NBC is starting their latest promotional campaign for The Cape‘s two-hour pilot in January, and a pair of 30-second promos have been making the rounds on the network. The first shows off the titular character’s backup/sidekick played by Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and the second gives us a look at three of the series’ antagonists.

The Cape is NBC’s would-be successor to Heroes, which floundered and died after its fourth season earlier this year. David Lyons (ER) will star as the titular vigilante with backup from Orwell (Glau) the blogger/investigator. It looks like the show creators are trying to build a dynamic not unlike Batman and Oracle in their comic book forms. Prolific voice actor Keith David will play a mentor role.

We haven’t had a good look at the show’s villains before, and some are actually pretty compelling. “Scales,” a criminal boss with some serious complexion issues, is played by Vinnie Jones. Jones is certainly familiar with bad-guy roles from working in movies like Snatch and Swordfish, but most will know him as The Juggernaut from X-Men: The Last Stand. Crazy-eyed “Chess,” played by James Frain (True Blood and the upcoming Tron: Legacy), was the one who orchestrated the hero’s fall from grace and inspired his crime-fighting persona. Blade aficionado “Cain” also make an appearance in the spot, but little is known about the character at present.

Check out the two promos below:

The Cape is looking to be a lot better than I originally thought. When NBC showed off the teaser trailer last month, I though the show looked pretty cheesy. The updated footage looks… well, it’s still cheesy, but there seems to be a lot more self-aware fun going on. Casting Glau and David was smart, since they’re already well-established in the target market. And while the villains certainly have a Dick Tracy freak-of-the-week vibe, they seem menacing and interesting enough to hold viewers’ attention. It looks like a much more action-oriented affair than ABC’s No Ordinary Family, where light-hearted family drama and superpower special effects are the order of the day.

After the disappointment of the last three seasons of Heroes, and with Smallville wrapping up its ten season run,  The Cape seems ideally placed to win a few fans who are still hungry for superhero action.

The Cape premieres January 9th, on NBC.

Source: Blastr