After several summers of blockbusters in which a city like New York, London, or a fictional city that happens to look a lot like New York and London gets torn to pieces by superhero clashes and alien invasions, NBC's Powerless is here to assure you that there are ordinary people working on the ground to protect its citizens as well. In fact, the series is not even inventing its own mythology. The DC comics Easter Eggs in Powerless create a world in which superheroes are as commonplace as the Super Bowl.
While the sitcom's setting Charm City is not a DC comics location, there are plenty of nods to other things that place Powerless squarely in the DC universe — or at least, a DC universe. The NBC series, which stars Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, and Alan Tudyk, may not be connected to Arrow or Gotham in any official capacity, but all three shows are drawing from the same source material.
The animated opening credits sequence shows the characters as classic comic book bystanders with members of the Justice League like Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and The Flash in action. As for the pilot, here are the jokes and references that caught my attention.
"President-Elect Luthor Vows To Make Metropolis Super Again"
I'd laugh if I wasn't so queasy.
Wayne Or Lose
Emily goes to work at Wayne Security, run by Bruce Wayne's cousin.
The masked crusader who saves Emily's first day commute is a DC heroine.
Similarly, the pumpkin-y villain targeting Charm City is a DC character.
Another bizarre-looking DC villain, seen in an Emily flashback.
The team's biggest product targets Batman's infamous nemesis.
Appropriately, the Superman villain's company is our heroes' competitors.
Big Belly Burger
A sign for the DC comic favorite can be seen in Charm City. Another sign reads "Blackhawk Airways, a possible reference to Blackhawk, a pilot in DC comics.
One of the team's proposals involves Superman's weakness.
"With Great Power Comes Living In A Taint"
OK, so Van Wayne was (rudely) referencing the Marvel hero Spider-man with that quote, but I'd still count it as an Easter Egg.
The Joker Is Arrested
With the unknowing help of the Wayne Security team. Somehow, Batman developed the same technology at the same time. "I wish we worked for Batman," said Ron. "I feel like he'd get us." "Maybe someday we will," replied Emily — which was not only a great knowing Easter Egg but an intriguing set up for the rest of Powerless. How long can these civilians work for Bruce Wayne before discovering his secret identity? This show may be a light-hearted look at superheroes, but there seems to be a mystery brewing after all.