On Heroes, the best powers are reserved for a select three to four people who move the plot, such as it is, forward. For every lead who can instantly heal or fly, there are about a dozen who can learn things fairly quickly or who have super duper hearing. Today, we examine the losers of the Heroes world and discuss why having their powers is more embarrassing than just saying you didn't have the power and showing people your stamp collection instead.
He has a precognitive painting ability and the ability to turn pupils white, thus disguising one's self kind of as an albino if necessary. Imagine someone chasing you and you had to blend in with a number of albinos provided you could only see their eyes. It gets complicated, right?
Why It Sucks:
The ability to paint the future, as long it narrowly concerns a limited set of people with whom you've never met, sounds like the power equivalent of being handed the scripts to the entire next season of As the World Turns. Assuming you don't watch As the World Turns (and we assume you, not being a 40-year-old woman, don't), this power would be all but worthless.
You never saw Isaac painting something useful such as next week's stock ticker or the result of horse races or lottery numbers. Instead, he'd just paint pictures of a nuclear explosion which never happened. And, the power's not even that accurate. Why didn't he paint a picture of Nathan Petrelli flying Peter to safety, seeing as how that's what actually happened?
With this power, you would get up each day, turn your eyes a milky white color, and paint something like your next door neighbor buying a new Dodge Stratus six months from now. Add to this power the cost of canvasses, oil paint and brushes, and you have what amounts to one expensive and fairly useless hobby.
He can hear other people's thoughts.
Why It Sucks:
Kind of Counselor Troi-esque in its scope, this ability allows one to perceive the thoughts of anyone around them. This doesn't make sense on several levels, primarily because thoughts, if you think about it (ha!), are extremely disjointed and nonsensical, kind of like a slightly less disturbing David Lynch film with fewer fish babies and more fantasies of yourself as a sports hero.
However, assuming you could hear thoughts beyond the typically random commercial jingles and incoherent half-thoughts evaluating the need to go to the bathroom now or if they can hold it, you'd find out what people would really think of you. You'd walk into a room sporting a new moustache and nine out of 10 people would be thinking "child molester." On the upside of things, you'd pretty much always know when your zipper was down or if you had a whistling booger. So there's that.
Of course, in the second season Parkman developed the ability to alter people's thoughts, but that's pretty much an entirely different power. Presumably the writers decided to give themselves a mulligan after realizing that his original power basically enabled him to listen to people's internal evaluation of how comfortable their underpants are and disjointed "director's cuts" of their sentences.
Why It Sucks:
Hana Gitelman was only around for something like 2 percent of one episode, and do you have to wonder why? Her power was the ability to communicate with machines, but not like the way Micah Sanders can. That's different ... somehow. Hana's power was more like just having a form of built-in Wi-Fi in that she could email without the aid of a computer. So can we. It's called our cell phone.
They introduced her under the radar and had her MSN chat with Ted Sprague once, and then we don't really remember ever seeing her again. Maybe Sylar killed her and used her power to upgrade his DISH Network subscription wirelessly.
Don't get us wrong. The ability to communicate via computers without the aid of any kind of technology whatsoever would be handy. But, compared to controlling the space time continuum, flying or instant healing, this ability is right up there with "really bendy elbow" or the power to win at paper-rock-scissors over 85 percent of the time.
Spirit guide/Dream traveler
Why It Sucks:
You know if you had the option, you probably wouldn't want to read people's minds ... well, most people would be unlikely to visit other people's dreams, too, even if by doing so you could "guide" your subject back through their past.
Why anyone on the planet would want to do this is anyone's guess, but we're thinking it would primarily have application in the ex-boyfriend department. Your girlfriend dumps you and you're pining for her endlessly so you hop into her dreams wherein she's making out with her new boyfriend and you spiritually guide her back to her past where she was dating you. What you do after that point is a bit more unclear, because it's not like she's going to wake up and feel that dreaming about the early stages of your relationship will erase the fact that you ran her grandma over with a hay combine on a drunken rampage.
At best, if you told people you were a dream traveler you could maybe hook up with some really unintelligent older chicks who misunderstood and thought you said you were in Blues Traveler.
He is nuclear.
Why It Sucks:
Being nuclear seems like it would be a pretty handy power. You could solve the nation's energy crisis in a safe and clean manner, but environmentalists who haven't read up about nuclear power's benefits since 1979 would constantly picket you. On the plus side, you could create fission with your hands and reduce them to a gooey, gurgling mass similar to what happened to the evil Gremlin after they put him in the microwave.
None of this really explains how you'd come out ahead, though. Would people pay you for generating power? We suppose. Then again, if you needed money you could hold the world hostage for $1 Million in exchange for not liquidating their most cherished cities, such as wherever you live, because who wants to endure a really long car drive to somewhere more strategically advisable with gas prices what they are?
This power would be great if you wanted to blow up an entire large city as part of the aforementioned hostage situation or if you had a radical agenda you wished to inflict upon the unbelievers. But what if you don't? What if you're just a normal guy with a crappy job, the same as everyone else? At best, you'll just use your power to get ahead in line at the grocery store and to punish people who cut you off in traffic. They flip you off, you make it so they can no longer have children. Seems fair.