Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heroes: A Clear And Present Danger (vol 4 ep 1)

Well, Volume 4 of Heroes is off to a strange, but exciting, start. As hinted at right at the end of volume 3, senator Nathan Petrelli has decided to round up all the people with powers for their own safety and the safety of 'normal' people around them. In this episode, we catch up with the so-called "heroes" and what they've been up to for the last 2 months or so and then - blam - most of them are captured by Nathan's armed goons.

I had expected the state of things at the end of this episode (all the heroes captured, drugged and clad in orange overalls, and shipped off to a Super Guantanamo Bay) to take around half a dozen episodes and not just 40 minutes! Things seemed to whizz by without much explanation. Considering the creators want to start afresh so as not to alienate people, I'm not sure this episode was a great jumping-on point. For newcomers there's no explanation of who these folk are, what they can do, nor why they're being captured.

Still, for someone like me who has enjoyed this show from the beginning is does make more sense. Although I'm still not sure why Nathan is rounding up all the superpowered people. If he thinks that anyone with a power is dangerous why isn't he rounding himself up? If he thinks he can control his power and it's not dangerous, why not just go out and grab the dangerous or unstable superpeople?

It all comes across as Heroes' version of Marvel's Civil War, with Nathan Petrelli as a version of Tony Stark. And, like that crossover miniseries, it doesn't quite click together. It's like the characters and storyline have been shoehorned into this situation without much thought behind it. Perhaps all will be revealed later in the series?

Having said all that, it was still an interesting, exciting episode that ended on a cliffhanger. Hiro, Ando and the Ando-cycle were great fun. Ando's power is indeed pretty useless unless paired with another 'hero'. Not only has Peter become a paramedic now but his power has changed too. It seems he has to touch people to gain their powers. And why is Noah working for the bad guys and happy to let Nathan take Claire away?

Enjoyable, if slightly flawed, start to volume 4. Fine.

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