For those who aren’t in the loop, the aptly named Powerless is an upcoming television comedy based in the DC Comics universe, focusing on an insurance agency that has to clean up after the massive collateral damage left behind in a world of superheroes. Those familiar with the upcoming ABC/Marvel property Damage Control might feel as if this premise sounds a bit familiar, but NBC executive Jennifer Salke doesn’t believe this is a concern.
“I can’t worry about other networks’ comedies, but ours is great.”
The real question, of course, is how a show like this will handle the role of superheroes in a standard episode’s plot. While the primary characters of Powerless will all be standard humans, metahumans are still essential to the story. Without superheroes, the main characters of Powerless would be out of a job. According to Salke, this will not be ignored. Speaking with IGN, Salke talks a bit on how superheroes will factor into the show, as well as how the basic premise came into being.
“Powerless is [from] Ben Queen, a writer we love who I’d worked with for many years. DC came in with a pitch and they’re very committed to… This is a world where superheroes are not only just on green screen out the window of this insurance office, but they’re also running into you on the street and wreaking havoc. The idea isn’t that it’s the crème de la crème of the superheroes. It’s a world where there’s a whole population of superheroes with all sorts of all challenges themselves. So you’re seeing quite a range of characters in that realm in addition to our great, kind of grounded human ensemble.”
So not only will superheroes play a major role, but it looks like we’ll actually get to see a couple. Not only that, but we’ll be seeing at least one as soon as the very first episode premieres. Says Salke:
“Just creatively, what I’ve seen so far of the pilot, the main superhero that’s featured is not one of those [Batman or Superman-type heroes], but it’s someone recognizable.”
Salke also notes that, while the pilot may not feature a member of DC’s Trinity, their inclusion in the world of Powerless is not an impossibility. They just might not make a physical appearance in the immediate future.
“Oh yeah, they’ve namedropped everyone. I don’t think they’ve said anyone’s off limits.”
According to Salke’s fellow NBC executive Robert Greenblatt, we might even get some appearances by metahumans when they aren’t necessarily essential to the plot of the episode. Judging by his description of their use, it appears as if numerous superhero moments may be used for the purposes of background comedy.
“They’re wallpaper I suppose, as opposed to they’re not the main characters in the show, so you may see them blowing up a building out the window or something.”
Are you excited for the chance to see superheroes used as fodder for comedy? Which superhero do you think may be appearing in the Powerless pilot? As always, don’t hesitate to voice your opinions in the comments below.