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NBC jumped into the superhero game in a unique way when it ordered up Powerless, an extremely rare comedic addition to the comic book TV lineup. But while the DC Comics-based show was initially developed as an office-space show on the outskirts of the high-stakes costumed action, there's a much heavier embrace of the comic source material now, and in fact, one of the lead characters has a pretty massive connection to Batman. Alan Tudyk's character is now named Van Wayne, and he is officially Bruce Wayne's cousin. Here's hoping he doesn't have anything in common with other Wayne family members we've met in the past.
Alan Tudyk's character was originally named Del Heller, but that wouldn't put him in the Bat-family tree, so now his new boss will be of a more familiar lineage, and I know the questions are already building up inside your heads. Does this mean we're going to see him prank calling Gotham's Bruce Wayne and teasing him about kissing girls? Is he going to ask to borrow the Batmobile for some work-related trip? Does Van have his own secret identity? These questions and more may or may not be answered by Powerless when it premieres, but I'm most of my betting money is on Batman never making an on-screen appearance, at least not in the early days. Depends on how much money NBC is willing to shell out to use him, though.
Speaking of money and billionaires, Powerless had already teased its connection to the Batman mythos whenever the show got revamped following its season order, and the company at the heart of the premise was changed from an insurance company to Wayne Security, which develops safety products for innocent bystanders who get caught up in fights between superheroes and their villains. For those unaware, the show was initially only on the outskirts of comic action, with more subtle nods and winks, but original creator/showrunner Ben Queen exited the project after it was ordered to series, and the remaining creative team doubled down on all the DC elements and reshot the pilot. (That first ep is now called "Wayne or Lose.")
Check out the new trailer for the comedy below, in which the wackiness is turned up to maximum.
With its cast of talented stars - Alan Tudyk joins Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk and Ron Funches - Powerless will finally spread its spring-powered wingsuit or whatever when it premieres on NBC on Thursday, February 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Head to our midseason TV schedule to see everything else coming to you in the near future.