It’s hard to imagine a place more appropriate than Comic-Con International to celebrate a television show like “Heroes.” The program got its start in San Diego back in 2006, and its stars and creators have never forgotten their roots. Now in the fourth season, the “Heroes” gang showed up in full force for their panel last Saturday at the convention.
Presenting information about “Heroes Vol. 5: Redemption” were creator Tim Kring and actors Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, and Milo Ventimiglia, along with new cast members Robert Knepper, Dawn Olivieri, Ray Park, and Madeline Zima. To kick things off, fans were shown a trailer for the upcoming season.
The video clips showed numerous new elements from the new volume, including:
- A mysterious carnival run by someone named Samuel (Knepper)
- A member of the carnival (Olivieri) who has tattoos that reveal information about others
- Ray Park’s character playing with a knife
- Peter Petrelli working as a paramedic
- Sylar battling over his “submerged” identity with both Parkman and Nathan
- Claire in college engaging in a lesbian relationship (with Zima)
- Swoozie Kurtz’s character making a return (and seeking vengeance on Nathan)
- Noah Bennet getting trapped somewhere with a car and water (it looked somewhat like a car wash)
- A mysterious compass appeared throughout the trailer, and the word “redemption” was uttered about 3-4 times by various characters
Kring then explained that when this season premieres September 21, the government is no longer after our heroes and are content to let them live ordinary lives. Of course, the question is, what does ordinary look like when you’ve got powers? Kring promised the show would move quickly this season, and added that all the clips seen in the trailer were just taken from the first three episodes.
The series creator said there would be a "new wrinkle" this season. "Alongside the show that you've been watching all this time, it seems there was this other group – this family of people who have powers and had figured out how to live alongside of us and hide in plain sight," he said. And what better place to hide than in a carnival, which is one of the main settings in Volume 5.
Each of the actors present discussed their characters’ activities for the season ahead. Coleman said Noah is working with a new company that isn’t what it appears to be, and his family life “is a mess.” He also spoke of a scene in the trailer that involved the water and car, and said he can’t wait for audiences to see it.
Oka finds Hiro starting a new business with Ando, but he’s also terminally ill. Hiro creates a “bucket list” of all his regrets, and goes back in time to fix all the things that he’s “screwed up.” Oka added that there will be “lots of time travel” this season.
Panettiere said that Claire just wants to go to college and be “normal.” She ends up with a college roommate (Zima) who becomes a close friend (and more, according to the trailer).
Pasdar said that Sylar and his character will “share” a body this season, and that he was enjoying this new volume as his character wasn’t saddled with all of the responsibilities Nathan had last year. He added that in trying to channel Zachary Quinto, “I would never purport to imitate the great ZQ. All I do is take a few mannerisms and blow them up.”
Quinto said Sylar would exist in two places at once this season: in Nathan’s body and in Parkman’s mind. He also gets to crawl out of a grave in one episode.
Ventimiglia said his character has been through so much he’s become a bit jaded, but Peter’s not afraid to fight back anymore because of all the experience he’s gained. He also admitted to “geeking out” a bit the first time he got to work with Ray Park – “The guy’s legendary!”
Knepper said Samuel is the leader of the “special” carnival and that his brother just passed away. He wants to change the way he and other people in the carnival are living and gets the heroes to help him with his plan.
Olivieri is a member of the carnival who is an empath that uses tattoos to learn things about people. Her power somehow works with Samuel’s power (who is an earth-mover), and because she is always revealing her tattoos she’s "naked most of the time.” She also added, “I like the potential for (my character) to cause trouble.”
Park is also one of the carnival folks and he has the power of super-speed. He enjoys playing with knives and is often sent out on missions by Samuel to do things his character doesn't really want to do.
This “character round-up” concluded with Zima, who plays Claire’s new college roommate and “friend with benefits.” She added that she’s really enjoyed working with Panettiere and likes the relationship their two characters develop.
Fans had time to ask a few questions after this, and two queries stood out in particular. First, someone asked Quinto who would win in a fight – Spock or Sylar? The actor answered, “In the end, I have to give it to Spock because I like to believe that good always wins."
Ventimiglia then interjected to the fan, “Wait, did you mean Nimoy?” To which Quinto responded, “Leonard would drop me in thirty seconds."
The second question to garner laughs from the crowd was directed to all the actors. A fan wanted to know who they felt had the best powers amongst their characters?
Panettiere then yelled out, “That’s not fair. A lot of these guys have more than one!”
“Oh yeah? Well some of us don’t have any,” Coleman said of his character, Noah Bennett. He then added with a chuckle, “I have the power of impaired vision.”
In closing out the panel, Ventimiglia introduced one final clip, saying his character gets to “dance” with Ray Park. The scene depicted Park’s character attempting to kill Noah. Peter intervenes, “steals” Park’s super-speed power, and a cool super-speed knife fight takes place.
From the clip and the trailer shown, it seems that fans have plenty to look forward to as the cast of “Heroes” goes seeking redemption this September.