Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Just as radio moved to television, and network to cable, entertainment is finding new platforms elsewhere. Some of best shows are now on Netflix and Amazon. Sony PlayStation has also thrown its hat into the ring this week with "Powers."

Powers is/was the controversial and critically acclaimed comic book series of quite a few years back by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. The opening arc, collected as "Who Killed Retro Girl?," was one of the best stories of its time.

I first discovered Powers while investigating this Bendis guy who was then destroying my beloved Avengers with "Disassembled." While more than a decade later I still have serious issues with what Bendis has done with the Avengers, I was then, and remain impressed with Powers.

The television version of Powers is very "Dexter" in that the comics and the show exist in two very similar and very different universes. Sharlto Copley's Christian Walker is slight and run down, very noir, which is more appropriate than Oeming's nearly godlike figure of the comics. Deena Pilgrim switches races in the person of Susan Heywood from "The Following," and is more up than her comics counterpart. I like them together, good chemistry.  Eddie Izzard is also very good, excellent casting here. 

"Powers" does suffer from a lack of confidence in its audience however. We are beaten over the head with certain aspects of the world and characters. Whether it's characters themselves becoming indexes for who's who or clips of Mario Lopez on "Extra" telling us - it gets to be a bit much. Just let us explore the world as it comes. We'll get it.

All that said, I liked the first episode quite a bit. Written by pulp/noir author Charlie Huston and directed by David Slade, who has a few episodes of both "Breaking Bad" and "Hannibal" under his belt, "Powers" is better than most stuff out there and worth a look. The first episode is available on YouTube and the rest of the season will drop every Tuesday on the Sony PlayStation Network.

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