In the second episode, we meet a French chef named Cain whose food will literally send you out of this world. The Cape must stop the father of all murderers' namesake from offing the lone councilman opposed to Fleming. Episode 3 brings us Kozmo, Max's former pupil and spiritual black sheep sibling to Vince. 

Naturally, a fellow can't face such a formidable rogue's gallery alone.  These days, a super-hero doesn't just need a sidekick, but a computer whiz. Fortunately, The Cape has "Orwell," (Summer Glau, seemingly born to play the outré) who fits the bill nicely. Thankfully, he makes a friend of Rollo, the little person who used to beat him up.

Max Malini, Vince's criminal mentor, is played with panache by Keith David, whose Emmy-winning voice has narrated numerous Ken Burns films. More father than friend, Max undergirds a powerful theme of The Cape: the passing of a legacy. What Max has passed on to Vince in the form of power, Vince wants to pass on to his son in the form of hope. 

Once, when preaching about Elijah throwing his cloak upon Elisha (1 Kings 19), I called it a cape. I remember a boy in the congregation leaning forward. This young Superman fan was captured by the idea of one hero passing his cape on to another.  I think of his bright-eyes locked on mine that Sunday, and it makes me think of the bond between fathers-and-sons, masters and disciples, the rock of mature wisdom from which a spring of hope flows in the form of youthful obedience.

As creator Tom Wheeler has said of this series, "It's about hope." There's always someone looking up to us--a son, a student, a younger friend.  They may be looking for training. They may be simply looking to see whether somebody can live straight in a crooked world. That is their hope. 

Mine is that I don't destroy theirs. 

Gary D. Robinson is a preacher, writer, father, and despite himself, hero, living in Xenia, OH.  He blogs at http://www.garydrobinson.com/

This Review First Published 1/19/2011