EXCLUSIVE: Brian Bendis On ‘Powers’ TV Series Pilot Episode And Tone

A few weeks ago, Brian Bendis gave us an update on the “Powers” television series, announcing that a showrunner (Kevin Falls) and director (Michael Dinner) were on board for the project—though it has yet to be green lit for production.

When the hardworking writer/artist dropped by Splash Page recently, I got him to offer up a few more details about the live-action leap “Powers” is taking to the small screen, including how closely it will resemble the comics, the story arc that will kick it off and the general tone planned for the series.

“[’Powers’] is in healthy development,” Bendis told MTV News. “It’s not green lit yet, but over the course of the last couple months, we got ourselves a showrunner, which is really big news for a show. It creates a more healthy environment for the show’s development.”

As for where things are at right now, Bendis said Falls is currently applying notes from the network (FX) to the script for the pilot episode and “crafting the story into television language.”

According to Bendis, Falls is not only asking him a lot of questions as he develops the series’ script, but more importantly, he’s asking the right questions.

“There were times during my experiences with feature film development when they would ask me questions and the question they were asking would scare you,” he laughed. “But these were the right questions.”

“We’re making a cop show with superhero elements to it, not a superhero show with other elements to it,” he continued. “It’s a cop show—a dark one, hopefully in the same vein as ’The Shield’—and it really seems to be shaping up that way. Fingers crossed for the green light!”

Bendis compared “Powers” to the “Dexter” television series (based on the novels of Jeff Lindsay) as far as the adaptation’s faithfulness to its source material.

“The ’Dexter’ of the show and the ’Dexter’ of the books are different,” he explained. “But no one’s offended by the diversion. I think we’re headed toward the same mindset, as far as the books will be the books, and the TV show, as it evolves, will have its own thing. But it starts at the same place for sure.”

Despite the eventual divergence of the two “Powers” projects, Bendis said the “Who Killed Retro Girl?” story arc that kicked off the comic book series will also become the TV series’ pilot storyline. The arc introduces homocide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, tasked with investigating cases that involve super-powered criminals, as they attempt to solve the murder of one of the world’s most famous superheroes, Retro Girl.

“I don’t want to spoil the ending of a 10-year-old story, but everything we learn in that first story arc sets up the world of ’Powers,’ sets up all the mysteries of Walker and all the other police officers dealing with it, sets up the world, and sets us on a course for a very long journey of mythology and storytelling,” said Bendis.

Comparing the series to another TV project known for its super-powered characters, Bendis said fans should expect a much more adult-oriented drama than most superhero fare.

“’Heroes’ saves the cheerleader, we kill the cheerleader—that’s how it’s going to go,” he explained. “There’s a dead superhero on the floor. It’s not for the kids.”

However, with all the attention on the “Powers” TV series, that doesn’t mean the comic book series that inspired it isn’t receiving any love.

The “Powers” comics will relaunch with a new Issue #1 in November, celebrating the series’ 10th anniversary—no small accomplishment for an indie comic.

“We’re telling a story about Christian Walker, who has a very sordid past as an almost-immortal,” he said of the relaunched series’ first story arc. “He’s traveled the world in different guises [and] we’ve never seen certain chapters of his life. A murder happens in the modern day that harkens back to his life after World War II in the ’50s, when the Rat Pack was filled with corrupted superheroes. Walker was the Dean Martin of the group. It’s a fun era and a fun story.”

Excited for the “Powers” TV series? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!