Hello, "Heroes" fans, and thanks for joining us for the tenth week of BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, Comic Book Resources' exclusive question-and-answer session with "Heroes" writers/producers Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski, in which they answer questions posed directly by you.
Last week in "The Eclipse Part II," the titular eclipse completed its cycle, and the lives of heroes and villains would never be the same again. The Haitian confronted his brother; Nathan performed a move the X-Men's own Cannonball would have been proud of; Claire was rushed to the hospital, where her weakened immune system put her in critical condition; Sylar and Elle shared an intimate moment before being hunted down by Noah Bennet; Mohinder helped find a cure as his monstrous appearance began to return; Sam explained the legend of the last work of Isaac Mendez' and Frack notices something hidden in a panel of "9th Wonders," which leads Hiro to take a journey back in time to a familiar rooftop.
As we prepare for the final episodes of "Heroes" Volume 3, we go BEHIND THE ECLIPSE with Aron and Joe for "The Eclipse, Part II."
CBR: When Hiro purchases the "9th Wonder" comics with his credit card, he throws in a copy of "Ultimate X-Men" #96, written by one Aron Coleite. Why didn't he include "Secret Invasion: Inhumans" or "Ultimate Fantastic Four" in his purchase? Is Hiro not a Pokaski fan?
Joe Pokaski & Aron Coleite: Hiro is ten-years-old. We thought it would be unrealistic for him to gravitate to the subtle post-modern work of a writer who's been called "James Joyce meets Dustin Pedroia."
Just kidding. Actually, for the DVR initiated, the "Secret Invasion: Inhumans" book was in the foreground of the shot where "Frack" (played by Breckin Meyer) was first shown. Joe was on set for the "Ultimate X-Men" reference, and when the opportunity came up for Masi to buy a book, he thought the Coleite masterpiece was the right call for the character. After all, Coliete has been called "Tom Stoppard meets Shakespeare's left-brain."
And we imagine that the not-blind of you may have noticed some Jeph Loeb references in the store as well. Loeb, of course, describes himself as "Abbot and Costello meet Jeph Loeb."
We've talked about the 150-Hour Rule before, but let's talk about the decisions behind them. "To tell a good story" is presumably the main reason, but were there other motives behind making Hiro believe he was a ten-year-old? What was the initial reaction around the writer's room when the subject was broached?
We're always looking for ways to turn up the hope and innocence on our show, and this seemed a way we could do that while throwing a nice roadblock up to Hiro's formidable powers and giving comic genius Masi Oka something new to play with the character. Needless to say, we thought he hit it out of the park.
Is it Claire's regeneration ability that is needed for her to have the Catalyst in her blood, or is it something else entirely? Does the Catalyst require someone with powers, or can it be in anybody regardless of their abilities?
It sure helps being able to protect it. You want to put something in a human body - indestructible human body is the samsonite luggage of human bodies. You'll learn a lot more about that in Episode 12. And we just had an idea for a scene with a gorilla.
Heidi starts us out with the fan questions this week. Heidi, take it away:
"My favorite storylines this volume have been the redemption of Gabriel, Elle, and their relationship. With Gabriel's killing Elle this week, has his redemption been completely negated or will he somehow continue on a path of moral grayness in the next volume?"
If we're doing our jobs correctly, Sylar will never be black or white, because who among us really is? It's almost as if Tim Kring knew he was to be a perpetually "gray" person when he created him.
Amanda is concerned about a trend she's been noticing on the show:
"Can you please explain why virtually every romantic relationship on this show ends with either the death or disappearance of the female character? Simone, Eden, Charlie, Caitlin, Yaeko, Maya, and now Elle -- in fact, the only exception I can think of off the top of my head is West/Claire."
Wow. We were concerned when we read your question Amanda. To quote the philosopher Tommy DeCarlo, of Boston, "It kinda took us by surprise and made us realize," Amanda.
But then we started to think: Yaeko? Caitlin? I don't think we killed either of them. And you forgot to mention the deaths of Isaac and D.L, as well as the long life of Angela, Tracy, Kimiko, and Heidi. Now it's our turn to put you on the couch - "Top of your head?" Can you explain that language, "Amanda?"
Mastokes has two points for you this week:
"One of the most interesting things in this volume has been sibling surprises: Sylar and Peter and Nathan, Meredith and Flint, and the Haitian and Baron Samedi. Are there going to be anymore long-lost sibling revelations or even other family members who are superpowered in the future?"
We try to tell stories about family. Sometimes it's allegory, sometimes it's literal. And sometimes there are the pleasant surprises of relation as is the case of Meredith and Flint of the rising of family obligation as with the Haitian.
"Second, thank you for bringing out the '9th Wonders' comic books again in this season! But going from 'The Eclipse, Part II,' it seems that there are no more '9th Wonders' comics besides the final work Issac gave to the young man back in season one. Will we see this final work? Also, are there other artistic works the future Issac created? It would be really cool if Issac's works still have an influence on the characters in, like, season 5 or something!"
It would be great - but now we have Usutu! What? Really? His head? Then I guess we need a new prophet by episode 14. Crap. Who's available?
Balaal wants to know if dead is really dead:
"Will we ever see Kristen Bell again?"
Elle is dead as disco. But between you and us, that doesn't mean Kristen is out of the picture. We dig working with her -and there are a few things within the rules that would allow us to do it again should the scheduling and storytelling needs of the show allow it to happen. For example, "A young FBI agent named Veronica comes to investigate the charred remains of a body on a beach"- that story, would fall under the category of "not going to happen." But have fun, cross network fan-fickers.
"The aftermath of the WGA strike left the second season's plans in tatters and many storylines abandoned or wrapped up quickly in the beginning of the third season. That much we know, but what about the comics? How much of an impact did it have there? Specifically, the 'Ten Wives of Takezo Kensei' comic seems like it was the beginning of a storyline that was abandoned. Who was his mystery love that was coming to find him? And what about all the one-off comics about completely new characters, often featuring a visit by Sanjog Iyer? Were they building to something, were they 'Origins' storylines that were transposed to graphic novel form so as not to be completely lost?"
Some of those stories, especially the early ones, were exactly that, to set up the next volume. But as we moved further into the Writers Strike, the studio made the call to keep going on with the stories without speaking to the writers. They were written by replacement writers or "scabs" who used the Writers Strike as an opportunity to further their own careers (insert your own judgments here). So things like the Sanjog arc or "Ben Franklin as a Hero," that so had nothing to do with us.
David wants to know about something that didn't happen:
"[The Eclipse, Part I] ended with HRG hiding in the bushes, aiming his rifle at a very oblivious Gabriel and Elle. In Part Two, Gabriel and Elle are lying naked on the floor, engaging in pillow talk, and Noah has not so much as taken a potshot at them. What happened in between?"
Either - H.R.G. had to wait until he had a clean shot, which happened when Sylar put his head back... or he's some kind of pervert. Your choice.
Apollo wants to know:
"In the latest 'Heroes Destiny' webisode, Santiago's father is shown to have both the abilities of accelerated probability and electric manipulation. Are his electric powers a by-product of his accelerated probability, or does he somehow have two abilities?"
According to Adam Armus and Nora "Kay" Foster, who oversaw the Sprint Webisodes, "Santiago's father has been with the organization for a long time. He had to do some desperate things. Perhaps gaining the electric power was part of that."
Sasha has two questions this week:
"Will we ever find out why Adam was going after that gold key in powerless?
"What was the meaning behind Angela's dream in Butterfly Effect? Where Adam, Knox, Maury, Tracy suppose to represent Arthur?"
They were supposed to represent a union of dark souls gathering in force to destroy our heroes. And when you get to next week's episode by our own Jeph Loeb, you'll see a little of that.
Sam McKenzie has a great question about Sylar's mastery of the powers he obtains:
"Does the way in which Sylar takes a power affect how it works for him? When he took Elle's electric powers through empathic mimicry, he took lessons with her to learn how to use it better. However, when he took Zane Taylor's power or Isaac's, through his intuitive understanding, he was using it perfectly very quickly. Does taking the power through the brain give him more mastery of the power, or is electricity just harder to use? Is taking Elle's power the old fashioned way going to give him more control over it and make it more powerful, or will it make a difference?"
I 'm not sure why you think he got Zane's down so easily. There were a lot of melted test objects in that apartment by the time the real Dr. Suresh showed up. As for Isaac - that power seems to control you, not the other way around.
Shannon wants to know:
"How do the effects of The Haitian's power differ from the effects of the eclipse? Because when Daphne was around him at the movie theater with Hiro and Ando, she was still able to stand and walk, just not run at super speeds, as opposed to the eclipse when she went back to the way she was before she got her power. Is this just a continuity oversight or is there something a little different about the effects of the two?"
There is something slightly different between the two. To paraphrase the great philosopher Bonnie Tyler: the Haitian's power is to buffer abilities (we've seen Matt break through, with a nosebleed, and we'll see someone else almost beat it) but he does not take them away. The eclipse, on the other hand is "total." Once upon a time there is love in your life, now there's only love in the dark. Nothing you can do, we suppose.
Jordan S wants to know what happened to some characters:
"I've noticed that all the characters introduced in Season 2 have been either been sent away (Maya), Not shown up at all (West, Monica), or killed off (Bob and now Elle). Was this intentional or did it just come about on its own?"
I think it's part of what Tim intended when creating this show. What he called "a revolving door," where stories get told and characters move on. Simone and Eden and Isaac are the example of similar characters in season one. For some characters, it's just harder for us to let go.
Cari wants to know:
"Is Lyle ever going to get a storyline? Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have both been focused on Claire, of course, but what about Lyle?"
Lyle will definitely get a storyline. Someday.
Josh Parker wants to know more about the Haitian:
"When Nathan and the Haitian returned to help Peter, I noticed that the Haitian just touched two guys and made them collapse. It looked awesome, but what exactly did he do to them? Was it a new ability that he learned as his power evolved or was it something like a Vulcan death grip?"
You should check out one of the last scenes of episode 109, "Homecoming," to see what the Haitian's elusive "third kind of heat" is.
LoveRiot's asking a question you may not be able to answer, but he really wants to know!
"Any chance you can tell us why this particular eclipse took away their powers? Hints? Clues?"
We'd like to keep it spiritual for now, LoveRiot, although it probably won't stay that way forever. We could sit here and together, we could deconstruct what we've already posited about powers, about the physics of an eclipse and the biology of the human body, building a long line of logic. Heck, together we could take it to the end of the line. Our love is like a shadow on us all of the time. I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark. We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks. I really need you tonight! Forever's gonna start tonight...
Nearly Eclipsed wants to know:
"If the characters of 'Heroes' all appear in Isaac Mendez's '9th Wonders' comics, does this mean anyone can know their secrets? And even if people didn't think it was true, wouldn't something like a politician (Nathan Petrelli) appearing in a comic book with superpowers get a lot of attention?"
Stephen Colbert just showed up in "The Amazing Spider-Man." And nobody thinks he can really fight bears.
Kylie wants to know:
"Any chance of seeing Tina Ramirez from the graphic novels on the show? I only ask because there seems to be a lack of cool female villains on 'Heroes.' We had Candice and Elle has sort of flip-flopped between good and bad (ditto Tracey), but it would be nice to see an out-and-out Sylar or Adam-style female bad guy on the show."
We've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is no Tina. The good news is you'll be seeing a villainous female connection between the online stories and the show ramping up into the fourth volume, "Fugitives."
Louis M asked:
"I am honestly getting tired of Noah's shadiness, the more I see him the more sympathy I have for Sylar. Any chances his lies will come back to bite him big time? Something that would get Claire to cut ties with him, at least for a while, and spend time with her other family? Any chance of seeing Claire spending more time with Nathan, the Petrellis and Meredith (maybe a few more awkward dinners minus puppet masters)?"
Did you guys see the last episode of "The Shield?" Shawn Ryan writing, Clark Johnson directing? Killer. We can only imagine that H.R.G.s shadiness will creep up at him in a similar fashion.
Robin PD wants to know:
"Given that Lindermann was merely inserted into Nathan's mind by Maury, and not actually un-dead, it's still a mystery as to how Nathan became un-dead himself. Will we soon find out how he survived the shooting at the beginning of the season?"
I think, in Episode 301, that Peter talks about how Nathan survived. He just got lucky. People can survive shootings all the time. It happens. It was Arthur and Maury who used this incident to start manipulating Nathan.
"And Are we ever going to see Ando get that red laser power we saw in "The Second Coming?" Or are we supposed to figure he was injected and joined the Pinehearst side? Was he on the Pinehearst side?"
What are you doing next week, Matt? And the rest of the television year, for that matter?
And the Zomb finishes us out right this week:
"Where was Mr. Muggles during the eclipse? Is there any chance to see him 'depowered' someday?"
Oh boy, you really missed it. He turned into a Turtle, then a Werewolf, than a boy named "Wilby Daniels." It's a really long story...
Thanks as always to Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski for taking the time to participate in BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. For those of you who want to take part in our next Q&A following about the episode, "Our Father," email your burning queries to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance at seeing your question answered right here in next weeks BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. Please make sure to get in all your questions in by 10:00 AM Pacific time on Friday, December 12.