There is currently a wide array of television available to comic book superhero fans – from The CW’s four DC Comics-based series and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Netflix’s burgeoning Defenders universe and all the shows currently in development. However, despite the variety of television series based on superheroes, the genre has largely stuck to dramas. That is, until NBC’s upcoming series Powerless, a half-hour workplace comedy, debuts midseason during the 2016-2017 TV season.
The show takes place in a DC Comics universe containing superheroes – so far, Crimson Fox (Atlin Mitchell) and Jack O’Lantern have been confirmed to appear – but focuses on the powerless folks of Retcon Insurance Co., an agency specializing in damage caused by the crime-fighting superpowered heroes. Now, ahead of Powerless‘ appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a new poster for the show has debuted.
EW has revealed the poster, designed by DC artist Neal Adams, that features four of the previously announced lead characters along with a new Retcon employee played by comedian Ron Funches (Undateable). Take a look at the Powerless poster:
The poster features main characters Emily (Vanessa Hudgens), a young insurance adjuster who becomes a cult hero in the eyes of her fellow citizens and her coworkers; Del (Alan Tudyk), the unpopular new boss at Retcon; Teddy (Danny Pudi), Emily’s friend and the office prankster; and Jackie (Christina Kirk), a fan of superheroes and Del’s assistant. The poster additionally introduces newly announced character Ron (Funches), who is described by EW as “a sweet and innocent guy who, unlike his co-workers, has not lost his childlike enthusiasm for all things superhero.”
The role call of characters certainly places Powerless in the typical workplace comedy realm, but the added factor of taking place in a world filled with superheroes adds a new element previously unseen in sitcoms. Of course, comic book TV series have tended toward certain types of television formats in the past, particularly leaning toward police procedurals – such as with Gotham, iZombie, and Lucifer. But, Powerless has a chance to set itself apart from all the other shows based on comic books and superheroes by tackling the workplace comedy.
That said, it remains to be seen if Powerless gains traction with either the fans of NBC’s comedies or superhero television. While the upcoming NBC series has the opportunity to bridge the gap between the genres and appeal to fans of each, the show may end up falling flat for both audiences. Of course, with Tudyk, Pudi, and now Fuches on board – all of which have demonstrated their comedy chops either on NBC or elsewhere – and Hudgens’ proven versatility, Powerless has certainly pulled together a talented cast. Still, we’ll know more about what to expect from Powerless after the pilot is screened at Comic-Con.
Powerless will air on NBC as a midseason premiere. The Neal Adams poster will be available at the WB booth during Comic-Con.