Viewership may have fallen, and audience support may have waned, but at Comic-Con, NBC’s "Heroes" is still as big as as it ever was. It’s also still humble.
When the cast — the entire cast — came on stage to huge applause in Hall H, many of the actors were also filming the crowd with personal cameras. Greg Grunberg was one, and he also visited with a few fans at the back of the line for the panel, many of whom weren’t getting in.
And speaking of growth, one of the first things moderator and executive producer Jeph Loeb said to the assemblage was that the show was in "236 territories around the world," and that it was popular because of the Comic-Con fans. "And we came here to thank you."
Loeb, being the cheerleader that he is, then led a section-by-section cheering contest. Then he offered this promise for the new season: "Each and every one of you … you will want to talk about it."
After the cast filled the stage, Loeb jabbed at other ensembles, making sure the audience knew that everybody from the cast showed up, not just one or two stars.
Tim Kring came in with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. He held aloft a DVD, the DVD for the premiere of season three’s villains-themed offerings.
Then we got to see "The Second Coming."
It’s a great episode, and it should draw back those who’ve dropped off. It may even bring in new viewers. And if not, maybe you’ll want to watch simply because, as the guy in my row said, "Hayden is hotter than ever!"
SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT:
In a quick summary/update, Sylar steals Clare’s ability to heal (finally), without killing her, then finds a file detailing more people with powers. We also see a glimpse of a prison for super-powered individuals, and some of the dangerous detainees held there (HRG is also held there).
Mohinder develops a serum to give regular humans powers, then uses it on himself. Ali Larter’s character (new name, new identity) seems to be a high-paid prostitute. Nathan Petrelli finds God while Peter Petrelli comes back from the future to change things. Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli) is also introduced as a main cast member.
After the screening, the cast sat for questions. One of the first people thanked them for doing charity work. Milo Ventimiglia invited up a seeing-impaired girl to "see" him (a hug). The crowd groaned.
An interesting question asked the actors to described the season in just one word ("or a compound word"). A sampling: Hayden Panettiere ("wonderful"), Masi Oka (something in Japanese), Greg Grunberg ("sexy"), Adrian Pasdar ("sexy because you get to see Greg in a thong"), Zachary Quinto ("brouhaha"), and Tim Kring ("adrenaline").
Finally, a guy dressed as a sort of feudal Hiro asked about extras on the upcoming DVD release. Loeb said the season-two DVD (due Aug 26) would come complete with extra writers-strike-only episodes, featuring content not yet aired on NBC.
– Jevon Phillips
Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times