The Power of Possibility. Or rather, the Possibilities for Powers.
Updated: Jan 20
I've decided to take a break from boring your ears off on the podcast, in order to bore your eyes out here in this article!
There are some topics that we cover on our podcast, that we could talk about for DAYS. But sadly, we have so much to cover, we have to cut them short.
But we don't have such constraints in type! So I thought I'd give a few of those subjects a once over, here where we're unlimited.
The first subject that really needed a second go over, is potentially one of the most important in the build-up to the eagerly anticipated release of season one of The Nevers. The POWERS!
From the get-go, Joss has made a point that The Nevers is a show about a group of women in Victorian London, with unusual powers. So, it's clear that he's really going above and beyond when it comes to the abilities these ladies will be rocking.
So how can we be any less commited? We must theorise. It's fandom law.
As such, here are a few abilities that I believe could, nay SHOULD be shown, somewhere in the show. Enjoy.
The way I see it, powers generally fit into one of four categories:
Physical Enhancements. The ability to smash stuff, or survive being smashed.
Mental Enhancements. The ability to smash stuff... with your mind.
Magical Enhancements. The ability to smash stuff, with powers from beyond.
WTF! Utter, unmitigated nonsense. My favourite kind! Over the next four weeks, I'll be going deep into each of these four categories, one at a time, and explaining the powers I would like to see, from each of them.
First off, I'll cover the most basic power type, physical powers. So, ladies and gentlemen... Lets get physical!
The bread and butter of any good super; increased physical abilites! From Wolverine's regeneration to Batman's Martial Arts skill, these are the baseline which greater powers often rest upon.
As we covered in the Podcast, I can't see this show slipping by without some Slayer analogue showing up. Increased strength, durability and speed are a MUST for at least one member of the Nevers. While it's not the flashiest of powers, if we're going to be throwing down with any regularity, we're going to need AT LEAST one Never who has the enhanced abilties required to go toe to toe with whatever oddness they're going to encounter along the way. There are many ways they could introduce this particular powerset; a Chosen one, like a certain Vampire Slayer, a Captain America style super soldier, a Wonder Woman style Demi-God, or, hopefully, something TOTALLY unexpected... like a Jekyll and Hyde style dark side, or maybe some kind of Opium fueled berserker rage. I'm sure Joss will come up with something fun!
The other way, to introduce a "Combat Specialist" type character, without resorting to increased stats, is the second power I'll be covering today. Martial Arts master! It doesn't matter how strong you are, how fast you move... If your opponent has you wrapped up in a human pretzel with their skills!
However... With this power you run into one huge roadblock.
it's been done. Many times.
Often well, but more often than not... Very, very badly.
The Victorian Era was a time of great change, when many new people from ALL over the world first came to the U.K... So can we PLEASE not get the same old wise asian man/cute asian lady as the Martial Arts master? It's a played out stereotype and just plain lazy. Want some fresher ideas? How about:
Bartitsu: a system of self defense invented in Blighty. A slightly insane mix of Boxing, Jujitsu and Cane fighting, this fighting style has recently been demonstrated in Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes series and is a VERY interesting cinematic style and would fit perfectly in with the theme/setting of the show.
Savate: a style very similar to Kickboxing, but invented in France. A very accrobatic style, featuring lots of high kicks and some very flashy moves, this would be an excellent style to showcase. Maybe have a Femme Fatale style character, who learned to defend herself on the mean streets of Paris?
Pankration: Practiced at the very first Olympic games, Pankration is very similar to modern MMA; a system of strikes, locks, and throws, focused primarily on ground work, designed to take down their targets with maximum effciency. While not the most interesting fighting style to watch, they could easily fudge the details a little, to make it more cinematic.
There we go, Joss. Pick one, run with it! There are plenty of ways to put a spin on the played out "Martial Arts Master" trope, without relying on dated archetypes.
The third physical type power I'd love to see in the show, is one that gets used a lot, but never seems to live up to it's potental. Known as "Photographic Reflexes", "Adaptive Muscle Memory", "Eidetic Kinesthesia" or simply "Body Movement Copying", this is the ability to see an enemy perform an action and then replicate, and sometimes improve upon, that action. The most famous users of this particular technique would be Marvel's "Taskmaster", DCs "Cassandra Cain" and Naruto's "Kakashi". Although, my favourite would be Zen, from 2008s CRIMINALLY underrated Martial Arts masterpiece "Chocolate".
I feel like there is SO much that this ability could be used for, both inside and outside of combat, but more often than not writers simply fall back on the basic "I saw someone hit me this way, so I hit them the same way back". What about a super spy, who uses her Photographic Reflexes to become the ultimate mimic, able to perfectly copy others mannerisms and body language. Or a Hunter, who uses her ability to mimic animalistic movements, to move more stealthily or confuse her persuers. The possibilities are there... You just have to be a bit imaginitive with it!
So there you have it, Neverites! A few of the powers I'd love to see in the Nevers, but what do YOU think? Feel free to comment below, with physical based powers you'd love to see in the Nevers.
And don't forget to join me next week, when we transcend the physical and move into the world of Mental Powers!
I'll see you then!