Spandex suits, capes, the big bright colours – let’s face it, superheroes are in at the moment, ensuring that an entire generation of comic book readers are finally able to share their passions and stories. Marvel and DC films have dominated the cinemas for the past few years, and comic-related TV shows such as Arrow, The Walking Dead and Smallville bringing the stories of legends to life. However, the way we share stories is evolving and changing – entire shows can be displayed online now, Internet companies can produce their own content and resurrect great shows once laid to waste. There’s even an entire generation of new stories waiting to be told.
In comes Caper, from hugely-popular YouTube channel “Geek & Sundry” who are all about board games, video games, geek culture and the like.
Caper is the story of four friends who find themselves as a superhero unit defending the City of Angles (an alterna-version of LA) from every kind of villain under the sun. However, they’re also mostly broke and just looking a big break. The show uses an inspired blend of live action interaction and comic book visuals to compensate for the big action beats, to fun effect, and the performances are pretty awesome all around. Abby Miller (Justified) leads the cast as Penny, a genius tech inventor who has steal back her own work – a robotic fighting suit – from an evil conglomerate douchebag and is soon joined by former assassin Alexia (Leverage‘s Beth Riesgraf), wholesome all-American unemployed blogger Luke (Glee‘s Harry Shum Jr) and sardonic trapped demi-god Dagr (Hartley Sawyer) to form a crime-fighting team.
From the offset, the show feels very fresh, fun and engaging with each of the characters making a solid impression, at least in the two episodes we’ve seen so far, and the Avengers comparisons seem to be a loving homage, rather than a flat-out rip-off; Penny is a sweeter, younger Tony Stark, Dagr is a more Asgard-adjusted Thor, earnest and loving Luke is a Spider Man-meets-Captain-America-meets-Superman hybrid (though not as powerful), and acerbic Alexia is essentially an excommunicated Black Widow.
What really makes the show work at its core, are the sitcom-esque dynamics as the four not only deal with trying to find recognition for their hours of service to the city, but also with the day-to-day of finding jobs, dealing with the rent, and saving the world. Check out ‘Caper’ as soon as possible – even if you’re not a fan of comic books, give the spirited pilot a spin and you’ll find an enjoyable, funny, intriguing show with a mythology that both celebrates and sends up popular comic book culture. Up, up and away!