If you were around in the mid to late-2000’s, other than Lost or Desperate Housewives, one of the more prominent shows of that era was none other than Heroes. Created by Tim Kring, the four season drama focused on a group of individuals such as Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) who one day found themselves imbued with extraordinary superpowers. Subsequently. they were often thrown together to stop event level catastrophes, like the time when they had to “save the cheerleader” in order to “save the world”. Now in the era of reboots and re-imaginings, Kring has revived the series as a 13 episode miniseries entitled: Heroes Reborn and after two episodes the show did not disappoint one bit.
The show opens with Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) who’s clearly fallen out with his adoptive daughter in Odessa, Texas where our first big event and overarching plot device takes place. Five years after the events of Season four, the “Evo’s”, the people with superpowers who’s existence was outed by Claire Bennet in the last scene of this show’s predecessor are out and about in the world and are gathering there for a world peace summit. It’s all sunshine and rainbows until all hell breaks loose with mass causalities implied in an event now known as “June 13th”. Soon after, we see their world come crashing down and they’re hunted down like “witches in Salem”. I quite liked the “show don’t tell approach” taken here with scenes paced out well of minor characters using their abilities to flee from their captors along with the voices in the media condemning these people. It wasn’t at all hard to keep with the events as they quickly moved from past to present.
Soon after, we then go to an “Evo’s Anonymous” meeting where we get a little more information into this event as well as one of our first introductions to Robbie Kay’s character Tommy as “he goes by these days”. He is characterised as a young teenage boy with teleportation powers who’s constantly on the move due to his persecuted status in this world. In some ways, there’s some callback to the Claire Bennet character as once again, Kring chooses to tell this story of teenage growing pains with added bonus of superpowers through. It is implied that like Claire, he’ll have a much greater role as a player in the events to come with the new people in his life who’ll be rapidly drawn into the ensuing chaos.
Chasing after Tommy and the Evo’s are new players Luke(Zachary Levi) and Joanne(Judi Shekoni) Collins. So far both of these are characterised as assassins who go after and kill off any and all Evo’s they can find due to the events endured on June 13th. It was rather strange to see Zachary Levi play a villain for once. Usually he’s seen as more of a hero such as in previous credits such as Chuck and Tangled, nevertheless he performed well with the script given and he created a believable dynamic with Shekoni as the methodical antagonist with the wife with the “itchy trigger finger”. It would be interesting to see where they fit into the large scheme of things.
Ryan Guzman plays Carlos Gutierrez, a soldier who’s recently returned home from a tour in Afghanistan. In his time there, he intertwines himself with events of the much larger world as he deals with urban legends such as the vigilante El Vengador and how that plays into his family. At first, he comes across as the total antihero but as the episode moves forward, he slowly learns what is involved in being a hero and questions himself. As his character progresses, it’d be worth watching to see here his character plays into things especially wondering whether or not he’ll ever get powers.
We then flash over to Tokyo Japan where we meet Miko Otomo (Kiki Sukezane). She is depicted as a quiet girl currently searching for her lost father. Her life is turned upside down when she meets Ren Shimosawa (Toru Uchikado), an enthusisatic gamer who was told to find her and indicate what her true destiny is. This dynamic between the two is sort of reminiscent of Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) and Ando Masahashi (James Kyson). Ren seems to be the type to run into the fray and assist the one with powers much like Ando did in the past. Not only that, we also see how the use of comic books and fictional superheroes acts as a driving force for the both of them to embark on a hero’s journey. Her power however, is a rather strange one among what was explored previously on the show. Hopefully a little more explanation will be done into this.
Both of the episodes also continue the arc of Quentin Frady from the 6 part webisode prequel Dark Matters. Having seen this episode, I can say that it’s somewhat important but not essential as the episode pretty much nearly covers what went down. I do recommend it as the prequel itself was really well done and suspenseful and does build excitement for the show. Hopefully the rest of the details revealed in Dark Matters like who the mysterious “Hero Truther” is will eventually come to light again. As for Quentin, it’ll be neat to see what the dynamic and partnership will be like with Noah moving forward.
Lastly, the final shot reveals what is the real big event to come as we’re introduced to the final character Malina (Danika Yarosh). It is revealed that she she cannot control what is to come. Hopefully this will be built up well in a similar if not better vein to what Season 1 accomplished well.
Overall, I found the first episodes of Heroes Reborn to be a solid start to what should be a good series that would hopefully up the ante as the show moves forward. As a reboot, it’s also great as it’s not so “in your face” and the Easter Eggs were used well along with the returning characters, some obvious and some not so obvious were used nicely to drive the story.