POWERS Season 2: The Argument For Heroes

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POWERS Season 2: The Argument For Heroes

I’m often asked — where did the idea of Powers come from?

Back in the summer of 1938, Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster created Action Comics #1 and introduced the world to Superman. By doing so, they also introduced the world to the superhero archetype.

Powers Season Two - Retro Girl

Of course, there have been characters with mythological powers in literature ever since man learned to tell stories. But Superman was something new and different, sending stylized concepts of morality and biblical mythology on a collision course… it gave birth to something completely new.

Siegel and Shuster created a genre.

Creating a new genre is probably the most difficult thing a storyteller can do. Seriously, try it. Try inventing a genre. It’s impossible.

After Superman, the floodgates opened and other creators jumped into the fray, crafting armies of superheroes and pulp heroes. Costumed characters with very specific moral agendas. Characters whose entire being is wrapped around a coda. Ideals like “with great power comes great responsibility” and “Truth, Justice and the American way” not only defined the characters but eventually became embedded in the wider popular culture.

As the years passed, the genre, the craft of comics, and the characters all matured. Creators from all walks of life, from all over the world, brought all of their imagination and talent and craft to the pages of these comics. And for decades, the genre and characters and storytelling evolved and evolved and evolved. In time, not only did we have hundreds of new mythological heroes, but countless new sub-genres, too.

POWERS Season 2: The Argument For Heroes

Early in my career, I focused almost exclusively on writing and drawing crime fiction graphic novels like Jinx and Goldfish. Though I loved superheroes, I had never attempted to write a superhero comic. I started analyzing why that was, and realized that it wasn’t just me. Many of my peers working on their own comic books were avoiding the genre that they loved.

But why?

I soon figured out that many in my generation grew up with The Dark Knight Returns from Frank Miller and Watchmen from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. These two deconstructionist masterpieces of the superhero genre kind of screwed it up for the rest of us. Who could top them?! It seemed like everything worth saying about superheroes had already been said. So I just stayed in this other genre, crime fiction, where I thought I had something to say.

Years later, after meeting and falling in love with the work of Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming, I started thinking about superheroes and crime fiction. A lot.

I began to analyze what I truly love about the genre and what I would have to say with it. I started thinking about the private lives and private desires of superheroes. I started mashing together my love of crime fiction — specifically, my growing love of the police procedural — and superheroes. I started thinking about what the police procedure would be in a world of… Powers.

I had just read the impeccably researched true crime book Homicide by David Simon. The book that inspired the classic TV show. If superheroes really existed, how would they affect us psychologically and sociologically? Hell, how would they affect the sexual spectrum?

I started spending a lot of time in the local police department and doing police ride-alongs, all the while absorbing all the details I could. I started to vividly imagine what this already exciting world would be like if there were people outside with powers.

I told Mike the idea, and Mike started doing what he does best… drawing.

At the same time I was reading Janice Joplin’s biography Pearl. It tells the story of this genius singer-songwriter who lived a self-destructive and sometimes lonely and sad life. A queen on stage and a sometimes tragic figure off stage. I thought of the superhero version of that… and that became the inspiration for Retro Girl.

Powers Season Two - Retro Girl

For some reason Janis Joplin and David Simon made it all click. You never know where inspiration will come from, I guess.

One thing that makes Powers unique as a comic book, and a show, is that the story begins at the homicide. It starts when the superhero dies. Sure, other comics have killed off major characters, creating events that rippled through pop culture. Usually that death is the end of the story. Or, maybe, a countdown to the hero’s miraculous resurrection.

Not here. Not us. In Powers, these superhero murders are a chance to analyze the superhero genre and our culture of celebrity, from a candid perspective that the big publishing houses will never be able to do.

It gives us that angle I was looking for back in my crime novel days. In this case, a unique perspective on superheroes from the point of view of a homicide police officer who actually used to be one of them.

We live in a world where the death of the famous and the powerful can affect us all. It is amazing to watch a culture come together around a fallen hero, be it David Bowie or Steve Jobs or John Lennon.

Uncover the truth. Stream the first three episodes of the second season of POWERS May 31st on PlayStation Store.

Posted by Powers The Series on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Or Retro Girl. In the world of Powers, Retro Girl is a hero so powerful, so legendary, that her existence alone created societal order. With her gone and her killer at large, will society tear itself apart?

And that is where the second season of Powers begins. And that is why we can’t wait for you to join us on May 31.

In other news! The Powers crew is headed to a potent panel showing at Emerald City Comic-con in Seattle next Saturday, April 9th! Myself, the celebrated Powers comic artist and co-creator Michael Avon Oeming, showrunner Remi Aubuchon, and stars Susan Heyward, Olesya Rulin, and Logan Browning will be there to give you a sneak peek at what’s in store for season two. Hope to see you there!

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11 Comments

  • I must admit I was skeptical about this show but after wrapping up season 1 it is a spectacular show. And season 2 will get even more intense.

    • I was the same and although it is a little slow, it is better then most network shows! As well, I am surprised that we have to wait till May 31 to watch but hopefully they will load all episodes this time like Netflix does (but I’m not holding my breathe)

  • I really loved reading about what inspired the series. I followed the 1st season and loved it. I can’t wait for the second season! ^_^

  • It’s great that we get this opportunity to watch the scenarios you describe above play out. Thanks for sharing this write-up–as someone who has never really followed graphic novels (but who enjoys entertainment involving deep and meaningful stories) it provides great context going in to season 2. I really enjoyed season 1, mainly because I could tell the motivations behind the story seemed to be different enough than a lot of other ‘superhero’ entertainment we get (and boy, do we get a lot these days).

    Funnily, I just had a conversation a few days ago, when season 2 was announced, with a few friends. I was surprised that there were these other friends who felt the same way I did, and have enjoyed the show so far, for the same reasons.

    “In Powers, these superhero murders are a chance to analyze the superhero genre and our culture of celebrity, from a candid perspective that the big publishing houses will never be able to do.”

    ^ that is killer

    Can’t wait for the new season.

  • Loved season 1 and would love if Sony adapted the Netflix/Amazon model of releasing it all at once but since they don’t i will have to avoid all Powers spoiler talk for 10 weeks until it’s all aired so i can binge it.

  • I redouble K3nsh1n’s wishes.

  • Still can’t believe they killed off Retro Girl and I hoping Diamond would of some how got his powers back….

  • Spam comments like this wouldn’t stay up for hours if Sony took this site serious. Where are the mods? Where are the PS employees? Luckily this is just a money scam and not something more vulgar or nefarious. One day something terrible will be posted here and Sony will be caught with their pants down…

    Get your act together PlayStation!

  • We need a Powers MMORPG on PS4. Make it happen!

  • I’ve been following the Powers comics, and it actually was the comic that inspired me to create my own super hero comic book, The Gamma Gals. I was also at the point where I felt that there was nothing left to say about the superhero genre, and my little voice was unneeded. Eventually, after many conversations with my wife about women and minorities in fiction, a germ of an idea began to take root, and I discovered that I did indeed have something to say about superheroes afterall. I finally started writing, penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering a four page mini series, “The Gamma Gals.” Over a year, I’ve been working on this book, and I will be releasing Issue #4, the final issue in the mini series, sometime at the end of next week.

    Powers was an inspiration, because I not only adored the artwork of Mike Avon Oeming, but it showed me that there are many other ways to approach the superhero genre. You chose to marry police procedurals with superheroes.

  • continued from above:

    I’m really enjoying the television show as well, and it looks like the production values for season 2 have been kicked up a notch. It’s great to see my favorite characters come to life on screen. The cast of Powers has done a wonderful job, and I can’t wait to start this new season.

    Is it going to have the same release setup as Season 1? An episode a week? I wish PlayStation subscribed to the Netflix philosophy of releasing the entire season at once, but I can understand from a business perspective why they’d do it a week at a time. How many episodes are in this season? Is it more than Season 1, or the same?

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