DC’s Powerless Comic-Con Panel Shows a Fun Take on Superheroes
Most of the DC shows we currently have on the air aren’t exactly comedies. Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl all have their funny moments, but they’re definitely not a laugh a minute. A new DC Universe show is about to hit the airwaves, however, that has a very different feel. Powerless stars Vanessa Hudgens (“Grease Live,” Sucker Punch) as Emily Locke. She’s an insurance worker for a film that helps people who’s lives have been destroyed as casualties of the actions of superheroes. San Diego Comic-Con hosted a screening of the first episode and a very short panel afterward, including Hudgens, Danny Pudi (“Community”) as Teddy, her cubicle neighbor who’s got a little crush on her, Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Del, the CEO’s son, and Ron Funches, who was just added to the cast as an IT guy, as well as director Michael Patrick Jan and producer Ben Queen.
The show takes place in Charm City, part of the DCU. We know this because the clocks on the wall show the time in Atlantic and Themyscira. We’re shown right away that there are superheroes around because Crimson Fox is trying to save a train. As she lowers it to the ground, we see Emily asking her to maybe put it back on the tracks because people have to get to work. When she does make it in, we learn that her insurance company is actually full of good people who are just a little tired of dealing with giant robots and bits of rubble falling on their houses. The boss is wonderful and tells her to bring checks to people in person. When he dies, however, Del, the son of the CEO and giant spoiled brat (he had his dad call him the VP of Peepee when he was eight) takes over and Emily and Teddy scheme (in the cutest way possible) to find a way to knock him off his high horse.
During the episode, one woman tries to find out if their handsome co-worker is really Green Lantern and another muses about how Aquaman’s lack of a need to breathe would help with some rather intimate actions. Ahem. There are jokes about surge prices during superhero battles, which gives you an idea of the snappy humor.
During the panel, Hudgens said that her character’s “got balls! It’s really cool. I feel like such an underdog. Everyone here is so funny! Don’t you think they’re hysterical? I feel so blessed to be a part of something…surrounded by great people.”
We learned that there is definitely going to be a bunch of Easter Eggs for fans, joking about Batman in every episode. Charm City was called the underdog of the DC universe. Though there was a joke about a musical episode, playing on Hudgens’ recent fantastic turn in “Grease Live,” it wouldn’t be out of place here.
Pudi was asked about his character’s similarity to Abed and he said, “I think there are a couple of differences here. One, there is a moment in the episode where Teddy doesn’t know what to say.” He explained that Abed would definitely have known and that Teddy is more normal, and more like him personally. He said Teddy is also searching for Batman like everyone else.
Tudyk, who was called the Captain of San Diego Comic-Con, was asked if he thought his character was a douche. He said, “I wouldn’t call him a douche. I’d call him a tool. He’s a lot of fun. He’s an idiot. He’s come to be a boss and he doesn’t know how to boss. He has ideas about being a boss, obviously. He doesn’t understand social norms. Doesn’t understand boundaries.”
Funches got huge applause when he mentioned being on “Undatable” and said that he was doing stand up when the producers gave him the pilot. They asked him what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to play a character who still loves superheroes, “which is very sweet.”
They cut the microphones in the middle of a question because they had to move on to the “American Gods” panel, but all in all, the show got a huge response. The show will premiere mid-season on NBC.