Look, okay, yes, NBC’s Powerless does kind of look like a trashfire of comedy cliches. But they totally didn’t make up a brand new Wayne cousin! He’s just from the Silver Age of Comics and only made one appearance!
Bruce Wayne takes in his young and arrogant cousin, Vanderveer Wayne, for a visit. When Van sees Batman and Robin costumes in the laundry (which Alfred explains away as masquerade costumes), he is inspired to impersonate Robin in order to impress Bruce and Dick. However, Vanderveer makes the mistake to hire a former criminal to impersonate Batman. The crook captures Vanderveer and the kid has to find a way out to warn the real Batman and Robin about the impersonator. During the final confrontation, Vanderveer helps Batman and Robin capture the crook and afterwards, he finally learns a lesson.
Now, no explanation is made of how Van can be Bruce’s cousin, since Thomas Wayne’s only sibling (Philip Wayne, who actually adopted Bruce after his parents died) never had any children. But then again, there are so many Waynes and Kanes, it’s hard to keep track.
For example: did you know that Bruce’s great-uncle had a son named Bruce N. Wayne, who is technically Bruce’s cousin once removed and whom Bruce was named after? And Bruce himself had a secret brother named Thomas Wayne, Jr. who turned out to be a serial killer named the Boomerang Killer? Wacky stuff.
If this means that Powerless is actually set in a pre-Crisis Silver Age world, it might turn out to be really, really fun. Like, perhaps Van decides to redesign the Batsuit in a rainbow of colors. Or the gang decides to build a Bat-robot. Or they have Batman as a guest-star, but it’s when he’s been turned into Bat-baby.
You can see the possibilities.