Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Cape: Origins

So, another episode of The Cape and another Twitterfest; the tweets were flying just as fast and as varied as the first night. My completely unscientific assessment of responses breaks down the Tweets into several types: loved it, hated it, found it hilarious. It felt like most of the Tweets found the show lame and were quickly looking for something else to watch.
From The Cape web comic

A fair percentage of Tweets were comparing The Cape to other superheroes and finding the show lacking in comparison. (As an aside, many folks were comparing the episode's villain to Gambit after he dispatches a handful of goons with playing cards. Come on people, haven't you ever heard of Bullseye?!) I thought I'd take a look at how The Cape stacks up against the hero he seems most often compared to: The Batman. (Although, one person posted an interesting comment about The Cape being the opposite of the original Robin - Dick Greyson going from living with the circus to being a superhero and the cape when from cop to living with the circus)

There is a lot of ground to cover here, so it'll take more than one post. This time around I want to start with their origins. The Batman's origin has been modified and updated over the years, but I'll try to stick to the most basic elements. Bruce Wayne stepped on the road that led to him becoming The Batman when he watched his parents murdered in cold blood and was unable to stop it. He set out to seek his revenge on the criminals that made living in Gotham a dangerous proposition. He spent years gaining the skills and the means to get his revenge. He adopted the image of the bat to strike fear in to the cowardly lot of criminals that lived in his city.

Breaking it down, Bruce had his family ripped away from him and made a choice to seek revenge for this horrible crime. He trained his body and mind to be able to attain his goal. He chose to embody a symbol to strike fear into his enemies. Since he can never bring his family back, it could be argued that his mission of revenge will never be fulfilled.

Vince Faraday was framed for the crimes of the master criminal Chess and in an act of violence was seemingly killed. Having survived Vince looked for a way to get back at the criminal that did this to him. He found a tool (the cape) and trained to be ready for his mission of revenge. He adopted the symbol of a comic book hero that was important to his son, Tripp. In this way, Vince looks to bring hope to his son.

So breaking this down, Vince is torn from his family and kept apart from them to ensure their safety. He seeks revenge on his attacker in hopes that he can one day be reunited with his loved ones. He is already well trained as police office and decorated military personnel, but seeks to improve his existing skills and add more skills to his arsenal. Vince adopts the comic book hero persona as a symbol of hope. His mission has a goal which he could bring to fruition and allow him to hang up his cape.

While there are similarities, these are certainly two different heroes. I would say they come from the same archetype but cast very different shadows. Both were victims of a violent act, both chose to wear the mask and train to become a force of vengeance. The Batman uses fear and intimidation on the weak-willed criminals in Gotham to be the boogie-man that they dread. While The Cape is not above using fear and intimidation on those he hunts (hanging a lackey off a bridge by his foot and threatening to drop him on the street below), he still shines as a symbol of hope for his son (talking with his son on the rooftop to encourage him to always act with honor), and city at large.

And what father doesn't want to be seen as superhero in his son's eyes.

Follow your bliss,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments:

Post a Comment