WonderCon 2015: Powers Panel Report

Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming bring Playstation’s first drama to WonderCon.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

For 15 years, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Omeing’s comic book series Powers languished in development hell. At this year’s WonderCon, Bendis equated Powers’ Hollywood journey to the experience of the title character from Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Oeming compared it to watching a child grow up and become his or her own person.

For the final day of WonderCon, Bendis and Oeming were the star attractions at the Powers panel, alongside cast members Olesya Rulin and Logan Browning with showrunner Charlie Huston. IGN’s Roth Cornet served as the moderator of the panel.

Early in the panel, Bendis praised Powers’ home on the Playstation Network for allowing the live action series to retain the R-rated content that he and Oeming used in the original comic. One of the big changes for the series is that Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes) is a major character instead of an immediate murder victim. Bendis related that his favorite parts of the show are anytime that Sharlto Copley’s Christian Walker shares the screen with Retro Girl.

Huston added that Bendis and Oeming only killed Retro Girl the first time because they weren’t sure if Powers would last longer than a few issues. The live action Powers series doesn’t have that limitation and Huston seems to indicate that she won’t be dying anytime soon.

Rulin and Browning teased the potential conflict between their characters, if Rulin’s Calista ends up with superpowers of her own. Rulin said that potentially having superpowers would change Calista and that would probably cause friction with Browning’s Zora.

Huston was asked about the larger arc of Eddie Izzard’s Wolfe, an old foe of Christian Walker’s who has offered his powers to the world. Huston hinted that Wolfe does have a plan in mind and noted that his offer would have a lot of takers. Bendis followed that up by heavily praising Izzard as both a performer and a person.

Cast members Justice Leak and Aaron Farb made surprise appearances on the panel midway though. Leak plays a detective named Kutter on the show. He noted that Kutter essentially gets off on using the drainer to take superpowers away from criminals. Farb plays Simons, a henchman who can branch off into multiple bodies. Farb insisted that he has a different mindset for each of the Simons duplicates which helps him portray them onscreen.

Looking ahead, Huston teased a “superteam” before the end of the season, while Bendis indicated that episode nine will be a major turning point for the season. Bendis added that Copley gave everything he had in his performance in episode 10, the first season finale.

Shortly before the end of the panel, additional footage was shown from Powers episode 7, which will debut this Tuesday, April 7. The season finale of Powers will stream on Tuesday, April 28.