I’ve been a fan of heroes, especially super-powered ones, for as long as I can remember. For whatever reason, the idea really resonates with me. So I was really excited when Heroes debuted back in 2006. I think the first season was absolutely amazing, with some brilliant ideas and executions. Even I will admit that it suffered badly when the writers’ strike screwed up season two, and it never quite recovered. But I still enjoyed it, even the less-good seasons. So I was excited when I heard it was coming back.
Heroes Reborn is set five years after the series ended (nice parallel, as the show has also been off for five years). The tv show ended with Claire Bennet (the cheerleader of “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” fame), announcing to the world that people with powers exist, and that she is one of them. Four years after that, one year ago from the present time frame, there was a massive incident in Odessa, Texas. Odessa was the home of Primatech, the company Noah Bennet worked for that hunted people with powers, now called “Evos,” short for Evolved Humans. During what was supposed to be a festival of normal humans and “Evos” living and working together, a huge explosion went off, killing many humans and Evos alike. Since then, Evos have been hunted by vigilantes, with at least tacit approval from the US Government.
Heroes Reborn is largely a new cast of characters. Several of the stars from the earlier show have other commitments, and we’re gradually learning what happened to some of the originals. The fate of Claire Bennet is a big part of this episode, and both Matthew Parkman and Hiro have been shown in previews. Noah Bennet, also known as HRG, is very much a part of at least the first two episodes. Thus far, there is no mention of the Patrellis, Sylar, and Hiro’s sidekick Ando. Mohinder Surresh has not been seen yet, but is being blamed for the Odessa incident.
The new cast includes a husband and wife hit team who lost their son in the Odessa incident and are now traveling the country killing Evos; Tommy- a kid who can make things (and people) disappear; Ren and Miko, two Japanese kids are who are really (literally) into computer games; Carlos, a war hero with a past that’s haunting him, and his nephew Jose who can go through things; an as yet unnamed man who will quite literally give you a penny for your thoughts; and a really annoying new sidekick for HRG.
Evos are on the run and in hiding. Among the parallels would be any oppressed minority, and more recently and directly applicable, mutants like the X-Men in the Marvel Universe. There is even mention of a forced government registration program, which has been a big part of the X-Men’s history and a similar law will be part of Captain America: Civil War in the theater next year.
A lot of Heroes wasn’t really uplifting in the original run, but this is a much darker, grimmer world. HRG’s big quest is finding out what happened to Claire, and what’s behind his own memory issues. He gets one clue on that front, but it leads to a lot more questions. The mystery of Claire seems to be tied in to the Odessa incident, so HRG will be digging in to that, which also leads back to Mohinder.
There’s also a lot about Molly Walker, an Evo who can find people by thinking about them. Her story intersects with a that of a gambler with telekinetic powers, and a woman named Taylor who isn’t what she seems to be. I suspect this grouping of characters will intersect with Noah in the near future.
There were a lot of twists and turns with the cast. I’m sure their various paths will intersect eventually, and some of the fun will be figuring out how and when. I’m enjoying Tommy’s story with the complications about his powers, and even his interaction with the school bully took some unexpected directions. There’s also something ominous coming. We get a lot of hints that the Evos are showing up in higher and higher numbers to combat whatever it is, and save humanity.
What I liked: I’m a sucker for stories about people with powers, and this has some creative ones with some great special effects. I like the way they give several different characters their own stories and then eventually weave them together. The penny guy and Tommy are the new ones I’m most interested in so far. Noah Bennet is always fun to watch. The man with no powers can often be the most dangerous character in a world of supers if he’s smart (think Batman).
What I didn’t: As much as I’m enjoying Tommy’s story, bits of it aren’t making sense. His love interest, Emily, is his classmate at the high school, but she seems to be running a store by herself. Not only does she make the hiring decisions, but we never see an adult working in the shop. This just seems a bit odd. I also don’t hugely care for the generally darker tone of the story, but that’s something I go on about in many of my reviews as a general trend I don’t care for.
I liked Heroes a lot, I’m glad it’s back, and I’m also excited to hear that there will be a comic book picking up where the first show left off written by Cullen Bunn. I’m enjoying the new show and will certainly be watching the run of it.
I’ll give the two hour premier a four out of five.