Late last year, a group of reporters including yours truly, took a tour around a police station set that looks like it could be from any number of cop shows, but this one has a big difference: the cops in question are there to police superheroes and villains.
Powers, the first original series for Sony Playstation, is back for a second season, and from the looks of it, it should make fans of the comic book happy.
The first season introduced us to ex-“Power” Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley), who took a job with the Powers Division police force after having his powers taken away. Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward), his new partner, was learning the ropes of the dangerous world of Powers.
The first season was true to the dark tone of the book, even if the look of it didn’t quite match. This season seeks to correct that.
The big twist at the end of the season was the death of famous superhero Retro Girl. This season, we may learn who killed her, while her biggest fan, Calista Secor (Olesya Rulin), steps in to replace her.
Actors from the show spoke to us while on set, while comics creator Brian Michael Bendis spoke to Blastr exclusively about the new season.
What is different this season?
Heyward: Everything is more colorful this season, which I’m excited about because the comics have this iconic color scheme.
Bendis: I’m thrilled that Powers the TV show can be what Powers the comic book is.
There’s got to be a way of telling the story with that in-your-face comic book art, without copying it. We’ve been able to use the comic book sensibility without being comic book-y. Daredevil has done that well, in that noir style – it’s a noir show which has been exciting to watch.
As I said on Twitter, getting your show on air is pretty exciting and it’s convincing people to give you a shot, but the second season is based on whether people tune in and enjoy it. It’s been a really great opportunity for us – we’ve been able to take what works and build a show around it, and the show looks completely differently and reflects the comic book more.
People tuning in for the first time will get a real “who done it.” A lot of shows were defined by their second season: Buffy had a good first season but really took off on its second.
We’ve expanded the cast. People are really gonna like Enrico Colantoni. I would hire him again in a second.
We have Tricia Helfer coming on as Agent Lange, she looks so much like the comic book character, it’s crazy. We went out of our way not to do that with our characters but she looks so much like her.
Rulin: The female characters on our show are a lot stronger than the male characters on our show. I love that! That never happens!
What has it been like seeing your creations, like the Peabody Award-winning Jessica Jones come to the small screen?
Bendis: I feel like they’re my kids and I’m sending them to college. I taught Jessica everything she knows and she’s going out into the world.
Comics are such an intimate experience between the author and the audience. Taking that experience into a new medium is very unique. There’s this very cool renaissance of comic book-themed shows, all the different genres that comics are excellent at. People have been so hopped up on making movies, but if you look at comics, they’re much more suited to television, due to the long-form storytelling. It’s been able to shed a light on comic book storytelling in a positive way. It’s very cool. There’s literally no downside, other than that there’s too much good television. It’s the best problem society has ever had.
What about the immediate aftermath of Retro Girl’s death?
Heyward: Powers Division is thrown onto a worldwide stage. This huge hero is dead and you guys are on the hook for finding out who did it. The FBI comes in to say they’re there to help but can you trust them?
Rulin: The journey for this season is “What can I do?” Her powers are from [season 1 villain] Wolfe, and so they’re not from a clean place.
She wakes up and discovers that she has powers and tries to find out what her powers are. Can I punch a rock? Am I bulletproof?
Both of your shows on the air are extremely dark, Brian, but you’ve been able to bring that into the series being on Playstation and Netflix.
Bendis: I actually write a lot of light, romantic, hopeful stuff, like Spider-Man falling in love. But all my dark s--t gets picked up for TV shows!