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EXCLUSIVE: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming Talk “Powers” Product Line & TV Pilot

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Can’t make it to C2E2 to get the latest news about your favorite comic book creators in person? Relax – we’ve got you covered because we can announce that Dark Horse Deluxe, Dark Horse’s collectible goods imprint, is teaming up with Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming to release figures based on their uber-popular Powers series.

The initial run of products is set to include a limited-edition statue of Retro Girl, a major figure in the first story arc of the superhero crime procedural story, and a boxed set of vinyl figures of the series’ principal characters, including Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim. Working together with celebrated sculptor Tony Cipriano, Oeming and Bendis had a large hand in guiding the production of the figures, which are slated for a fourth-quarter 2013 release. Although we’ll have to wait until San Diego Comic-Con to see the prototypes, we have, in addition, some exclusive concept art of the products below. And because we love you, I spoke with Bendis and Oeming to get the skinny on how these figures came to life, the status on the Powers pilot for FX, and, of course, their ideal burritos.

Nerdist: Tell us a bit about this new Powers product line. What’s the experience like of having your creations be immortalized in action figure form?

Brian Michael Bendis: We have been very careful over the years about what kind of merchandise we wanted to put out into the world. We wanted to be fully confident that we were going to put out some high-end stuff and no one puts out better stuff than Dark Horse.

Michael Avon Oeming: I’ve done a few statues and figures before, but I’ve been really excited to work with Dark Horse, especially their PVC line like Hellboy and the Umbrella Academy figures.  I’m proud to have Powers be a part of that.

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N: Did you have any involvement in the sculpting/product line development process? How closely did you work with the sculptors?

BMB: Mike is doing brand-new designs specifically for all the products, so these will not just be a facsimile, but as close to the actual thing as you can get.

MAO: Yea, we’re deep in the middle of it as we speak. Doing 360% shots of characters is always challenging, especially to a non-perfectionist like me.

N: Were there any characters that you wish had been included in this initial run?

BMB: Now that we are making these and I see how awesome they are, I want every single character that has ever appeared in the book, including background extras, to be immortalized in this way.

MAO: If there’s enough support, I’d love to do several versions of the characters, especially the FOREVER line of Walker.

N: It seems like superhero crime noir is making a bit of a comeback, which is certainly a testament to Powers’  lasting influence. What is it about the genre that captivates audiences in a way that others don’t?

BMB: They are two genres that at first glance don’t seem to have a lot in common, but if you think about it, they have almost everything in common. Plus the crime genre allows us to take the rules and visuals of the superhero genre into dark and interesting places. And who doesn’t love dark and interesting places?

Powers

N: Has there been any movement on the status of the Powers pilot at FX? We’d love to see it on the small screen.

BMB: I’m happy to say that we have been given a second chance at FX. The first pilot came in and was received well enough for them to continue developing with a brand-new show runner in the form of acclaimed crime novelist Charlie Houston. He has just handed in the latest draft, which is by far the best version of the show so far.

MAO: I’ve already spent the second season money, so, fingers crossed.

N: What comics are you reading and enjoying right now?

BMB: I am enjoying Victories by the aforementioned Mike Avon Oeming; the latest Hellboy is the best Hellboy has ever been; I’m enjoying Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley; Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja; Avengers Assemble by Kelly Sue; every single one of the artist editions from IDW; and Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw. And a lot of others. but my mind is blanking.

MAO: Hellboy in Hell and Black Beetle are fun, Brian’s End Of Days with David Mack, Alex Maleev and Klaus Janson…yes I’m just reading my friends’ books!

N: Last question: what would be inside your ideal burrito?

BMB: Marshmallow fluff, which I think technically makes it a crêpe.

MAO: Hundred dollar bills. See, always thinking!

And now, check out these exclusive concept sketches of the forthcoming Powers product line from Dark Horse, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming:

Deena Pose

Deena Pilgrim figure

Walker Pose

Christian Walker figure

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Retro Girl Statue

Are you looking forward to the Powers figures? Who else would you like to see turned into a collectible? Let us know in the comments below!

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