When last we spoke to comic book creator Brian Michael Bendis, he was about to finally bring his original series Powers to television as the first original series produced by the PlayStation Network. Now, almost exactly a year later, a new trailer arrives to tout Powers season two…so things must have gone pretty well for Bendis and his cast of characters.
“Just discovering the energies of the actors and what they bring and then writing into that was a special thing for me. We definitely had that rolling by mid season last season but it really soars in this season,” Bendis tells CoCreate. “Plus, our new showrunner Remi [Aubuchon] and I had a strong unified vision for season two and made a concerted effort to up every department behind the scenes: Cinematography, costume and production design, wardrobe, stunts… we made significant new hires in these departments and I think you can see the results instantly. I think we come flying out of the gate.”
Powers, of course, is the story of a world where superheroes mingle with common folk on a regular basis, and where an ex-“cape” turned homicide detective named Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) struggles to accept life as an everyday joe alongside his no-nonsense partner Det. Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward). If it sounds slightly similar to Netflix’s Jessica Jones that stands to reason—Bendis created Jones for Marvel back in 2001 in the series Alias, upon which the new Netflix series is based (“Proud doesn’t seem to cover it,” says Bendis about Jones’ TV success. “I just went to dinner last night with friends and the women behind us were talking to each other about Jessica. It’s so crazy.”)
Of the viewing landscape and the increasing popularity of boutique streaming sites, Bendis jokes, “It is changing so fast it’ll probably change again before I finish this answer. The old models are fading away or evolving while all these new models, of which we are one, are finding their audience and home. It’s really an amazing time for TV. There are so many great shows with so many interesting homes. I love that rated R genre mashup shows like Powers or Jessica Jones have found homes.”
One thing Bendis promises as Powers gears up for a second season—traditionally that point where a show has found its footing and really starts to dig in—is no letdown…not even on his part. “There is such a nutty surrealness to walking onto the multimillion dollar set of your TV show while hundreds of people work all day to make it special in direct contrast to how crazy it is just to sit in a room by yourself and make a comic book with one of your best friends. The two experiences are so powerful separately but to have them together . . . I guess only [Walking Dead creator] Robert Kirkman knows how crazy this feels!”