Another comic book adaptation is about to be unleashed on the world with the Tuesday (March 10) premiere on “Powers” on the Sony PlayStation Network. The series is set in a world where people with superpowers are commonplace. Two detectives — Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward) — as they investigate cases involving criminals with powers, bringing them to justice.
Based on the comic of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Oeming, “Powers” has plenty of stories to tell. However, don’t expect a copy of the comics translated onto the screen. “We’ve remixed it,” executive producer Charlie Huston tells Zap2it. “Remixed it in the way that makes the most of the medium the way the comic book made the most of that medium,” Bendis adds.
While, for Huston, that means “being true to the core characters and concepts of the comic, there are still major changes being made to the story — specifically to four major characters.
1. Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes)
While the comics first major mystery is solving the murder of Retro Girl — a popular hero — the series is going in a very different direction. “Retro Girl is an amazing character, let’s not kill her. Let’s do something with that character,” Huston says.
“Let’s not wait for a celebrity to get murdered, let’s have a character who has a central relationship with our leading man,” he explains. “Who is the Beyonce of this world. Who is the biggest freaking megastar of this world. Who has also been around long enough to be tired of the bulls***, so she has a particular take on the world.”
That change makes Retro Girl much more central to the story and a character that should be sticking around quite a while.
2. Calista (Olesya Rulin)
In the comics, Calista is first introduced as a little girl Walker saves from a convict, before she reappears as a teenager and eventually becomes the second Retro Girl. In the show, they’re skipping her childhood entirely, instead focusing on her teenage years and her idolization of Retro Girl.
“Let’s not make her the innocent victim of a crime,” Huston says. “Let’s make her be the young girl from the sticks who goes to Hollywood and is willing to — excuse me — sell her a**, suck any d***, whatever it takes to be a movie star, but she’s willing to do that to be a superhero.”
3. Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor)
“Johnny Royale, boy he didn’t last long in the comics,” Huston jokes of the criminal mastermind. “Let’s make him a major bad guy in our story, but let’s link his back story more completely with Walker’s.”
Not only is Royalle linked to Walker via their shared past, but he’s also an important force in Calista’s life. With the teenage girl getting lost in the world trying to be a power, Royalle’s influence is that last thing she needs, but one she craves.
His underground bar for powers, the Here and Gone Club, is also a major setting for the series. While it was constantly on the move in the comics, it will be a stationary location on the show.
4. Wolfe (Eddie Izzard)
Like in the comics, Wolfe and Walker are longtime enemies with similar powers — though Walker lost his before becoming a detective. However, it’s not long in the comics before Wolfe dies. That’s an important event the show will change, as he becomes a central “Powers” character.
“Let’s inject him more deeply into the background mythology of the story,” Huston says. That includes exploring Walker and Royalle’s past with Wolfe and the events that led the villain to his current situation — in a prison built specifically for those with powers, undergoing daily lobotomies to keep his abilities out of reach.