Superpowers are real. Those who have them – known simply as Powers – operate on a different level of morality than “mere mortals”, though they themselves are perfectly mortal. Major metropolitan areas suffer serious damage from battles between real superheroes and supervillains, and subterranean prisons exist to house captured villains. Powers have celebrity status; young people with latern powers must choose how to use their abilities, often with little in the way of guidance.
Superpowers no longer exist for Detective Christian Walker. Now the head of the NYPD’s Powers Division, Walker was once a Power himself – a famous superhero known as Diamond. He lost his abilities in a battle with “Big Bad” Wolfe, who now languishes in a federal Powers containment facility. One of Walker’s superhero allies from his days as Diamond, Olympia, turns up dead, a victim of a designer drug that somehow modifies Power DNA. The drug was given to him by a girl named Calista, a “wannabe” who claims she has latent powers. Walker and his new partner, Deena Pilgrim, question the girl, but she vanishes from her interrogation room. Walker suspects one of his old enemies, Johnny Royale, is still on the move, though everyone else thinks Royale is dead. Walker tries to find Calista to learn more about the drug and to find out if Royale is involved, but he finds her on the brink of suicide, and in trying to stop her, he makes the fatal mistake of forgetting he himself is no longer a Power…
teleplay by Charlie Huston
based on the graphic novel by Michael Avon Oeming & Brian Michael Bendis
directed by David Slade
music by Jeff Rona
Cast: Sharlto Copley (Christian Walker), Susan Heyward (Detective Deena Pilgrim), Noah Taylor (Johnny Royale), Olesya Rulin (Calista), Adam Godley (Captain Cross), Max Fowler (Krispin Stockley), Michelle Forbes (Retro Girl), Eddie Izzard (Wolfe), Logan Browning (Zora), Claire Bronson (Candace Stockley), Aaron Farb (Simons), Justice Leak (Detective Kutter), David Ury (Dr. Death), Mario Lopez (himself), Phillip Devona (Zabriski), Daniel Thomas May (Bug), Adam Boyer (Olympia), Mickey Cole (Levitation Boy), Pete Burris (Adlard), Brian LaFontaine (Brian Stockley), Johnny Giacalone (Cancilarra), Brett Gentile (Argento), Leander Suleiman (Mack), Jeryl Prescott Sales (Golden), Linds Edwards (Zerotron X), Michael Beasley (Chaykin), Victor Turner (Supression Specialist), B.J. Winfrey (Shaft Guard), Dave Pileggi (Med Tech #1), Troy Brenna (Iron Impact), Sara Pagliocca (Porn Star)
Notes: Based on a series of comics first published in 2000 whose film/TV rights were optioned within a year of the publication of the first collected graphic novel edition, Powers took a long road to the screen. In 2011, filming began on a pilot with an earlier edition of the script (written by Brian Michael Bendis, writer of the comics) and a completely different cast, only to be turned down by cable network FX. A new cast (led by District 9 star Sharlto Copley) began shooting new scripts in 2014, with Bendis and fellow creator Michael Avon Oeming serving as executive producers. Rather than a traditional broadcast or cable outlet, Powers found a home as the first original series on the Playstation Network. Despite mixed reviews, viewership numbers were promising enough for Sony to greenlight a second season, to debut in 2016. You can read reviews of the original Powers graphic novels in our Book Reviews section, and you can also check out a lengthy multi-part interview with Brian Michael Bendis at Dave Thomer’s This Is Not News (part 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9).
LogBook entry by Earl Green