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Did Heroes Redeem Itself at Comic-Con?

Heroes, Zachary Quinto, John Glover NBC Photo: Trae Patton

It was a meeting of the superpowers as nearly the full cast of Heroes assembled at Comic-Con to kick off Volume 5: Redemption. The question--unasked and unanswered by the panelists--in most everyone's minds is whether returning show runner Tim Kring can indeed redeem the series for many disenchanted viewers.

The audience response to the debut of the season-four preview was mixed, but the camaraderie shared by Kring & Co. (with two notable exceptions) was infectious. Obviously you want to hear all about it, so shape-shift yourself on in here...

Panel Highlights

Is anything more appropriate for the intermission of a Heroes event than Oingo Boingo's "Gray Matter"? (We suspect happy coincidence since the sound engineer expressed a fondness for Boingo and Depeche Mode, but props all the same.)

Our G4 sister Blair Brown was a most excellent moderator.

Jack Coleman (HRG) has been hiding a Gold's Gym body beneath his character's boring business attire. Mee-yow! And he's hilarious. He said his favorite scene to film so far this season "involves a car and water, two things we know from Chappaquiddick that we know should never mix."

Zachary Quinto. Is it necessary to say more? OK, we'll play nice and share some of his gems. One of his fave scenes? "I got to work with a baby. It was really fun. The baby was really good at crying."

And when a fan whether Spock or Sylar would win a fight, the Z man answered: "Spock would have to take it, because he's ultimately fighting for good. And I believe good will always win." But in the ultimate Spock vs. Spock challenge, though, he gives the victory to his elder: "Leonard would drop me in one round."

Hayden Panettiere's eye-rolling and expressions of disdain expressions whenever the focus shifted to her ex Milo Ventimiglia? Awkward...but awfully entertaining.

The Other Stuff

The world premiere of the new season preview was heavily promoted as offering Comic-Con attendees an "exclusive first look at Redemption"--so why did so much of it seem so...familiar? For the benefit of the doubt, we shall interpret the following as homages. You can judge for yourself:

Homage to The Matrix: Maybe slo-mo, stop-action, double-speed is the only way to show Peter Petrelli's kung fu knife fight with new speedster Hero Edgar (Ray Park), a carnival knife thrower.

Circus, Circus: And then there's your homage to HBO's Carnivàle: Explains Kring, "We're creating a new wrinkle in the mythology of the show. Alongside [our Heroes], there was another group, this family who had powers, who could live among us and hide in plain sight." Ta-da!

The Magic Compass: From what we saw of the carnival culture and some mysterious tattoos, a certain compass is apparently going to play an important role in the show's wrinkled mythology.  Is this an homage to Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass fantasy book and/or its recent movie adaptation? Hmmm...

Girl-on-Girl Action: Claire goes to college and finds a BFF (Californication's Madeline Zima)...or, as Hayden describes their relationship, a "friend with privileges." Aw. Can one even call this kind of generic ratings spiker an homage?

A Wrinkle in Time: Oh dear. Masi Oka shared some bad news for nonfans of time travel. "We see time traveling a lot more [this season]," he said. "His redemption is going back in time and fixing things he's done wrong. He has kind of a bucket list. He wants to make amends." Hilarity (or something) must surely ensue when, at the carnival (where else?), Hiro encounters...young Hiro!

My goodness! These powers really just complicate life, don't they? At least HRG can stay grounded, even though he jokingly bemoans his character's deficit: "I only have one power. It is the power of impaired vision."

Is this an unintentional metaphor...or does Tim Kring really see a better future for the series?

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Don't miss Watch With Kristin's tag-team tweets, Comic-Con photos and all of the news from Comic-Con 2009!

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