voice over all those panned-over McCay, Eisner, Kirby, Ditko, Crumb,and Clowes panels…

  14. @ Evan

    Gene Simmons signed Jazan Wild and his carnival story. Read his autobiography sex money kiss. Gene liked the book enough to sign it to Simmons comic book company. I think that says it all.

  15. Well, I literally just finished watching mantis and was disappointed at the second half. I’d gotten it because I remembers I liked it 12 years ago but I’d inky seen a handful of episodes. Now I watched it through and was bummed to see that it had the potential to have been a solid show until they turned it all twilight zony on us. I would actually like to see a remake, especially one as well thought out as the v remake. Maybe with taye diggs as lumbly’s replacement…

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