Bendis talks Powers on paper and screen

Posted by CB Droege

It’s been nearly a year since we reported that a live-action series was in development based on Powers, a super hero detective comic line.

Since then, the show has gone in an out of favor, having been rumored to be shut down a couple times, and the comics line stopped printing altogether. So what happened? Brian Micheal Bendis, the creator of Powers, and its writer over the entire eleven year run sat down with the guys over at CBR to explain.

It turns out that after FX originally ordered the pilot for the show, and Bendis began working on that project, it completely consumed him.

"This is something that I'm very embarrassed about and not happy with myself about. I'm certainly going to try and make it up in any way I can," he told CBR. "Basically what happened was we were heading strong into our latest storyline on 'Powers,' then miraculously, after 11 years, someone agreed to pay money to film the book as a television series. I served as an executive producer and was very involved with the other executive producers in all the decisions about bringing this to the screen. We talked about casting and met with all kinds of actors. We were there while the pilot was being filmed and were involved in every little decision like costuming."

He regrets letting it happen, but the show consumed his attention, and he lost track of time, not even realizing at first that months had gone by with no new issues of Powers, despite the next four issues being nearly ready for print.

He takes responsibility for the oversight himself, but did note that the independent nature of the powers line is partly at fault, saying that if he had been working on a major title for a big studio - technically, the line is run by Marvel, but the giant comics publisher is mostly hands-off with its absorbed independent properties - he would have either been forced to create or replaced.

He briefly considered passing the comic off to another writer, but quickly decided that it wouldn’t really be the same story anymore without both him and his artist, Mike Oeming, who has also been with the line since the beginning.

The Powers comic line is going to return to a monthly publication schedule starting with Issue #8 of the latest volume in February, and the Powers TV show is looking promising, with FX helping Bendis and the rest of the cast and crew turn the pilot into something extraordinary.

"FX is different from other networks," Bendis continued. "Other networks make a bunch of pilots and watch them once. They then test them and decide whether they want to put them on the air or not. If FX greenlights a pilot they're 80 percent sure that they're putting the show on the air. They reshoot pilots before they abandon them. From what I understand the 'Sons of Anarchy' pilot that aired was almost completely reshot from the original. It was done by our director. 

"So they look at it as a first draft of a five-year investment in a series, which I think makes their shows better. I think that's why their success rate is so high. If a series doesn't connect with an audience it isn't from a lack of quality."

Check out the rest of the interview, and see some advanced art from upcoming issues of Powers, here.

Powers #8 will hit shelves on February 8, 2012. There is no release date set for the show, but it will hopefully be part of FX’s 2012-2013 television season. Back volumes and issues of Powers are available wherever you get your comics, including the comiXology store.