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A cape is an article of clothing, and can be used to describe any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long garment that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening about the neck of the wearer. They were common in medieval Europe, and have periodic returns to fashion, for example in nineteenth century Europe. They remain in regular use as rainwear in various military units and police forces, for example in France and the United Kingdom. Perhaps for this reason, capes became associated with fascism in Italy during the 1920s. A gas cape was a voluminous military garment designed to give rain protection to someone wearing the bulky gas masks used in twentieth century wars.

Superheroes, vampires, and the like are often depicted wearing capes, and they are therefore sometimes adopted by those with superheroic or vampiric pretensions. Capes also turn up as a plot point in the animated film The Incredibles. In said movie, certain varieties of capes have transformative powers, allowing the wearer to posses superhero-like abilities such as flight. More notably in the The Incredibles, is a scene in which the main character lists off characters who died in comical ways as a result of their wearing a cape.

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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape).  5/13/05
 
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