With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from various comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.
This Week’s Book: Love and Capes by Thomas F. Zahler
The Premise: Abby’s boyfriend Mark has always been a good guy, but she didn’t know he was actually a hero until he revealed to her that he was actually the super-powered Crusader. As the pair soon find out, nurturing a romantic relationship can be more difficult as protecting the world from complete and utter destruction.
The Pitch: With this being the week of Valentine’s Day, it seemed like an appropriate time to suggest Thomas Zahler’s sweet ode to life, love, and superheroes. Given the right amount of TLC from a talented cast and crew, Love and Capes could fit well into a television network’s lineup, and provide a weekly dose of superhero-flavored romantic comedy.
The series would likely have an easy transition to the television world due to its focus on the two main characters and their relationship, rather than the costumed crime-fighting elements. With most of the superhero action occurring off-camera, the story’s appeal lies in the way Mark’s powers and responsibilities change the way two people meet, fall in love, and take the next step in their relationship. After all, when you can fly around the world, the choice of where to get dinner takes on an entirely new dimension.
Love and Capes also moves past the normal secret-identity element of Abby and Mark’s relationship early on, with Mark revealing that he’s the Crusader in what would likely be the equivalent of a television series’ premiere episode. This allows the story to quickly get into the real meat of Zahler’s storytelling: the way the two blend their unique lives into a long-term, loving relationship.
Whether it’s Abby dealing with Mark’s super-powered buddies (and an ex-girlfriend) or Mark discovering how many things his powers don’t let him do, Love and Capes is a funny, endearing look at modern relationships in the age of the superhero.
The Closing Argument: Dubbed a “heroically super situational comedy,” Love and Capes lives up to its tagline with a great mix of laughs that stem from both the powered/non-powered dynamic of its characters and the very real troubles that many new couples encounter during an evolving relationship. In many ways, it’s a spin on “Lois & Clark” that puts more of the focus on the couple and the comedy of their relationship than the drama and super-powered action.
A television series based on the comic would require little more than the standard sitcom as far as set pieces and effects, and given the success of geeky comedies like “The Big Bang Theory” right now, the timing seems right for a project like this to find its audience.