A note from Devin: Heroes Season 1 is hitting DVD in a couple of days (click here to buy it from CHUD!). To get the word out, we’re participating in a multi-site scenario, where each site examines a different aspect of one Heroes tag line; ours was ‘How do you stop an exploding man?’
My take on Heroes is pretty well known, so I went to my good friend Jane MacAllister for this one, asking her to write about the weaknesses of the superheroes on Heroes. I think she did a pretty great job, and I’m sure you Heroes fans in the audience appreciate having a different voice on CHUD when it comes to this show!
At the end of this is a list of links to the other pieces – be sure and check them out.
They say a superhero is defined by his villains, but the truth is that a hero is defined by his weakness. While the adventures of Superman may be more exciting because the Last Son of Krypton is going mano y mano with Lex Luthor, the real excitement and danger comes from Superman’s weakness to Kryptonite. Green Lantern is all-powerful – except against the color yellow. Without these weaknesses, superheroes would be unstoppable. And what’s the fun in that?
Unlike Superman or Green Lantern, the superheroes on NBC’s smash hit show Heroes aren’t weakened by some outside element. There’s no glowing rock that inhibits Hiro’s time warping powers. No color in the spectrum can hold Claire back. In the end, the Heroes all have the same weakness, and it’s one that the viewers at home can identify with: self-confidence.
Throughout the first season of Heroes, we saw characters coming to terms with their newfound powers and their place in a grand design that led to the streets of New York City. For most of the characters the discovery of their powers took place in the first half of the season. The rest of the season was about their personal journies to understand who they were and to believe that they could make a difference.
The two Heroes who embodied this journey the most were Hiro Nakamura and Peter Petrelli. Hiro found that after traveling through time and falling in love with the doomed waitress Charlie, his powers became unreliable. He believed that an ancient Japanese samurai sword would be an object that would allow him to focus and better control his powers, and he went on a long and complicated quest to find and retrieve it. in the end, though, Hiro found out that the sword wasn’t important to his control, but rather that the confidence he had gained in his journey.
Sadly, Peter Petrelli never quite learned the confidence that Hiro exhibited. After learning that his unique power, which allows him to absorb and use the powers of other Heroes, would lead to him going nuclear in New York City, he too sought out a way to control his abilities. Learning from Claude the invisible man, Peter is better able to control his new powers, but in the end, when facing the brain-eating villain Sylar, it’s all too much for him. Without the confidence and belief in himself, Peter was unable to control the building energies in his own body. Where Hiro’s journey had brought him to a feeling of self-confidence, Peter never quite made it all the way. But I have a feeling he might be back next season to continue the journey.
Click here for Heroes Tagline Feature No One is Safe