So Heroes Reborn was pretty much how I thought it was going to be from the trailer. The focus was largely on the white characters and there were many plot elements that didn’t make any sense. It might be enjoyable for someone who didn’t watch Heroes, but for someone who did, Heroes Reborn already seems confusing.
Heroes Reborn begins with a conference taking place in Odessa, Texas after Claire Bennet revealed that there are evolved humans (or Evos). There were some issues with prejudice against these evolved humans, but Odessa was in many ways supposed to be a peace summit to resolve all of that. However, all of that goes horribly wrong when a bomb goes off at the conference, killing most of the people there. Mohinder Suresh is blamed for the bomb and labeled an Evo terrorist. This pushes things into a more dystopian territory with everyone hunting down, and even killing, Evos. The Evos all live in fear, not just of the government but also of a mysterious group that has been kidnapping evolved humans.
While we are introduced to several different characters in this first episode, the focus is largely on Noah Bennet (Claire’s father), Tommy Clarke, a young teen boy with the power to open portals and teleport people and things away, and Luke Collins, a normal human who lost his son in Odessa and now travels the country with his wife Joanne, killing Evos in revenge. These three are, of course, all white male characters.
So far all three of these storylines are really cliché and dry. Tommy Clarke is an outcast at school who moves around around a lot because he has to hide his powers. He seems to like the popular girl who is dating the dumb jock who hates him. Eventually Tommy and the popular girl, Emily, become friends after he uses his powers to save her from almost being killed by Luke and Joanne when she sees them kidnapping Tommy. However, her boyfriend finds out and threatens to tell the cops unless Tommy makes his neglectful drunk dad disappear. Tommy refuses, but a mysterious well-dressed man with a suitcase full of pennies somehow makes jock boy’s father disappear. Jock boy thinks Tommy did it, and so declares them best friends and promises to protect him. It’s basically like a terrible version of every high school drama and stereotype, but with super powers. I’m also guessing that Tommy is related to the Petrellis or Sylar or something since he specifically mentions that he doesn’t know who his father is. So I assume his dad will be one of the original characters.
Luke Collins is another clichéd, problematic character. He is set up to at least partially be the villain of this story since he is killing Evos, but things already seem like Luke could turn over a new leaf while his wife, a Black woman, is shown as the heartless extremist. Though Luke still kills people, he seems to start regretting it and wonders if this is something he and his wife should keep doing. Meanwhile, his wife is resolute in her belief that killing Evos is right, even if it means killing kids. Luke is also portrayed as the intelligent one while his wife is portrayed as violent and trigger-happy. So we have a white male character who is already set up to be a redeemed villain, but a violent and seemingly irrational Black woman… yeah, that’s so progressive.
Noah Bennet is our only main character from the original show. Things begin with him wanting to address his falling out with Claire, but after the bomb in Odessa, he believes Claire is dead, which makes absolutely no sense. Claire can heal from any wound and is practically immortal. She would literally have to be vaporized in order to be dead, and Noah knows that. Yet he thinks she is dead. After Odessa, Noah has taken on a different alias and is marrying some other woman. Apparently, just like the writers, Noah not only forgot how Claire’s powers work, he also forgot about his wife and son. Noah is eventually accosted by Quentin Frady, who believes there was a conspiracy at Odessa and that Mohinder did not set the explosives. Noah is shaken by his encounter with Quentin and eventually goes to seek out The Haitian, who he finds out took some of his memories at his request — memories specific to the Odessa incident, but nothing else that would explain the other things he has been doing. The Haitian tries to kill Noah, only to for him to get the upper hand and kill the Haitian. Then, before the Haitian dies, he reveals that Noah asked the Haitian to kill him so he wouldn’t find out the truth about what happened at Odessa. I’m extremely pissed that one of my favorite characters of color, who survived all four seasons, is dead for what I feel is a pointless reason. The whole scene was just contrived for the sake of drama. There was no need for the Haitian to die. Noah eventually teams up with Quentin and discovers that some sort of great evil is coming that only the Evo humans can face. He also learns that Claire might still be alive (which, duh).
Other than Joanne, our only two main characters of color on the show are Carlos Gutierrez and Miko Otomo, both of whom have very stereotypical storylines. Carlos is a vet and army hero who returns home to his brother and nephew. His brother is an Evo who has been fighting crime in a luchador mask, because he’s Latino, so of course he does. Carlos’s brother is attacked by people trying to kill Evos, some of whom are police officers. He dies from stab wounds in his brother’s arms. Carlos now struggles to take care of his nephew José (José has a mother, but we never see her and she is only mentioned once), and pick up where his brother left off by working with an Evo Catholic priest who helps transports Evos to Canada, as well as figuring out why his brother was killed.
Then there is Miko Otomo, who I’m pretty sure is related to Hiro in some way. A strange boy shows up at her apartment, claiming that a video game gave him her address (creepy). He believes she is the main character in this video game called Katana Girl and that she will use her father’s sword to help save him. Like the game describes, Miko finds Hiro’s sword in the floorboards of her house. When she unsheathes the sword, she appears in the video game, and anything that happens to her in the game happens in real life. It could be clever, I guess, but I was really confused. Is this her power? Why is it connected to Hiro’s katana? Wasn’t his katana normal in the original show? Is someone making a prophetic video game in the same way that Isaac was drawing comics from the prophecies he saw in the original show? Her storyline was just in general very convoluted.
While it was neat to finally see Heroes take the more dystopian route I always wished it would have gone in the original show, it still has all of the same problems it did before, as well as some new ones. The show still mostly focuses on the white boys, while the people of colors’ plotlines take a back seat. Most of the people of color are portrayed extremely stereotypically. So far our only main female character is Miko, and two people of color were killed off. Also every character except Miko is from the United States — a major difference from the original show, which was populated with a ton of characters from all over the globe. I also think this show might be more enjoyable if you have never seen the original Heroes show before. For example, it does seem very strange that Peter or Sylar would not be around at all, especially as they are two of the most powerful characters. Heroes Reborn’s writers will have to come up with a believable reason for that, because otherwise it makes no sense. The same is also true for Claire. It makes no sense for her to die, and it also makes no sense for her not to be involved in the plot, considering that she is one of the most powerful characters and has always been involved before. I understand that some actors are not involved in the show any more, but something believable has to be written to make sense of all of it.
I am also interested to learn what happened to some of my favorite characters. In this episode we meet the now grown up Molly Walker again, who had the power to find anyone. She was being raised by Mohinder and Matt after Sylar killed her parents. Now she is apparently hustling people for money… so what happened to Molly? Her surrogate fathers certainly aren’t helping her out now. And does anyone else find it ironic that it’s explosions that cause things to go bad for Evos, which is very similar to what the Heroes were trying to prevent in Season 1?
Overall, the show was pretty cliched, problematic, and repeated some of the same issues that the Heroes had before. But it was at least entertaining, which is more than I can say for the last two seasons of Heroes. I’m excited to catch up with some of my favorite characters, but bummed that other than Noah, none of them seem to be main characters. If you can ignore the problematic elements and have never watched Heroes before, then Heroes Reborn might at least be entertaining. Otherwise, I don’t know if it’s worth the watch.