The Cape

Superheroes have been wearing capes since their creation. But NBC's The Cape is the first TV series to turn that part of the masked crusader's costume into his main source of power.

"To me, capes are superheroes," executive producer Tom Wheeler said Thursday at the Television Critics Association's winter previews. "There's something about the cape that speaks to childhood. When you make your first connection to a superhero, you do it by putting a cape around your neck."

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The NBC series centers on Vince Faraday (David Lyons), an honest cop who is framed for a series of crimes committed by Chess, an evil mastermind actually portrayed by James Frain. When Vince is presumed dead, Peter Fleming, Chess' alter-ego, slowly takes over the city until Vince takes on the persona of The Cape in order to fight back and restore his good name.

"He doesn't have to shoot lasers or fly through space," Wheeler says of his hero. "He's a normal guy." He does, however, use sleight of hand, parlor tricks, brute strength and the wicked recoil of his sleek black cape to overpower his foes.

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The Cape may sound like the second coming of Heroes for some fans, but producers say anyone can follow this show. "One of the things I love about The Cape is that initially it's this comic book show, but what we're finding is, you can be a fan of many different genres" and enjoy it," Wheeler says.  "There's a romantic storyline about this couple in love that you see in flashbacks. For the comic book fan, you can drop in and have a great ride with really colorful, fun villains. If you want some great drama, there's more than enough for you here. Families, fan boys, it works."

What do you think of The Cape?