If you’re a resident of the DC Universe, the odds are probably pretty high that, at some point, you or someone you know will come into contact with Joker Gas (aka Joker Venom), a toxin whose victims can literally die laughing. Luckily, Wayne Security is on your side.
The latest promo for the new NBC sitcom “Powerless” takes the form of a commercial for Wayne Security’s Joker Gas Anti-Venom, which can undoubtedly be found at every pharmacy and convenience store in Gotham. And probably in more than a few in Charm City, where the workplace comedy takes place.
The product’s name and logo aren’t the only nods to the Clown Prince of Crime in the teaser. As the narrator warns that “Danger can strike at any moment,” we’re shown footage of a purple-clad suspect (alas, his head is covered) being escorted by Gotham City police to a waiting squad car. If the culprit’s attire and his laughing victim aren’t clues enough to his identity, the building is bathed in purple and green lights.
The in-world ad is only the latest reference to the DC Universe in the marketing push for “Powerless,” whose TV spots have featured appearances by Crimson Fox, Jack O’Lantern and Starro, a Superman joke, and mentions of billionaire Bruce Wayne (after all, Wayne Security is a division of Wayne Enterprises, run by Bruce’s cousin Van).
Set within the DC Comics universe, “Powerless” centers on the everyday lives of people in a world populated by super-powered heroes and villains. The sitcom follows Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke, who begins her new job as director of research & development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises, which specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer as they try not to become collateral damage in the battles between superheroes and supervillains.
Although “Powerless” will make references to A-list heroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, fans shouldn’t expect them to make cameos on the show. What’s more, don’t look for links to the DC Comics-based films or Arrowverse shows; “Powerless” exists in its own world, which showrunner Patrick Schumacker refers to as Earth-P.
Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches and Christina Kirk, “Powerless” premieres Thursday, Feb. 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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