Welcome back, Eclipsers, to the first BEHIND THE ECLIPSE of 2009! BTE is Comic Book Resources' exclusive question-and-answer session with "Heroes" writers/producers Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski, where they take time out of their schedules to answer questions asked by you.
We hope everyone has recovered from the holiday season and, more importantly, the conclusion to Volume Three of the rollercoaster ride known as "Heroes." The last episode, "Dual," brought us a litany of events including a showdown between the Petrelli brothers when Peter and Nathan faced off in the remains of the Primatech Labs; Ando using his newly acquired powers to supercharge the speedster Daphne, propelling both of them into to the past to bring Hiro back to the future; Sylar finding out he was definitely not a Petrelli; and Mohinder, seemingly cured for his mutation, is picked up hitchhiking by none other than the ice-wielding Tracy. Fans also got the first glimpse at Volume Four, "Fugitives," as Nathan met with the President to discuss the government rounding up these powered individuals.
Tonight, Volume Four continues with "A Clear And Present Danger." But for now, we go BEHIND THE ECLIPSE with Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski.
CBR: Tony needs some clarification on Peter.
"As an avid Peter fan, my question to you is: By injecting himself with the formula, did Peter get back all of his old abilities? I am assuming that he did not, because the cut on his face did not start to immediately heal. However, did he get his empathic mimicry back, which he then used to fly, or did he simply gain the power of flight?"
Joe Pokaski & Aron Coleite: And in classic BTE fashion, we start right back in with one of our more standard answers - "What're you doing tonight, Tony?" Glad we got that out of our system. Now - on to the rest of the questions.
"Was Ando's ability, augmenting others' powers, motivated by his status as the show's perennial sidekick?"
Sure was. We've said a lot, especially here in the BTE, that powers are directly linked to people's emotional needs. So our perennial sidekick got exactly what he needed: sidekick juice. But after what we saw Ando do to Hiro in the future, there might be more to that red lightning than just power enhancement - more like a sidekick to the groin.
Louise from the UK wants to know:
"If Angela and Arthur really aren't Sylar's parents, how did they both come up with the idea to trick him into believing he was at the same time, when they hadn't been in contact with each other for so long and had no idea what they other had been saying? And is it just a coincidence that Sylar's power is so closely linked to Arthur and Peter's? How did Arthur know that Sylar could use his empathy to take peoples powers?"
Ah, Louise, but you forget that Arthur had telepathy while he was in the coma and even went into Angela's head. That's where he discovered what she was up to and decided to make Sylar his own weapon. There's a lot left to be uncovered about our favorite serial killer in "Fugitives."
Another UK resident, Eclipse94 from Blackpool, wrote in to ask:
"Will Claude Rains appear in Volume Four?"
No, sorry. Or we could give you our normal smarmy answer - yes. He will be there. You just can't see him.
Sam McKenzie thinks he's on to something:
"In 'Five Years Gone,' Sylar stated that Nathan had turned against his own kind long before he killed him. Now, at the outset of 'Fugitives,' we see Nathan throwing his own kind to the wolves. With Nathan turning, and his political position coming close to the Presidency, and Sylar's reversion to evil, is it possible that the 'Explosion Future' of 'Five Years Gone' is starting to happen again, just without the explosion?"
In more ways than you could possible imagine.
Jamie Kirkland asked:
"With Ando's ability, how would it affect Peter or Sylar if they absorbed it from him? Would they only be able to supercharge others powers who touch them, or would they be able to use it on themselves to supercharge their own powers?"
Interesting science experiment. We might have to try that one out.
Nikki wants to know about a favorite character of hers:
"I'm kind of bummed about Echo. After following his story in the webisodes, seeing he was a nice guy that got caught up in the Company much like (it seems) our heroes will be in the next arc, I was really hoping he would get at least a line of dialogue and a chance to use his sonic powers once on the show. Were there any scenes of his that got cut that might show up on the DVD?"
Sorry. But, no more Echo. No more Echo. No more Echo.
Alex had an interesting thought:
"I was wondering that since Ando has the power to boost other people's powers, would he be able to use his power on the people Arthur stole their powers from? Like, would he be able to restore Hiro's powers?"
What's up with all the love for Ando? This is like the fifth Ando question so far. Hiro and Ando's relationship will change drastically because of Ando's power. Tonight!
Laura wanted to know:
"Will Claire and Sylar cross paths again in this upcoming volume? I think their dynamic is really interesting and I would love to see more of them."
Yes. And their dynamic is more interesting than you could ever imagine.
Sam Christopher wants to know more about Mohinder and your motivations:
"Are all of Mohinder's powers gone, or just the nasty side effects? And while we're on the subject of Mohinder losing his powers, what nasty frat prank did Sendhil Ramamurthy pull on Joe in college that made y'all decide to get back at him by having him spend much of the joint episode you wrote naked, hung upside down, and covered in goo, only to reverse it all by the second half?"
It wasn't so much the pranks (which were there), but the excessive handsomeness. Imagine being a young single college boy, the whole world in front of you, and having to walk into a sorority mixer next to Sendhil Ramamurthy.
Think about it. You get enough girls asking "so who's your friend" and pretty soon you have some free time on your hands and your mind turns to dreams of future revenge by way of scales, naked-hanging, and a combination of KY-Jelly and oatmeal that would make him puke up cocoon making goo (please see DVD extras for episode #210). They say living well is the best revenge. It's because "they" simply don't know about that KY and oatmeal trick.
The Shark is back with a question:
"When Hiro goes back and takes the catalyst upon himself, Arthur shows up shortly after and takes the catalyst from him, as well as his powers. My question is this: how on earth did Arthur know that Hiro and Claire had gone back in time, and that they were where and when they were? Is Arthur omniscient?"
This is actually something that we can tell you is going to be on the DVD. There was a scene where Arthur found Molly and stole her ability, using it to find Hiro and Claire in the past. However, the scene just seemed overwhelmingly, what's the word? Disturbing.
John wants to know about the marine recruit Scott played by Chad Faust:
"USA ran a show called 'The 4400' which my wife and I were fans of. It was a show similar to 'Heroes' as it was about people discovering they had powers. Sadly, it was canceled before any sort of pay-off could be given. No closure. Chad Faust played Kyle, one of the main characters of the show. His dilemma in 'The 4400' was that he was without powers but wanted them badly to help the world. Did he get this role based on that role and had you (or someone in casting) seen him on the show?"
Sorry. Just a coincidence -- although a fantastic one. Chad was awesome. And has one of the best last names in Hollywood. Right behind Darren Lucifer.
Daniel Brennan has a theory about Daphne's powers:
"I think that Daphne's powers and Hiro's powers are basically the same but applied differently. Daphne is speeding herself up in time to run faster. This is her application of the time travel ability. If her power were just speed, she would have to carry people when she runs, just like Nathan has to carry people when he flies. Since she can touch people and make them run just as fast while she is in contact, I think that is a sign that she is accelerating time in her localized area. Since she is mostly immune to Hiro's ability, it is similar to how Peter could see Claude when they were bothinvisible or how Peter isn't frozen when Hiro stops time. The show seems to have people with similar or the same powers being somewhat immune to the power."
So, is he on to something, or totally over analyzing?
Probably a little of both. But Daniel - we both think that you have a big future in astrophysics and/or comic book writing!
"Did Sylar lose his ability to absorb abilities through empathy after he reverted to his old self? If not, did he absorb Hiro's abilities when Hiro teleported him out of Bennet's house?"
Unlike Peter, Sylar has to concentrate to gain the power through empathy. And Hiro was gone too fast.
Nax wanted to know:
"Now that we've seen what Ando's power is, is it the same one he had in the future? If so, how did he attack Hiro with it? Does his ability have a secondary feature or did Ando, like, overload Hiro to the point where his body couldn't handle it anymore?"
Please see previous answer. And also - ask James Kyson Lee to be your friend on Facebook; all of you lovers of Ando, which at this point seem legion.
Lauren asked two questions:
"You said in the last BEHIND THE ECLIPSE that the eclipse proved that people can't change. Is this a theme that you are sticking to in this show? What does that do for character development? Would you consider Heroes to be a mainly positive or tragic show?"
A little of both. The tragic characters can't change. The hopeful characters try to and hopefully succeed.
"How did you get to where you are now? Did you go for certain degrees?"
We have varying academic degrees between us - from an undergraduate focus on Shakespearean folios to a Masters degree in television production. But to be honest, they don't factor hugely in our ability to do exactly what we love for a living.
The thing we both have in common that we believe is a bigger deal is that we started off as assistants. Making coffee, collating scripts, and paying attention to the writers so when we got the chance to contribute we would take advantage of it. Which is what we did. That plan, of course, only works if you have a boss who can recognize your hard work and reward you with some kind of gig in turn. So the short answer is work in the industry at any level. The more pointed answer is work in the industry for a guy named Tim Kring.
Cyrus wrote in:
"Thanks for an amazing volume! There is one issue that I have with the storytelling of this volume, though, that I was hoping you guys could clear up. It seemed like Peter acquiring Sylar's ability was a huge deal in the beginning of the volume but it didn't seem like anything came of it. Was this the original plan? It wasn't even clear to me why he needed Sylar's power."
It's all quite simple. Peter took Sylar's power so that he could figure out how to stop the future. When he figured out Pinehearst was the lynchpin to stopping the formula, he went directly there - only to have Arthur take away his power.
The theme for Peter during this volume was learning just how deadly the powers can be, i.e. Sylar and Arthur - and how could he save the world without them.
Jenny wanted to know:
"Could Ando's power enhance regular people's strength or speed like adrenaline does?"
Seriously. How much do you guys love the Ando? We believe that it only affect post-humans, super-heroes, mutants, science-heroes, meta-humans - what have you.
Nick from Florida asked:
"Is it possible that Meredith survived the Primatech fire? In an earlier BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, you said that she was immune to the effects of fire, which is why she could breathe in the heated cargo while Claire could not. So, could she have lived? What about Flint in the Pinehearst building?"
Both are likely.
Cookie wanted to know:
"Now that Hiro is powerless, will he become a sidekick? Maybe to Ando?"
Okay. Now we're catching on. This is all really Jason Kyson Le posing as different people, writing lots of Ando questions. If the next question is, "Why is Ando so handsome? Did the power make him more buff, because he looks awesome" we're outta here.
Frances Glockner asked a question that could make you some cold hard cash:
"Would it be possible to clarify the issue of who was the mother of Noah Gray, since there are arguments raging on a few boards about this? Several people assert that Elle was Noah's mother, while others now insist it must be Claire or even Maya. Can we get a definitive answer, since some of us have five bucks riding on the answer (and would be willing to split the take if you say it was Elle)?"
We just finished writing episode #25. And we're not willing to say it's not Elle. But, we're not willing to say it is either.
Another UK viewer, this time Paul from Southampton, asked:
"After Mohinder cocooned his neighbor Mark Spatney and a drug dealer, they were taken away by the Company. Will we learn what Mohinder was doing to them and if there have been any after effects?"
Did you read "World War Z?" And if you haven't, you should. It's full of awesomness.
Outback Zack asked:
"In 'Angels and Monsters,' Sandra and Meredith were going through some of Noah's files that included Doyle, Maury, and other Level 5 escapees. However, there were three additional files of a bald man with a red hoodie, a heavy set man with a white shirt, and a blond woman that were never seen again this volume. Were these characters reintroduced to us in another episode/graphic novel/Heroes Evolution content? If not, is there any plans to reintroduce these characters in the future?"
There were plans to introduce them in heroes evolution content and webisodes, but that did not happen. So - you may yet meet these awesome characters that we've created with powers that will blow your mind. But not today.
Tarot wanted to know:
"Why did Claude wait over 7 years to go back to England after he'd faked his own death? Why did he instead hide in NYC on a rooftop owned by one of the Company founders?"
Like Hiro, or any of our heroes, Claude has a sense of destiny. He may deny it, but he knows it's there - more than most of our characters if you listen to how he talks. It is all up for interpretation, but if you ask us, he knew he would be needed to help Peter get through what he needed to get through. And that's why he was there. And you have to admit, there's always something interesting happening on that rooftop.
And we finish off with two questions about the most important cast member on "Heroes," our good friend Mr. Muggles. Michael Robinson gets to go first:
"So, will we ever get to see a friend for Mr. Muggles? He seems like the kind of dude who would have a sidekick."
Season Four. Volume Five. Be there. Muggles gets a girlfriend.
And the Zomb finishes us off this week:
"Im worried about not seeing one of the show's masterminds in the last episodes - has Mr. Muggles gone into hiding (sensing the coming trouble)? Or is it something else?"
Dog show. Meeting the future Mrs. Muggles.
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 about tonite's episode, "A Clear and Present Danger," email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance at seeing your question answered right here in next week's BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. Please make sure to get in all your questions in by 6:00 PM Pacific time on Thursday, February 5.