Monday, Dec. 25, 2006

The Cast of Heroes

Bringing Powers to The Little People
The first thing the title of Heroes tells you is what the show is about. The second thing it tells you is what the show is not about. It's not called Superheroes — even though its characters can, in no particular order, read minds, time-travel, pass through solid objects, fly and see the future. And the non-super fallibility of these average people discovering their above-average powers gives the show much of its appeal.

Like its TV forebear Lost, the most popular new fall show spins a complex narrative around the connections among a group of strangers with troubled pasts. And in the tradition of Marvel comics like Spider-Man, creator Tim Kring has made his characters real people with real problems — bad marriages, unpaid bills and family feuds.

Of course, they also have bigger worries (a serial-killing supervillain, a bit of unpleasantness about New York City possibly exploding in the future), and the show unreels its comic-book twists at a satisfying pace. But like Claire (Hayden Panettiere), an angsty cheerleader whose body can miraculously heal itself, Heroes combines vulnerability and invulnerability. And that's super(b).