Porter C. Powell is Chairman of the Board of Sumdac Systems... and, peculiarly, a major financier of the experiments and business ventures of one of Sumdac's chief rivals, Prometheus Black. A capitalist of the sleazy, profit-at-any-price type, Powell is not above working with the villainous or demented to make big bucks.
Basically, he's a rich jerk. His mullet, however, is truly inspirational.
After the highly public failure of Black's test subject, Colossus Rhodes, Porter C. Powell spoke to Black via the video link in his lab. When Black tried to sell Powell on his latest innovation (a super-corrosive derived from Autobot mech fluid and Black's own steroids) and the necessity of a new human test subject, Powell informed him that Black's investors were unwilling to sink any more money into his mad science—and furthermore, that even the prison system wouldn't provide Black with a new guinea pig. Regretfully, Powell ended both the call and his business relationship with Black.
After Isaac Sumdac was abducted by Megatron, Sari took over leadership of the company. Powell disapproved of having a mere child responsible for the business, especially since she was diverting corporate funds to the search for her father. Powell wouldn't have to deal with her for very long, however: he was able to discover no legal documents referring to a "Sari Sumdac"—no will, birth certificate, adoption papers, Social Security Number, anything. Not only is there no proof she is Sumdac's daughter, from a bureaucratic standpoint, there is no proof she exists. Powell was installed as new CEO of Sumdac Systems, and one of his early decisions was to lock Sari out of Isaac's lab and offices. He then, rather smugly, informed Sari of her "lack of existence". What a nice guy.
Totally unsympathetic to Sari's circumstances, Powell evicted her from Sumdac Tower, confiscated Tutor Bot and Sparkplug, and gave her bedroom to Henry Masterson. Powell had invested considerable effort in clearing up that whole attempted nuclear terrorism thing and wanted to use Masterson's skills to gain access to lucrative military contracts that had previously been ruled out by Isaac Sumdac's silly unprofitable conscience. As part of his new research and development, Masterson body-jacked Sentinel Prime, and Powell helped him out: preventing Optimus Prime from searching the tower for evidence and trying to conceal Masterson from detection. But when Powell phoned Masterson to warn him the Autobots were looking for him, an eavesdropping Optimus traced the call and was able to apprehend the nerdy ne'er-do-well. But Powell wasn't about to let a corporate asset go to jail: even as Captain Fanzone was slapping the cuffs on Masterson, Powell drove up in his limo to announce that no real crimes had been committed (the damaged property belonged to Sumdac Systems and the alien robots had no legal rights), and further that the alleged crime had occurred in international waters and thus outside Fanzone's jurisdiction.
- Powell seems to be a caricature of the stereotypical businessman who will do anything to make a profit. At the current rate, he's also shaping up to be the biggest human villain in the series. Sound familiar?
- Powell has pointed out that as giant robots from outer space, the Autobots don't have any rights. Thus he believes (and presumably can prove in a court of law) that it's not only fair game to attack them, it's legal. He may rethink his policy if he meets the Decepticons...
- So...what's with the pink sunglasses?