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Comic characters have been taking television by storm. DC kicked off the trend in 2012 with the premiere of Arrow on The CW, and the years since have seen every major network aside from the Marvel-affiliated ABC feature a primetime DC-oriented project. NBC will premiere the first comedic series set in a DC universe with Powerless, which stars Vanessa Hudgens as an insurance claims adjuster. The big question has been: How will superheroes factor into the plot of a show that revolves around normal people? Now, we have an answer: at least one hero will appear in the flesh, and we know others will at least be referenced to give scale to the universe.
A trailer for Powerless was shown at the NBC Universal Upfront presentation that revealed the hero Crimson Fox will be part of a big battle that unfortunately throws a bunch of regular commuters off schedule for the work day, according to IGN. Other scenes in the trailer featured references to Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman.
Aside from Crimson Fox, the heroes referenced in the trailer are all such big names that even TV fans who may not know much about DC comics are likely to recognize them. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are even both going to be key characters in the upcoming Justice League movie and will get their own solo projects, so they’re probably the perfect sort of characters to name drop in the new series. I wouldn’t be surprised if Powerless shies away from too many nods at Batman and Superman, but the show seems to not have many limits about what comic characters can be established as existing within the show’s world.
The freedom is great news for DC fans in general who love a good Easter egg, but it’s perhaps not so exciting for any who were hoping that there would be characters from other DC projects dropping in and out of Powerless. Frankly, the sitcom wouldn’t get off to such a funny start if it was set in the same dark world as Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, and it’s hard to imagine NBC could get away with references to Wonder Woman and Aquaman if they’re the same Wonder Woman and Aquaman who will appear in Justice League.
We can also bet that any appearances of Green Arrow or the Flash won’t feature cameos from Stephen Amell or Grant Gustin. As much as the CW seems to love DC crossovers, sharing characters with NBC is unlikely to happen. Arrow only got Constantine after his NBC show was cancelled.
All in all, I’m much more excited about a Powerless that gets to put a comedic spin on classic comic characters than I would be about a Powerless that has to try to make characters from other DC projects funny enough to fit into sitcom. Powerless is not set to premiere until midseason, so there’s no saying how long it will be before NBC releases a trailer to the public. To see what you’ll be able to watch in the meantime, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.