FX's next original series may be Powers, based on the acclaimed comic books of the same name. The cable channel has ordered a pilot after years of initial development.
Powers creator Brian Michael Bendis revealed the news on his Twitter feed yesterday. Bendis is best known for his writing on the Ultimate Spiderman series, although he's made a name for himself with high-concept comics like Alias (which is also being developed into a TV series on ABC). Powers has been a long time coming - Bendis started writing the pilot script for FX way back in 2009.
Powers follows a special police unit that investigates homicides involving super-powered citizens. Detectives Deena Pilgrim and Christian Walker, who used to be a 'power' himself before he lost his abilities, solve cases where superheroes commit crimes against ordinary humans and powers alike - say, doesn't Tom Welling have some downtime coming up?
The comic series has earned kudos from critics since its introduction in 2000, including the prestigious Eisner award for best new series in 2001 and writing in 2002 and 2003. Highlights include the deconstruction of established superhero tropes and Michael Avon Oeming's sharp, angular art style. The series was originally published by Image Comics, before moving to Marvel's Icon label.
Bendis owns his creation outright (like Hellboy's creator Mike Magnolia) and has been trying to expand the Powers universe for years. The series was briefly optioned by Sony Pictures for a movie in 2001. Fans will be thrilled to know that Bendis is heavily involved in the TV adaptation, as he's been outspoken on his exclusive creative control of the comics.
As noted, Powers is the second of Bendis' series to be adapted for television. Alias, a series about a former superheroine turned gumshoe (sound familiar) is currently being developed by Twilight Saga and Dexter screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. The working title for the series is AKA Jessica Jones. Alias is a Marvel property, so it's being prepped for fellow Disney subsidiary ABC. There's no pilot order yet, but according to ABC executives, it's not far off.
If Powers is picked up for an initial season by FX, it'll probably be ready for spring or summer 2012. Of course, fans have been waiting this long - what's another year or two?