DC Comics has been around for close to a century at this point, and over the decades they’ve created an astounding number of superheroes and supervillains, ranging from A-listers like Batman to Z-listers like, say, Olympian. Yep, Olympian joined the ranks of the many minor DC characters that have popped up in Powerless, NBC’s fun new sitcom that focuses on the normal folks who have to live in the DC universe.
The bulk of Thursday’s episode, “Sinking Day,” followed Emily and Van as they dealt with the fallout of losing the big Ace Chemicals account. (You may remember Ace Chemicals as the company that’s partially responsible for creating the Joker, so it’s probably not a huge loss for Wayne Security.) But, while they’re trying to reel in clients from Atlantis, the trio of Jackie, Teddy, and Ron are wondering if their hot coworker Alex is really the superhero Olympian. He does go to the bathroom at suspicious times.
It turns out that Alex isn’t really Olympian, as Wendy proves when she whacks him with a chair. He just has a hot bod and an overactive bladder, apparently.
There really wasn’t much of a chance that Alex was Olympian in the first place, assuming that the Powerless version of the character is anything like the two comics characters who have adopted the Olympian mantle over the years.
The first Olympian, Aristides Demetrios, is a Greek man who wears the mythical Golden Fleece. The character debuted in 1982 and is, to be honest, a little bit of a dick. His mythical fleece grants him the powers of the 50 Argonauts, and his most recent major appearance was when he antagonized Wonder Girl in 2008 and started macking on her mom. He’s a hero, he’s just a bit of an Alpha male, and his costume doesn’t look like the getup that Powerless’s Olympian wore.
That costume resembles a more recent version of the character who was created in 2009 by renown comics author and Wonder Woman scribe Gail Simone. That character’s name is, no joke, “Achilles Warkiller,” and he was created by Zeus as the first of a planned race of all-male Amazon counterparts. This Olympian’s powers more closely resemble the character from the show, too, although it’s pretty obvious that he isn’t Alex for a lot or reasons.
Part of what’s fun about Powerless (in addition to the charismatic cast) is the way the showrunners reach deep, deep into the archives of DC comics history and find cool little toys to play with and sly homages to make. However, they don’t take DC canon — or the source material in general — all that seriously. It makes for not a bad little pallet cleanser after Batman v Superman.