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SEASON PREMIERE REVIEW: Heroes Reborn 1×01 “Brave New World” & 1×02 “Odessa”

Written by Alex Reale

I’ll admit – I was very hesitant about Heroes Reborn since Heroes wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. But I’m glad I tuned in to tonight’s premiere. Heroes Reborn has potential to be even better than its predecessor (Hell, these two introductory episodes were better than most of Heroes). However, even though I enjoyed the premiere, there were still some minor flaws that kept me from fully enjoying Heroes Reborn‘s first two episodes. (spoilers ahead!)

On June 13th, at a human/Evo summit being held in Odessa, Texas, a catastrophic event leads to the death of hundreds of civilians. This summit was meant to discuss the growing tensions in the community as more and more Evos (people with superhuman abilities) were making themselves known to the world. After the explosion, people started pointing fingers, wondering who exactly was responsible. Most of the world believes that it’s Mohinder Suresh, a supposed Evo extremist who claimed responsibility for the attack on live TV. Others believe that it doesn’t add up and that Suresh couldn’t have been the one to cause it. Despite what everyone thinks, it was obviously an Evo with a very dangerous power who caused the explosion.

The central character of Heroes Reborn turns out to be Noah Bennet aka Horn-Rimmed Glasses (I never got why the glasses were so important; like they were important enough to nickname the guy after them). We see Noah climbing out of the wreckage of the June 13th explosion just before the timeline shifts to a year later. As the episode progresses, we get a glimpse of how Noah is now living under a different name with a whole new identity that isn’t tied into his past. One night, Noah confronts a man named Quentin who believes that there was something very unusual about the June 13th explosion, and that Noah possibly was involved with it, though he doesn’t remember it for some reason.

A few things about all this: prior to the release of Heroes Reborn, there was an online webisode series called Dark Matter. In this series, we learn that Quentin’s sister Phoebe is an Evo who can control shadows and darkness. I won’t get into details, but I think that Dark Matter may have spoiled a certain plot element about Heroes Reborn. Proceed to watch the web series at your own risk.

Also, Noah claims that his daughter Claire was killed in the explosion. How? She’s practically immortal. I think the only way that she stays dead is if there’s something lodged in the back of her head. I know that Hayden Panettiere isn’t scheduled to make an appearance on the show, so this is probably a cheap way for the producers to eliminate her character with little question. Except we’re still asking questions. How didn’t she survive the explosion?

Anyway, Noah soon finds out that he had his memory wiped after the explosion. Who do we know that has the power to wipe memories? Rene the Haitian, one of my favorite characters! He briefly talks with Noah before he tries to strangle him to death. In a small scuffle, Noah ends up accidentally killing his old friend. Apparently, pre-memory-wipe Noah ordered Rene to kill him if he ever came back asking about his memories. Nice fail-safe, I guess? But it only raises suspicion as to what happened on June 13th, and whether Noah really did have something to do with it.

Switching gears, we travel to other parts of the world where we watch more Evos coming to light. In Los Angeles, there is a masked man going by the name “El Vengador” who is fighting crime in the shadows of the night. He doesn’t appear to have any major powers, but he knows how to kick a lot of ass. This whole scene and concept with El Vengador reminded me of Arrow (good Arrow, before Season 3 ruined it). I like the fact that we’re finally seeing actual superheroes trying to fight crime rather than a bunch of people just standing around and using their super powers for un-hero-like purposes. El Vengador is also acting as a rallying point for Evos, helping them escape persecution via a modern-day Underground Railroad.

In Chicago, a young boy named Tommy is almost gunned down by a mysterious man and woman until he uses his powers to transport them somewhere far away. The man and woman, known as Luke and Joanne, lost their son (supposedly during the June 13th explosion) and are now on a mission to eliminate Evos. This is yet another interesting concept to add to the Heroes-verse: here we have two people who may be the antagonists, but they’re not 100% evil (at least, not to me). It seems like they’re just sad. They want the Evos to pay for what happened to their son. It’s not right for them to go around shooting innocent people, but you have to understand where they’re coming from. At one point, it looks like Luke is legitimately hesitant about hunting down Evos. What if, as the show goes on, Joanne becomes more and more obsessed with the revenge aspect and Luke begins to have self-doubts and thinks about whether his son would’ve wanted this?

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Finally, we end up in Japan. A young gamer named Ren tells a mysterious girl, Miko, that he unlocked a secret message in a video game that led him to her apartment. He tells her that she will discover a magic sword under the floorboards that will help her find her missing father. Miko finds the sword, and when she unsheathes it, it transports her to a video game world, where she is the bad-ass Katana Girl. This whole concept of the characters entering the actual video game world was very, very odd. It didn’t seem like something I’d expect from Heroes. And so far, we don’t see the correlation between this video game and the rest of the show. What’s the point of it all?

One possible explanation is that the sword once belonged to Takezo Kensei, and that it may have fallen into Hiro Nakamura’s possession. This leads to another hypothesis: what if these events in Japan are all happening in the future, and Miko is Hiro’s daughter? At the end of the episode, we see her enter a building with the name “Yamagato” on a wall. How does it all tie together?

The two-hour premiere of Heroes Reborn was fun and entertaining, but far from perfect. Compared to the weaker parts of Heroes, I’d consider it a masterpiece. I think that as the show goes on, it may get much better. Unfortunately, I thought the same thing about Heroes, and we all saw how that panned out…

 

Final Grade: B +

+ I liked the introduction of the vigilante El Vengador; it had a very Arrow-like feel to it.

+ The story involving the growing tensions between humans and Evos is interesting and could be the basis for a very engaging plot arc.

+ Overall, the show kicked off on a very high note; these two episodes were more entertaining than most of Season 2 or 3 of Heroes.

– I thought we were done with the slow, tedious narration at the beginning/end of episodes; I guess not.

– The Katana Girl sequence in the video game seemed very out of place for this kind of show.

– Why did they have to kill off the Haitian so soon?!

Extra Thoughts:

– I’m almost fully convinced that the events in Japan with Ren and Katana Girl are happening in the future.

How did you feel about Heroes Reborn‘s premiere? Did you like it more than the original series? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!