The Cape

A new superhero is lurking on the same Hollywood lot where a collection of everyday Heroes spent four seasons trying to defeat the maniacal Sylar. Did they succeed? No clue

(I was long tuned out by then). I'm far more intrigued by NBC's new show, The Cape. Former ER doc David Lyons plays the titular hero; his archenemies are Scales (Vinnie Jones from X-Men: The Last Stand) and Chess (True Blood's James Frain). "A hero is only as strong as his villains," David says.

Viewers will meet this nefarious bunch on The Cape's two-hour premiere January 9. I got an advance tour of the cool sets of the fictional Palm City, including a magic shop and subterranean carnival, from the show's creator, Tom Wheeler. "Like the Batman universe, some strange villains will crop up," says Wheeler, a lifetime fan of Marvel comics and Harry Houdini. "My goal is to create a really cool rogues' gallery." He's on his way. In the fifth episode we'll see Scales' origin story, which flashes back to his being auctioned as a baby to a freak-show proprietor who kept him caged. "That has an impact on his pathology and leads to trouble," says Wheeler.

The exec is currently conceptualizing another freakish foe for a February sweeps two-parter. "He's called The Lich and has a problem keeping his skin from rotting, so he has the appearance of a corpse."

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