Welcome one and all to week five of BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, Comic Book Resources’ exclusive weekly feature with “Heroes” writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete, who answer questions asked by you.
In last week’s episode, “Dying of the Light,” Hiro and Ando went in search of "Mr. African Isaac" only to find out that traveling back in time might not answer every problem, especially when dealing with a “precog.” Parkman made it back stateside, turtle in tow, and somehow managed not to sound too much like a stalker when telling Daphne they would one day be married with children. Daphne continued to recruit a "brotherhood" of villains for Pinehearst and began to wonder if she had gotten herself into a situation even she might not be able to run away from. Nathan and Traci were captured by Mohinder as he theorized their synthetic powers may be the key to fixing his own. Eric Doyle, “Heroes'” own Puppet Master, was caught by Claire after she was forced into a game of Russian roulette with both of her mothers. Sylar woke Peter in attempt to help their mother and, after a rather impressive use of powers, Peter had another family reunion -- this time with his father, who in turn stole all of Peter's abilities.
BEHIND THE ECLIPSE was fortunate enough to have been joined last week by additional “Heroes” staffers Adam Armus and Kay Foster, and the party continues this week with guest answerers Chris Zatta and Chuck Kim, who co-wrote “Dying Of The Light.” These guys come with the full endorsement of BTE regulars Joe Pokaski & Aron Coleite, who said, “We wanted to give a big shout out to Chuck who married David, the love of his life (and extremely talented amateur baker) on Saturday. As for Chris, we'd just like to know when he's going to propose to that nice girlfriend of his.”
As always, CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland and Staff Writer Remy Minnick have gone through the mountain of questions, missives, quandaries, queries and inquiries that you sent in — and there’s lots of them, so let’s get on with the answers you've been waiting for in this week's BEHIND THE ECLIPSE.
CBR: We start with Level, who simply asks:
“Why do you kill all the cool characters?”
Chris Zatta: On “Heroes” you never know how the fate of a character may turn out. Death isn’t always the end when you have time travel on your side. As for Adam, his demise was necessary to bring Arthur to power.
Chuck Kim: It also shows while Adam may be one tough cookie, Arthur is an even tougher cookie. But as far as killing characters, sometimes a character’s death gives meaning and drive to our heroes, to remind them of the stakes at hand. Like Charlie’s death drove home how dangerous and evil Sylar was to Hiro in season one.
Rob Salisbury wants to know:
“How did Maury Parkman escape being trapped in the nightmare Matt created for him?”
CZ: He broke out when the Level Five attack happened. He’s a powerful guy. All he needed was a window.
Brian has a question about Angela Petrelli and takes us back to the beginning of “Heroes”:
“We've seen her character grow tremendously over the past three seasons (volumes?). In the very first episode, we see her taken into custody for stealing a pair of socks. Considering how strong her character is, this seems very out of place for the head of a company dealing with superpowered people. Is this incident supposed to be taken at face value? Or is there more behind this bizarre behavior? Will we find out soon?”
CZ: Angela wasn’t head of Primatech back in Season 1. It wasn’t until Bob’s death in Season 3 that she took over. But you can take her theft of socks at face value.
CK: I know whenever I steal socks, it’s definitely a cry for attention. And that’s the Tim Kringy way to show the humanity.
Peter Dawson wants to know:
“So we've established that Arthur can absorb powers by physical contact, which isn't necessarily fatal in and of itself unless you're poor Adam whose body is too damn old. Now, is his power like the graphic novel character Linda Tavara's aura absorption (she did kill everything she absorbed from), or is it something more sophisticated like Power Theft? The other question that goes with this of course is does he have to necessarily take the power and leave the other powerless, or can he just copy it for personal use?”
CZ: Arthur’s power would be best described as power theft. And yes, he takes it and leaves the other person powerless.
CK: Of course, now that he has Peter’s power as well, he could conceivably choose which method to copy someone’s ability.
Josh wants to know:
“I'm sure a thousand other people are asking you this same question but does Arthur Petrelli have ‘the Hunger’ now?”
CZ: He does not.
Josh also wants to know:
“I've got an Eric Doyle question, though it has more to do with the graphic novel ‘Doyle’ than the new episode. How long was Eric Doyle locked up in Level 5? The novel opens, ‘two years ago’ which, if it's 2007 on the show, would mean Doyle was locked up in 2005. But then, a couple pages later, October 2006 is referred to as being ‘two years later,’ which would seem to place his capture in 2004. So was he locked up for two years or three before the break-out?”
CK: Oops! You got me. I’m the writer of that webcomic as well so it’s my mistake. The first page should have read “three years ago” and not two. If this were a Marvel comic, you would have won a “no-prize.”
Jordan wants to know about a character’s motivation:
“Why didn't Aurthur Petrelli simply steal Adam Monroe's power, rather than lock him away?”
CZ: First off, it was Kaito who locked Adam away 30 years ago. And secondly, Arthur didn’t need to steal Adam’s power until recently. Stay tuned and you’ll find out why! (as in episode 8, our flashback episode known as “Villains”).
Call me WraitfulGrape asks:
“I was wondering, is there any significance to Papa Petrelli's first name being Arthur? Is he looking to build his Round Table? And would that make Linderman his Lancelot and Angela his deceitful Guinevere?”
Ooh, good thinking, CmWG. Guys?
CZ: Wow, that’s quite the impressive theory. We’ll have to see how it plays out!
CK: Or maybe, WraitfulGrape, it’s based on the Grapes of Wrath. And Peter Petrelli represents Rose of Sharon. How do you like them apples? Or grapes?
Josh Parker asks two questions this week:
“The main things that I was questioning after ‘Dying of the Light’ had to do with the painting that Usutu had shown Hiro and Ando at the end. First of all, I could recognize that in the top left corner was Arthur, Knox below him, and in the bottom right it looked like Flint, or maybe Maury. However, I have been unable to figure out who was the fourth villain. I could see Sylar a little bit, but Magnum P.I. a lot. So who is this fourth villain? Is it a new villain (possibly played by Tom Selleck) or is it someone we know?”
CZ: It does look a lot like Tom Selleck. But it is Sylar. The bit that looks like facial hair is actually just a shadow across his face.
“I also noticed that Arthur in the painting seemed to have some kind of Harvey Dent/Two-Face action going on with half of his face being red. Is this supposed to be symbolic of there being something a darker side to him (it would be unsettling to think we haven't seen Arthur's dark side), or perhaps him working in the shadows? Or am I looking to much into it?”
CZ: Yes, those shadows are symbolic of Arthur’s darkness, but it’s not suggesting anything darker than what he’s already up to. There isn’t any two-face quality to read into it.
CK: What it really represents is Ultra the Multi-Alien. Remember him? Anyone? No? Too geeky? Okay, I’ll shut up.
Jason, who’s clearly from overseas, wants to know:
“Wacky distribution rights issues have made it complicated for people outside of the States to watch the ‘Heroes’ webisodes — is there any hope that we'll be seeing them (and hopefully, any new ones!) packaged with upcoming DVDs?”
CK: In fact, the Season Two DVDs contain our webisodes, which aired between seasons one and two, like the Sword Saint documentary and the Maja “prequel” webisode.
Marerk14 has questions about traveling:
“How did Matt get from Africa back to the U.S.? (I presume it was U.S. since Maury was at the airport as well, and he probably can't travel as well as Daphne). He was teleported to Africa, so I doubt he had his passport on himself. Also, I doubt it's that easy to take a wild animal to another continent. My guess is that he used his abilities to convince everybody that there is nothing at all wrong with his papers - and maybe even to get home free!”
So, was Matt using a Jedi mind trick on customs?
CZ: Yes! If Matt ran into any troubles regarding a passport and the turtle, his telepathy is a handy trick to have.
CK: There was a whole lot of, “This is not the turtle you are looking for.”
Marke14 also wants to know:
“Speaking about Daphne, how can she run to Europe? Does she use the surface tension to run over the sea? Or does she run way north and gets to Europe over the ice?”
CZ: That’s a question only a speedster could answer. My guess is that either possibility would work.
CK: Surface tension!
Cadence wants to know:
“Why did Angela want Adam unearthed if she actually did direct Hiro and Ando to do so and they weren't just jumping to conclusions? She must have known he wouldn't actually know what was going on, since he'd been imprisoned for the past thirty years, and obviously wasn't planning on feeding him to Arthur. So was she just hoping he'd give Hiro the run around and keep Hiro from doing damage to her plans, or was it affection for her old mentor? Or did Hiro just think it was a good idea all on his own?”
CZ: Adam did bring Hiro to the bar where Hiro crossed with Daphne and learned about Pinehearst. So the plan turned out pretty well in the end.
CK: Remember that Angela didn’t actually realize Arthur was involved until it was too late! She suspected that Adam might be involved, but only Hiro knew where Adam was imprisoned.
Stacie is upset about a fallen villain:
“I can't believe that you guys killed off Adam -- he had so much potential story. Is there any chance we will see him again?”
CZ: Fingers crossed we will.
CK: All I can say is, this is “Heroes!”
Karen Miller wants to know:
“We saw that Arthur Petrelli can take away powers--an awesome variant on Peter's and Sylar's abilities, by the way--but can he also give powers back?”
CZ: Nope. Unless he takes the ability to give powers from someone else.
The Sharpness asks two questions this week:
“Is there any indication on whether Usutu, the precog, is merely using his abilities regarding Arthur and the Villians, or if he has a more elaborate history with them?”
CZ: He only knows what he knows through the paintings. The same way he knew of Matt.
CK: Usutu is Facebook friends with Flint. Oh, I’ve said too much!
“I am loving Suresh's background sound effects, similar to Sylar's clocks. Will this be a continued theme for other characters as we move into ‘Fugitives?’”
CZ: A lot of our characters have motifs, such as “Claire’s theme,” which may sound like score — but they are character specific. You’ll have to keep listening to find that one out!
Brian Gersing has been thinking and debating:
“Friends and I have been debating Peter's abilities. There's no doubt that he can use multiple powers at once, but how many can he use at once? Are some harder to user than others? Can he use all that he's collected at once? To bring it down to a conventional context, I could drink a glass of water, run on a treadmill, hold a conversation and solve an algebra equation separately, but I don't think I could do all of those things at once. I might be able to do one or two at the same time, but certainly not all four. I imagine this is how it works for Peter (and Sylar, I guess). What say you?”
CZ: Peter can use any ability just as easy as another. And definitely in combinations. But he may have difficulty using all at once. The combo of fire and lightning from his hands might get messy.
CK: But right now, Peter isn’t doing much of anything power-wise.
Philip Pickard asks:
“Given that Sylar presumably took the power to learn an object's history by touching it, mightn't he know a thing or two about Pinehearst after Daphne gave him that business card? Can we expect to see him use that power over the course of the season?”
CZ: Yes, he will use that power. And yes, he most likely would know a thing or two about Pinehearst from the business card. But I doubt the card holds all of Pinehearst’s darkest secrets. He might know a lot about the printer who made them.
Dan Hunter is playing with semantics:
“Is it a turtle or a tortoise? Matt refers to his shelled buddy as a turtle, but I was under the belief that turtles are water-based or live in sewers (where they learn martial arts and eat pizza). The totem was found in the plains of Africa and therefore land based leaving me to believe that it is a Testudinidae, ie a tortoise not a turtle.”
CZ: Sure sounds like it must be a tortoise.
“Or is Matt (known for his wit) employing cool irony by naming the totem Turtle?”
Joe Williford wants a super team:
“So we have seen the Legion of Doom/Hell-Fire Club begin to form. How soon before we see the JLA, X-Men, Avengers come together?”
Now, we should add here that in Season One, Tim Kring said he wasn’t interested in creating a super team — have things changed in any way?
CZ: As villains gather, heroes will have to join forces to defeat the enemy. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be a permanent team of crime fighters.
CK: Our heroes seem to have a tough time working together. We’ve seen Peter and Matt on opposing sides already, as well as Hiro and Peter. And Suresh has obviously burned quite a few bridges. So who makes up the “good guys” is still very much up in the air.
“I bet all the writers are breathing a huge sigh of relief now that they don't have to deal with Peter's powers anymore. It's also a good way of getting back to the root of who the character is. Any clues on how long this situation will last?”
CZ: No comment!
CK: Candlestick, the study… oh, sorry, wrong clue.
We finish off with another question from The Sharpness, who knows the way to our hearts here at CBR/BTE Worldwide Headquarters, although we think his odds are way off:
“When can we expect a Turtle/Mr. Muggles showdown? 2-1 odds on Turtle.”
CZ: Let’s see your version!
CK: I’m going to have to say Mr. Muggles. With his ability to rearrange matter on a sub-atomic level, who’s going to beat him?
Thanks to special guests Chris Zatta and Chuck Kim for answering guest-starring in this week’s BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. Next week, Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski return to answer your burning questions about last night’s episode of “Heroes,” “Eris Quod Sum.” If you’d like to participate, e-mail your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org Please make sure to get in all your questions in by 6:00 PM Pacific Time on Thursday October 30, 2008 to be taken under consideration for next week's column.