|There have been some pretty contrived powers on this show.|
But "enters video game when withdrawing the sword of
Takeo Kensei" is the most contrived of all.
Inching closer to Heroes roots in the X-Men franchise, the word is now out about Evolved Humans, now referred to as Evos. Whereas in Heroes these were a loose diaspora held back by fear and superstition, now they're a fully-persecuted minority held back by fear and superstition, the world still reeling from a terrorist attack at a Human-Evo peace conference in 2014. However, there is a great something coming in the near future, and a conspiracy in which even "unregistered" Evos are being killed en masse. Amongst the cast of characters are: Heroes' Noah Bennett, who along with a "fun" comedy sidekick is attempting to discover what happened to his daughter Clare, and why he appears to have erased his own memory of the day of the Incident; Luke Collins (Zachary Levi, Chuck) who is an Evo hunter with his more determined wife; Carlos Gutierrez, who is forced to take on the mantle of a Mexican-wrestler inspired superhero upon his brother's death; teenage Tommy, who has the power to make people disappear, and Miko Otomo, who has the power to... enter a video game.
The thing you immediately notice about the main cast is how wonderbread it is - the three main storylines are about Noah, Luke and Tommy, all white guys with complicated motivations. Noah is Noah so I'll leave him alone, but Luke's storyline in particular is a sign of the overall issue here - he is portrayed as being brooding and unsure about his merciless slaughter of an entire race of people, while his black wife is portrayed as a violent sociopath. He is given the development, she is given anger. This is particular egregious given the current events in the States, in which the stereotype of black people as more innately violent than white people is leading to the wholesale murder of African Americans by the police. And the rest of the show isn't better in its complete lack of complexity and understanding of non-white cultures. The only Latino characters live in a crap, run-down neighbourhood and their hero wears a Mexican Luchador mask. The only two Japanese characters exist in a world entirely composed of nerd-culture and video-games. At least Heroes gave a slightly wider insight into the overall Japanese culture outside of Hiro's obsession with comic books - Miko has so much potential to be an interesting and well-developed character, but her entire agency is expressed either through the admiration of her male companion or by her badly-animated exploits as a "badass samurai girl".
|We're meant to be rooting for the white guy to have a|
redemption arc and get away from his emotional, violent
black wife. In 20-fucking-15.