Powerless – A Not so Powerless Twist on the Comic World

Move over Batman, the quirky Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) has some big plans to help cope with the collateral damage left behind in the battles between superheroes and supervillains.

Powerless follows the lives of ordinary humans living in Charm City striving for heroism built on brains rather than brawn. As the newest Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security (yes, as in Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman), Emily brings her can-do attitude as leader of a dream team of misfit inventors. Their job – to create products that help bystanders feel a little safer amid super calamities when those with super powers battle both in Charm City and the world.

Safety isn’t what it is cracked up to be…

When we think of superheroes, we immediately picture the world as a safe place. But rarely do we think of the inevitable fall-out from powerful beings crashing into buildings, firing laser beams, or throwing multi-ton items at each other. Yes, Batman may save life after life, but what about the property damage he leaves in his wake.

Imagine that building you walk by every day crumbling due to flying heroes trying to prevent extraordinary villains from doing harm. But therein lies the rub. In trying to prevent danger from overtaking the good citizens left defenseless by their humanness, superheroes may, in fact, do more harm than good.

Creativity that doesn’t always turn out as planned…

This is where Wayne Security comes in. As a division of Wayne Enterprises, the creative team in Charm City, now led by the overly enthusiastic Emily, strives to protect the seemingly powerless. Emily grew up with an image in her mind that she doesn’t need superpowers to make a difference in the world. So, off to school she went to learn all she could about marketing and product development. And now, she is the newest “leader” in a long line of failed (and likely dead) team managers.

Charm City inventers
Emily Locke’s team of inventors from the episode “Wayne Dream Team” of Powerless, on NBC.

Her team doesn’t take to her though. They have low expectations, since they expect her to either die or lose her job quickly. Even her boss, a cousin to Bruce Wayne, doesn’t expect Emily to succeed. Truth be told, he couldn’t care one way or another so long as he ends up in the Gotham City home office one day.

Emily’s big ideas and confidence to compel armies to battle will drive her team to success – even if it kills her. Thus far, under her guidance, the team has successfully created a few new products that may just make a difference after all.

A dose of reality…

Based on characters created by DC Comics, Powerless offers new insight into the world of superheroes and supervillains. But that isn’t the only function of the show. In fact, it offers hope to those who never quite fit in, for whatever reason. Here you have a team with backstories yet unveiled. Together they harmoniously develop new products. The real product, though, is the idea that a person can accomplish anything they set their mind to accomplishing.

Sure, in real life we don’t exactly have henchmen that go around tying people up for the sake of tying people up and we don’t need an umbrella strong enough for building debris to bounce off, but we do need hope. When things don’t go as planned, as so often is the case, having a positive outlook can be the difference between giving up or trying again (and possibly again and again).

Powerless serves as a fun and lighthearted reminder that each of us can be a hero in our own right, it just may look a bit (or a lot) different than we might have imagined.


Feature image via NBC.

Bonniejean Alford

Bonniejean Alford professionally writes marketing content throughout the technology industry and regularly participates in genre specific fan sites. She spent her youth as an avid gamer and her current favorite pastime is just about anything science fiction or fantasy. While she doesn't consider herself a nerd, others have, which only adds to her uniqueness as a writer. Bonniejean hopes to complete her first novel this year, a coming of age story about a woman tapped to protect the timeline. While not exactly science fiction, the presence of time travel shapes the novel. Bonniejean also teaches Sociology at a community college in Illinois. You can connect with Bonniejean on Twitter.

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