The Cape follows a former cop, Vince Faraday (David Lyons), who resigns from the force to take on the criminal mastermind, Chess (Peter Frain). Vince unwittingly signs up for a security force run by Chess' alter-ego Peter Fleming. So he can "disappear" as a supervillain, Fleming frames Vince to make the police believe that he is Chess. Seemingly killed, Vince is taken in by the Carnival of Crime, run by owner Max Malini (Keith David). Max trains him in martial arts, escapology, and illusion, and how to use a black cape as a weapon. Vince vows to fight crime and seek revenge against Chess. Since he can't return to his wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin) and son Trip (Ryan Wynott), without putting them at risk, Vince takes on the identity of his son's favorite comic book hero, The Cape. Aiding him in his struggle is a mysterious blogger, Orwell (Summer Glau).
To cover his operations, Fleming frames Marty Voyt and forces him to remain silent or lose his family. When Dana takes on Marty's case, Vince must defend his wife and former friend from ARK troopers intent on eliminating them both.