It can’t be easy living in a world with flying superheroes, evil villains, and a race to save the universe when you’re just mortal, stuck dodging pieces of broken buildings and avoiding being taken over by an alien race. That’s where NBC's new comedy Powerless comes in. It stars Vanessa Hudgens as the Director of Research and Development at Wayne Security. If you’re thinking about that Wayne and if it’s connected to Batman’s Bruce Wayne, why yes, it is! On Powerless, Wayne Security is a subsidiary of Wayne Industries, and according to the show’s synopsis, it “specializes in products that make bystanders feel a little safe.”
With so many TV series already set in the DC Comics universe, this is a creative way to explore that canon without directly using those familiar characters. Powerless gets to use the fun parts and background of the DC universe, including all of its heroes and villains, without needing to mention Alfred, Batman, and the Joker in every episode. Instead, Wayne Security is tasked with building gadgets and devices to help the average Joe deal with the superhero and villain landscape. It’s protection… against the superheroes that are supposed to protect you. Spoiler alert, though — the gadgets are going to take a little bit of finessing, as seen in a Powerless promo.
The thing about Wayne Security, though, is that it does not appear directly in the comics. Wayne Enterprises does, of course, because that’s how Bruce Wayne makes the money to create all of his crime-fighting gadgets. But Wayne Security, specifically, is original to the series and honestly, it’s not the company we need, but the company we deserve.
It does have connections to the comics beyond Wayne Enterprises, starting with the head of Wayne Security, Van Wayne. Played by Alan Tudyk on Powerless, ComicBook.com pointed out that Van has appeared — albeit briefly — in the comics. Vanderveer “Van” Wayne made exactly one appearance in print in Batman #148, published in June 1962, where he was also Bruce's cousin and not a very close one. His story involves trying to attempt Bruce and getting kidnapped in the process, only to be rescued by Batman and Robin.
Hopefully, the Powerless version of Van Wayne will be less bumbling. After all, he has the lives of civilians in his hands and a lot of responsibility as the head of Wayne Security.