Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Hiro Nakamura is a drone in a faceless Japanese company but he aspires to more than just a face in a homogenous crowd. Hiro is a pop culture geek (his breathless exclamations are peppered with references to Star Trek and the X-Men…though my personal geek has to point out that his reference to X-Men #143 is incorrect…Hiro references the character Kitty Pryde from that issue but he misinterprets her powers in the process…but I guess that’s neither here nor there to non-geeks) who wants to be a super-hero and he believes that he does indeed have superhuman powers. And, indeed, he does.

Hiro is one of the titular heroes of this intriguing new series. As is the vogue for network dramas these days, Heroes is a serial with, as a matter of course, plotlines twisting and turning within in the context of a larger picture that we’re not privy to as yet (though reports have it that a super-powered serial killer is going to be the adversary in the first season.) A seemingly unconnected group of people are discovering they have super-powers (teleportation, flight, invulnerability, etc.) without knowing how or why.

The one person who seems to know why…an Indian scientist…is killed by a conspiracy of some sort (what serialized thriller would be complete without a shadowy conspiracy?) and his research is taken up by his son, Mohinder, who finds himself on the run from the same conspiracy and taking a job as a New York cabbie while he does so.

The threads of some of the characters’ individual plotlines are already being drawn together. Mohinder, for example, is spooked by a creepy conspiracy guy who turns out to be the stepfather of Claire, a Texas teenager who has discovered that injuries to her body head themselves miraculously.

Peter, an easygoing nurse who believes he can fly (and the brother of Nathan, an ambitious candidate for Congress who dismisses his brother’s fanciful beliefs), has a crush on Simone, the daughter of one of his terminal patients, who in turn is the girlfriend of Isaac, a tortured artist and drug addict who appears to have the power to see the future (a power channeled through his paintings.) Isaac, in a drug-addled stupor, hints that there is some tragedy that the would-be heroes must stop. (Peter also crosses paths with Mohinder when he takes a ride in his taxi.)

Niki, a stripper on the run from the mob with her son (who himself seems to be extraordinarily intelligent), sees visions of a doppelganger in mirrors and other reflective surfaces…a doppelganger who, apparently, can manifest violently (as evidenced by the killing of two mob goons who tracked Niki down.)

(The pilot episode does not introduce us to Matt, a Los Angeles policeman who thinks that he can hear other people’s thoughts, or to D.L., an inmate who can apparently pass through solid walls…which, my inner geek coming out again, is Kitty Pryde’s power.)

It’s an intriguing start...Heroes (Monday nights on NBC with Friday repeats on the SciFi Channel) may indeed turn out to be worth the season-long investment serialized stories require providing it has the staying power of some serials (Lost, 24, Prison Break) and not the frustrating ratings weakness of others (Surface, Threshold, etc., etc.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, he didn't misrepresent her powers, he referenced the wrong issue. It should have been #141 (& 142), which is the infamous "Days of Future Past" storyline wherein adult Kate Pryde psychically travels back in time thanks to Rachel to inhabit the body of 13yo Kitty.

From one comic geek to another.