First episode of Powers also meant first case to be solved for the protagonists: in Pilot, the famous corpse the Powers Divison has to deal with doesn’t belong to Retro-Girl as in the comics (in the show, she’s still pretty much alive), but to Olympia, portrayed by Adam Boyer. We learn very little of him during the episode: we know that he was a renowned libertine and womanizer, and that his wife was ok with it; he was killed when his already super-strong heart got a pick up by a new drug, the Sway, just when he was…entertaining himself with teenager Calista Secor. We also know that, despite his youthful appearance, he was 72 years old…and that’s more or less everything we know about him. In the comics as well we learn what we know of him just after his death and, as for everyone else in the show, his story his pretty different. Let’s see together.
Speaking of popularity in The City the first image everyone had in mind was that of Olympia: beautiful, strong, charming, the superhero was among the most beloved and followed in the world, a real celebrity who made his way to the top. Very little is known about his early life: he was a Power, gifted with immense strength and the look of a Greek god (hence the name). He was a new generation superhero, one of the many appearing after Diamond and many of his companions abandoned the public scene. He made his debut as a hero in Denver Airport, where a bunch of terrorists had taken hundreds of hostages: with no regards for his own life, and showing an impressive heroism, Olympia single-handedly defeated all the terrorists and freed the hostages, getting all the spotlights for himself. After this marvelous debut, Olympia kept his profile high: he became an associate of Retro-Girl, one of the most popular superheroines of all times, and often teamed up with her covering the spot left empty by Diamond’s disappearance. He even became the leader of the Golden Ones, a super group of A-leaguers that even increased his popularity: with the Golden Ones, Olympia got the best super-fights and the most heroic deeds, and in no time his celebrity reached its peek. Olympia was well aware of it, and despite enjoying being among the most popular superheroes ever, he always took care that his secret identity remained secret, and that his private life was never exposed. Olympia, in fact, had a wife (her name, as well as his own, is never revealed), and he obviously wanted to protect her and to keep her away from all the dangers a superhero’s life brought along (especially gossip).
His greatest concern, however, wasn’t exactly his wife’s wellbeing: Olympia was famous and popular, and he knew how to exploit the situation. Just as a rockstar, Olympia started collecting groupies in every city he went to, using his natural charm and his fame to win the heart (mostly the body) of the girls he met. In the seven years he was active, Olympia had sex with hundreds of young girls, and he even built a “love nest” for his meetings with his lovers. All the secrecy he managed to mantain on the situation risked to crumble the moment one of his groupies published her story in a book, I’m with the Cape, where she told the world she’d been in a relation with Olympia for three years. The hero’s public image risked to suffer from this kind of revelations, especially considering that the press had gone wild and started to investigate on other self-proclaimed paramours. Olympia tried to divert the public attention from the matter with an interview, but the journalist obviously didn’t ask him about anything else but his sexual life, and Olympia eventually left before time…without denying anything, however. This was more than enough for the hero’s wife, who learnt of her husband’s infidelity through the press: she committed suicide after reading the interview, but Olympia never knew about it. When his wife was dying at home, he was in a squalid motel room with one of his groupies. This time, however, something went wrong, and years of superhuman deeds asked for a retribution: his heart just couldn’t keep up with his body, and during the intercourse Olympia had a heart attack, and died. The groupie ran in fear, and the police found the hero’s body naked and without the sign of any trauma. Deena Pilgrim and Christopher Walker found Olympia’s black book with all the names and addresses of his groupies, and started investigating what they believed to be a murder: the scandals Olympia was trying to hide while he was alive, would have been all revealed after his death.
Olympia is, in every sense of the term, a superstar, a man who baths in celebrity and popularity every day of his life. He undoubtedly acts as a hero and shows a great deal of selflessness to the crowds, but he only does what he thinks may rise his popularity. A rich playboy, he has a nearly uncountable collection of groupies, attracted by the promise of “herculean sex” with such a famous superhero. As the leader of the Golden Ones, Olympia possesses an incredible strength and the ability to fly; he’s also invulnerable, at least on the “outside”: not all of his body is superhuman, and his rather normal heart just can’t keep up with all the heroic exploits. Olympia’s life is just as his body: shiny and beautiful on the outside, frail and decaying on the inside…