In the fall of 2015, NBC launched HEROES REBORN, a 13-episode sequel to the mutant driven series Heroes that ran from 2006 to 2010. The first episode showed a lot of promise, mixing familiar characters from the original run with a diverse cast of new players. Sadly, the subsequent 12 episodes went from bad to worse and never recovered.
One thing that was clearly missing from the whole series was the sense of originality enjoyed by its predecessor. While the 2006 series took obvious cues from X-Men and countless other Marvel and DC properties, it still had privilege of being unlike anything else on TV at the time. CW’s Smallville had its comic book roots, but was tethered to its Superman connections. Heroes was allowed to explore the superhero genre while developing an entire new universe of characters. Heroes Reborn lingered in the shadow of its more successful parent while also competing in an arena filled with DC and Marvel gladiators. If there were any good qualities found in Heroes Reborn, they were not unique qualities.
The show also suffered from hubris mixed with a touch of arrogance. They banked on the old fans being so in love with the old version that they would accept anything from this new product, no matter how ludicrous. The writing was sloppy, filling the episodes with inconsistent storylines and convoluted problems with simple solutions that were often ignored for the sake of plot. One glaringly irritating subplot involved a Japanese video game designer whose super power allows him to transport people from reality into his video game, and vice versa. While suspension of disbelief is essential with this type of program, this device does not fit in the same universe as the other various powers involved. The 13-episode arc was also over populated with principal characters. It was difficult for viewers to become invested in most of these characters, especially when many would be abandoned for an episode or two in order to shift the focus elsewhere.
It was announced earlier this month that Heroes Reborn would not be renewed. Unfortunately, the show wrapped production long before this news was announced. The final episode closes with an ambiguous cliffhanger that will never be resolved, much like the original show’s disappointing fourth season.
NBC is no longer airing the program. Morbidly curious viewers can see the series on Hulu for the time being.