Characters: Heroes Main Characters

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The Heroes

    Peter Petrelli 

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia)

Ability: Empathic Mimicry (original), Ability Replication (synthetic)

A (fairly Emo) hospice nurse who starts to feel that he's meant to do something special in life, which leads him on a journey to understand his developing superpowers, and ultimately use them to try and make a positive difference in the world, although he has a bit of trouble figuring out how to do so correctly. A highly empathic person, with the ability to passively absorb the superpowers of others around him through their emotional connection, which (according to his own mother) makes him potentially the most powerful of all supers.

After his Volume Two Unwitting Pawn tenure, his Drama-Preserving Handicap ineffectiveness continues in Volume Three where he goes on an evil kick for a few episodes after absorbing Sylar's ability of understanding (and its corresponding compulsion towards killing) in order to prevent yet another prophesied apocalyptic future. He finally gets Brought Down to Normal when his Big Bad Evil Overlord father steals all of his abilities and becomes a Physical God, forcing him to spend the rest of the Volume opposing his father's master plan without any powers.

In Volume Four, he returns with a Nerfed version of his powers courtesy of a stolen batch of his dad's Super Serum; now he can only copy one power at a time and must absorb it through touch.

Associated Tropes:

    Nathan Petrelli 

Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar)

Ability: Flight

A highly ambitious politician, self-described "shark", and Peter's brother. Nathan has the ability to fly, but has absolutely no interest in his superpowers, instead wishing to gain power via the political process. Something of a Manipulative Bastard, he finds himself torn between his ruthless political ambitions and his genuine affection for his idealistic brother.

He reluctantly joins The Company's plan to unite mankind by destroying New York City, but at the last moment The Power of Love motivates him to perform a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Volume One to save everyone instead. He spends most of Volume Two acting as The Atoner... then spends most of Volume Three back to being a Jerk Ass again, first siding with his Big Bad Evil Overlord father in the hopes of helping mankind by giving everyone superpowers, then when that plan goes down the crapper he cooks up his own scheme to round up and render comatose all existing supers to "protect" normals from them... before finally becoming The Atoner yet again when his own status as a super is exposed and he's ultimately hunted and finally forced to confront his own hubris and self-hatred. He also tends to get assassinated Once A Season.

Associated Tropes:

  • Aloof Big Brother
  • Ambiguous Situation: His actions in Volume 4 make him responsible for the government imprisoning and experimenting on Evolved Humans. Which begs the question of exactly how much of the Bad Future in Volume 1 was actually done by him before Sylar stole his identity?
  • Ambition Is Evil: Zig-zagged. He's a heroic character but will usually sell out a moral or two to further his own career, no matter how much it messes things up for other people. This extends from major lapses such as hunting all of the powered people, including Peter, and letting Linderman destroy New York to telling everyone Peter attempted suicide, oblivious to how it would hurt him.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: For a man who can fly under his own power, he sure is quick to dismiss Hiro's and Isaac's abilities in Volume One.
  • The Atoner: Twice!
  • Back from the Dead: Repeatedly! Honestly, two bullets and a sibling nuclear bomb didn't kill this guy. And he doesn't even have regeneration!
    • Once he returned while being dead.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In the first couple of episodes of Season 2. Its ugliness was lampshaded in-universe, as his kids tell him they don't like it and he should shave. Ouch.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows
  • Boomerang Bigot: In Volume 4, he convinces the President that evolved humans are dangerous and need to be imprisoned while hiding his own status as one of them. Peter even calls him out on it.
  • Characterization Marches On: He was a pretty big Jerkass in Season 1. He grew out of it, though he does have some jerkass tendencies occasionally.
  • The Chessmaster: He has his moments, with season one pretty much making him a Magnificent Bastard.
  • Death Glare: Deployed a lot, especially against his little brother Peter, Danko (... all the damn time), Ma Petrelli, Parkman, even Noah Bennet (to no effect).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Not only did he not know that Tracey Strauss's escape was orchestrated to manipulate a government official into keeping the division up and running instead of shutting it down, but as soon as he found out about it, he told off the guy who orchestrated it, Danko.
  • Flight: His ability, and unlike other flying characters, he's able to do it at super-speed. Ironically, the most stick-in-the-mud character gets one of the most fun powers.
  • Handsome Lech
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Good God.
  • Hero with an F in Good
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the season one finale, although he survives.
  • I See Dead People: Well, one dead person (Linderman). Who just wouldn't go away during Volume 2.
  • In-Series Nickname: FLYING-MAN!!!
  • It's All About Me: He mostly works under the assumption that everyone exists to benefit or serve him, including Peter. The most egregious is when he is completely willing to let Linderman destroy New York to help his political career. Given how his parents basically raised him to be a carbon copy of them, it's understandable.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Season 1, until the finale.
  • Killed Off for Real: A few times, but it sticks at the end of volume 4.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Claire
  • Manipulative Bastard: Again, mostly in Season 1. Then subverted as he gets manipulated to hell and back by everyone in subsequent seasons.
  • No Party Given: Enforced to the extent that, when we see the ballot for his congressional election in Volume One, no parties are listed for any of the candidates.
  • Papa Wolf: He tries to be this with regards to Claire Bennet but... kind of fails miserably and manages to screw everything up. As he tends to do. Not exactly the poster boy for fatherhood, our Nathan.
  • Parental Favoritism: His parents both heap praise on him and ignore or insult Peter. His dad all but openly prefers him.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's the Senator who never votes or attends committee meetings!
  • Promotion to Parent: It's implied that Nathan became this as their parents seemed to have decided to neglect Peter in favor of Nathan's career ambitions.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Uses them on everyone - Peter, Heidi, Claire, even Noah in a couple of scenes.
  • Put on a Bus: Not him, but his family: his wife Heidi and his two sons disappeared and were never mentioned again after Season 2.
    • Justified since they divorced and she moved Out of Focus with the kids, but they're briefly glimpsed at Nathan's funeral, sitting next to Angela and Peter.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: In Volume 2.
  • Blue Oni: To Peter's red.
  • Only Sane Man: Starts out as this (throughout most of Volume 1), in contrast to his characterization in subsequent seasons.
  • Spoiled Brat: Was this growing up and the effects are still there. Even in his forties, Nathan doesn't seem to understand that he can't just treat people like dirt and expect them to love him.
  • The Stoic
  • The Straight Man: To Peter. Also to Hiro.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Especially from the end of Season 1 onwards. Seriously, it gets depressing.
  • Waistcoat of Style
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Season 3.

     Claire Bennet 

Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere)

An "invincible" teenage cheerleader with the ability to regenerate from all injuries, meaning she essentially can't die. She's quite disturbed by her powers at first, fearing that they make her a freak, and spends quite a good amount of time angsting about this. It doesn't help matters that her manifesting powers make her family life incredibly unstable, thanks to her dad turning out to be a Secret Agent Guy doing everything possible to hide her existence from the Company which he works for.

She Took a Level in Badass in Volume Three where she stops wangsting, takes an active role in the fight against the Level 5 Supervillains and later Pinehearst Industries, culminating in a showdown against arch-villain Sylar where she helps save her father and grandmother. This continues in Volume Four where she aids the resistance against the Government's superhuman roundup. In Volume Five, she attempts to live a normal life and goes to college, but ends up getting sucked into stopping Samuel's plans alongside the rest of the Heroes.

Associated Tropes:

     Niki Sanders 

Niki Sanders (Ali Larter)

A financially distressed single mother, who owes a considerable amount of money to the mob. Further complicated by her super-strong Superpowered Evil Side Jessica, a ruthless split personality who has absolutely no qualms about slaughtering everyone in her path (including her estranged husband) that threatens the well-being of her and her son.

She ultimately manages to gain control over her split personality, but joins the (kinder, friendlier) Company to try and set things right, and ends up seemingly being Killed Off for Real by the end of Volume 2.

Associated Tropes:

  • Action Mom: In season 1, she is an Action Survivor more than anything, but in the finale she gain access to the Super Strength she always had. Meanwhile, Jessica is more of a Dark Action Mom.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Niki usually doesn't remember what Jessica does with her body and sometimes uses reflective surfaces, such as mirrors and fish tanks to see what's happening.
  • Butt Monkey: She tries her damn hardest to make a decent life for herself and her family, but the world seems intent on making it hell for her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice/Killed Off for Real: She runs into a burning building where Monica is trapped and buys enough time to get Monica to safety, but dies when a falling ember traps her in. Ali Larter remained on the show, playing a different character.
  • Greed: According to Mr. Linderman, money is the only thing Jessica cares about.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Jessica is willing to do whatever it takes to protect Micah, no matter the consequences.
  • The Killer in Me: Jessica in spades.
  • Love Makes You Evil: It was implied that the Jessica personality came about as Niki willing to do whatever it takes to protect Micah.
  • Mama Bear: Obviously towards Micah. Jessica is a Knight Templar Parent.
  • Mirror Scare: What happens when Niki and Jessica stare at each other.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Niki's first appearance in the show is her taking off her clothes in a front of a webcam.
  • Psycho for Hire: Jessica used her powers to commit several crimes, from theft to murder.
  • Send in the Clones: Turns out she had two sisters she didn't know about...
  • Single Mom Stripper: She is a webcam stripper, until Jessica took matters in her own hands.
  • Split Personality: Aside from Jessica, there was a third alter-ego called Gina.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Her level of strength constantly varies from above human strength to bending reinforced metal like wet paper.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Originally, Jessica was the only one who could use super-strength.
  • Super Strength: Her primary superpower. At first, only Jessica could use it but Niki gain access to the power in the season 1 finale. After her death, Dr. Zimmerman revealed her powers are a result of a Super Serum, not because she was born with them.

     Daniel Lawrence "D.L." Hawkins 

D.L. Hawkins (Leonard Roberts)

Ability: Phasing

A former thief with the ability to phase (become intangible), which he uses to escape imprisonment for a murder he didn't commit. He mostly just wants to have a normal life and be a good father to his son, which isn't easy considering his wife's Superpowered Evil Side wants him dead, and the leader of the Company/mob boss is gunning for him due to a misunderstanding over a buttload of money.

Associated Tropes:

  • Badass: This guy just screams it, especially when he proves to Micah that he is a real hero when he uses his powers (with an assist from Hiro) to help an unconscious woman get out of a car that was about to explode.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Butt Monkey: Dear lord, he could not catch a break, and it is never his fault.
  • Determinator
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: After the Volume 1 finale set him up to have been killed by Linderman's gunshot, it turns out that was fixed... only for him to be shot by a random thug while trying to get his wife (who was in the midst of a split personality issue) away from said thug.
  • Intangible Man: He seems to enjoy using it in unique and creative ways as well, like letting a bullet phase right through his head, or choking out his crazed super-strength wife by phasing through part of her torso to reach her neck.
  • Nice Guy: One of the biggest examples on the show...
  • Papa Wolf: ...unless you threaten Micah. Then you're screwed.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: As Jessica points out, life is tough for a Black ex-con, even without a psycho assassin trying to kill him.
  • Scary Black Man: A total subversion of the trope. Initially described as a bloodthirsty felon, he turns out to be a cuddly, devoted, hardworking dad.
  • Tragic Hero

     Micah Sanders 

Micah Sanders (Noah Gray-Cabey)

Ability: Technopathy

Niki and D.L.'s son. A child prodigy and comic book fan, with the ability to communicate with technology. From comic books he's gotten the notion that he and his family should be using their powers to help people, but mostly he's just caught in the tug-of-war between his flighty ex-con father and his mother's possessive psychopathic split-personallity. He finally finds a kindred spirit in his superpowered cousin, but their first attempt to fight crime goes horribly wrong.

In Volume Four, he succeeds in orchestrating a resistance against Building 26 and the Government's crusade against evolved humans, using the codename "Rebel", which in the on-line comics is revealed to actually be the name of a super team he's formed with fellow evolved humans West, Abigail and Sparrow Redhouse

Associated Tropes:

  • The Chessmaster
  • Kid Hero
    • Kid Hero All Grown Up: Returns as a young adult in Heroes Reborn and is the operator of the "HeroTruther" Youtube channel.
  • Technopath
  • Pre-Teen Genius
  • Took a Level in Badass: As "Rebel".
    • And his actions on the show are nothing compared to the Graphic Novel. He forms a team of bad asses (including former Scrappy West) and proceed to lead them into battle where they kick the ass of every single one of Danko's agents, rescue people from Building 26 and, in the most recent graphic novel when Micah is tied up and at the mercy of Thompson Jr (son of Bennet's old boss), manages to destroy the entire building with a remote control crane, summon his super team to beat Thompson senseless and then put Thompson's name on the top ten most wanted lists...all while TIED TO A CHAIR. Yes, it IS a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • True Companions: Micah forms these when his wish to form a Super-Team comes true.

     Hiro Nakamura 

Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka)

A Japanese Salaryman and geeky Otaku who discovers he has the ability to bend time and space (which includes stopping/rewinding time, teleporting, and time-travel). Unlike all the other heroes, who spend several episodes just trying to figure out what the hell is going on, thanks to years of learning from comic books, Hiro knows he's got superpowers, and almost immediately and eagerly sets out on a quest to use his powers to Save The World from the impending nuclear destruction of New York City, dragging his non-powered lifelong buddy Ando along for the ride.

After learning of his destiny to help save New York by stopping arch-villain Sylar, Hiro ultimately succeeds in his quest but in the process sends himself back to Feudal Japan. Here he meets his childhood idol, legendary hero Takezo Kensei, only to discover the man is a cynical, drunken, and rather goofy British mercenary more concerned with gold than helping to free the populace from the resident Evil Overlord. Hiro spends Volume Two attempting to tutor him into becoming the great hero of legends, but the two have a falling out over a girl, leading to Kensei's transformation into the Volume's immortal, humanity-hating Misanthrope Supreme Big Bad (Nice Job Breaking It, Hiro).

After returning to the present Hiro learns of Kensei's (read: Adam's) scheme and stops him too. Hiro spends Volume Three attempting to prevent the prophecized destruction of the world caused by Pinehearst Industry's distribution of Super Serum, only to have his abilities stolen during his first confrontation with Physical God Big Bad Evil Overlord Arthur Petrelli. He spends Volume Four coping with the loss of his powers while trying to stop Building 26's crusade against evolved humans; he ultimately recovers a partial version of his original powers back (which he ultimately uses to pwn Danko and Building 26 once and for all), but it seems to take a major toll on his health as the new version forces him to Cast from Hit Points.

Associated Tropes:

     Ando Masahashi 

Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee)

Ability: Supercharging

Hiro's best friend and a fellow coworker at the same company. Despite his Deadpan Snarker personality, he is loyal to Hiro and is his almost-constant companion, though occasional feuds (such as the one caused when Hiro saw Ando kill him in an alternate future) do happen. More worldly than Hiro, often tries to rein his friend in, but he secretly enjoys their adventures sometimes. Most of his dialogue with Hiro is in Japanese, though he speaks English better than Hiro.

In volume three he gained the ability to "supercharge" the abilities of others via a Super Serum, which he has since developed to short circuit electric locks and blast people unconscious.

Associated Tropes:

     Issac Mendez 

Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera)

Ability: Precognition

A painter and comic book illustrator. He also had precognitive abilities — the catch was that his ability was dependent on heroin. He was killed by Sylar about halfway through Volume one. That hasn't stopped him from being a fairly important supporting character though...

Associated Tropes:

     Matt Parkman 

Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg)

Ability: Telepathy

A put-upon L.A. beat cop who discovers he has the ability to read minds. His powers put considerable strain on his family life when he learns his wife cheated on him with his partner. His life is further complicated after he's briefly kidnapped by the Company, and later he is recruited by the FBI to help track down superpowered serial killer Sylar.

In Volume Two, he ends up divorced from his wife, adopting Molly alongside Dr. Suresh, discovering his deadbeat dad is a founder of the Company, and ultimately developing the ability to control people's minds. Volume Three saw him on a "Spirit Walk" where he gains prophetic powers which lead him to fall in (puppy) love with speedster thief Daphne (his vision of the future shows the two of them were married). He spends the rest of the Volume attempting to reform her away from Pinehearst Industries (to his credit, at least he manages to avoid the evil/dick phase that all the other characters save Hiro were going through at the time).

He instead goes dark in Volume Four, where he goes on a revenge kick against Danko after the Building 26 leader denies Daphne medical treatment, leading to her death. He gets saved at the last minute by Hiro, who helps him reconcile with his estranged family from Volume One (now including his new son, Matt Parkman, Jr.). The season finale sees him arriving in Washington D.C. just minutes too late for either final showdown (vs. Building 26 or vs. Sylar), although he does play a role in the finale as a walking Deus ex Machina thanks to his ability to reshape minds. Even so, he is still a fan favorite.

Associated Tropes:

     Mohinder Suresh 

Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy)

Professor Suresh is the series' narrator, an Indian geneticist whose father theorized the evolution of superpowered humans in response to impending global and environmental crisis. After his father's murder, Suresh travels to America to follow in his father's footsteps and investigate his theory of superpowered humans. Although he early on discovers he has an enemy called "Sylar" (the murderer of his father), he mostly ends up running face-first into dead ends, being the Chew Toy of the Company, falling in love with The Mole, and ultimately ending up as an Unwitting Pawn for Sylar himself.

In Volume Two he helps Mr. Bennet infiltrate the Company with the intention of bringing it down, only to be seduced by their "kinder, gentler" new image and ultimately joining them in earnest, killing Mr. Bennet for them (he gets better) and ending up as their Unwitting Pawn. Volume Three saw him crossing the Moral Event Horizon by engineering his own superserum for the Big Bad and experimenting on himself. Volume Four saw him trying to atone for this.

Associated Tropes:

  • The Atoner: Credit where credit is due — Mohinder's every bit as hard on himself as the fans are. He spends most of Volume 4 feeling rotten about Volume 3, for instance.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In Volumes Two & Three, his allies often remark that Suresh is absolutely trustworthy and completely harmless, just a few minutes before he shoots them in the face, cocoons them in spiderwebs, or simply beats them up.
  • Bollywood Nerd
  • Failure Hero
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A rare non-Magnificent Bastard example. Suresh's constant betrayals towards his allies are more out of confusion and desperation rather than any master plan, and the only reason he keeps getting away with it seems to be the show's unusually high Idiot Ball quotient.
  • Disappeared Dad
  • Even the Guys Want Him: He is a sexy beast...
  • For Science!: The cause of many a poor move in Volume 3. Lampshaded by himself in Volume 4
  • Genius Bruiser: The superserum results in him gaining super strength and agility, but...
  • Going Native: Mohinder works with Mr. Bennet to take down the Company from within, but eventually becomes convinced that the Company is really the heroic organization and Bennet was misleading him.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: He changes sides and trusts the wrong people far too often
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Oh dear God. Where to even begin?!
  • Hot Scientist
  • Idiot Ball: He loves playing with it in Volume Two
  • Ignored Expert: For the extremely brief moment at the beginning of Season 2 when he holds the Smart Ball, Mohinder is the first person to warn about the Shanti Virus. He's regarded as a crackpot.
  • The Immune: In the first season, his blood contains the cure for the Shanti Virus which killed his sister.
  • Improbable Weapon User: He has attacked people with tuning forks, syringes, microscopes, rolling chalk boards, elephant sculptures, and taxi doors with an astonishing rate of success.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Volume Five, he is directly responsible for Samuel discovering the true nature of his powers, thus triggering the A-plot of the season.
  • Opening Narration/Fauxlosophic Narration: Almost every episode of Season 1 and 2, although at this point he's toned it down to a couple per season.
  • Papa Wolf: Whatever else you can say for Mohinder, at the end of Season 1 he does manage to single-handedly take down Matt Parkman and holds HRG off at gunpoint in order to protect Molly Walker.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: In Volume 3. Hilarity Ensues (if you think Body Horror is hilarious)
  • The Philosopher
  • The Professor
  • Put on a Bus: He's largely absent from Volume 5, due to having been murdered by Samuel Sullivan 3 months earlier, then saved by a time-traveling Hiro only to get put into an insane asylum. In his last appearance, he waves goodbye to everybody and walks off, stating that he can't participate in the upcoming final battle against Samuel because he has to go home and patch things up with his girlfriend (although he is good enough to build them a compass to locate Samuel with).
  • Too Dumb to Live: The number of instances is painful. Mohinder is not alone in this category by any means, but he stands out the most and warrants mention.
  • Artistic License - Biology - Yeah, yeah we know this is a series with people who fly and people who talk to machines. But every time Mohinder opens his mouth, you can hear Tim Kring's high school science teacher weeping quietly.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy
  • What Have I Become?: A side-effect of the serum includes scales and gradual mutation (in one of the future timelines)
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: He's Indian, yet for some reason has a British accent.

     Maya Herrera 

Maya Herrera (Dania Ramirez)

Associated Tropes:

     Monica Dawson / "St. Joan" 

Monica Dawson (Dana Davis)

Micah's cousin who is able to mimic the (non-superpowered) abilities and skills of anyone she sees. She was also introduced in Volume Two, but was much more well-liked by the fandom. She was unceremoniously Put on a Bus in Volume Three, although she appeared in the graphic novels several times.

Associated Tropes:

     Tracy Strauss 

Tracy Strauss (Ali Larter)

Ability: Freezing

Associated Tropes:

The Villains

     Sylar / Gabriel Gray 

Sylar/Gabriel Gray (Zachary Quinto)

"The Face of Evil", Sylar is a manipulative serial killer who hunts down and kills other superhumans to steal their abilities, due to a drive to be "special". Formerly a New York watchmaker named Gabriel Gray, his initial ability to "understand how things work" allows him to steal superpowers by extracting the brains of his victims and study "what makes them tick". He ultimately attempts to destroy New York City in a complicated bid to become President of the United States (it actually does make sense), leading to a climactic showdown with the Heroes.

In Volume Two, he's been stripped of his powers by the Company, and spends most of his time attempting to get them back, while manipulating the twins Maya and Alejandro to achieve his goal. After getting his powers back, Angela manipulates him so that he spent Volume Three as The Atoner (with foot stuck in the Heel-Face Revolving Door) partnered with Noah Bennet and protecting his "family" (believing Angela to be his mother, and Peter to be his brother). He is shown reformed with a family in a possible future.

We learn from a flashback episode that before he became Sylar he was dating Elle and that the Company pushed him to become Sylar. He rekindled his romance with Elle only to kill her afterwards when he realized that it was all based on a lie. He then proceeds to give Big Bad Evil Overlord Papa Petrelli a fatal case of cranial intrusion (granted, Peter and The Haitian were about to kill the guy anyway), then goes after Mama Petrelli, leading to a final showdown against Claire, Mr. Bennet, Meredith Gordon, and the remaining Level 5 Supervillains.

He spends Volume Four searching for his biological family on a search for self that only leads to disappointment when he learns that he really takes after his real dad, a once feared power-stealing supervillain who's now a broken old man dying of lung cancer. Determined not to end up like his old man, he joins forces with Danko in order to capture and consume all evolved humans, which leads to him taking on a shapeshifting power that he tries to use to achieve World Domination but which ultimately leads to him losing his sense of self...

Associated Tropes:

  • Abusive Parent: His adoptive father neglected him a few times, and his mother seemed to be domineering towards him, wanting him to be perfect, even ascending to the Presidency (which evidently contributed a lot to his character). In addition, when she discovers his powers she reacts like Carrie's mother in Carrie and tries to kill him, but Sylar inadvertently does so by embracing her.
    • They were pretty bad, but they had nothing on his biological father, who sold him to them for pocket money and then murdered his biological mother right in front of him.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Ambiguous Situation: Before his powers were clarified, he displayed Super Speed, Super Strength, Super Toughness, and Flight in his earlier appearances. It was later shown that he shouldn't have had these specific abilities, strictly speaking. Word of God indicates that this was probably him getting creative with telekinesis.
    • Later seasons heavily imply that his actual, in-born, super-human ability was Empathic Mimicry, just like Peter. His father's primary ability was Intuitive Aptitude, and presumably Sylar gained it from him. Notably, this seems to have been planned as early as season 2, when the only ability he was able to hang onto after being infected by the Shanti virus was telekinesis, which he gained from a friend.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: In Volume Five.
  • Angry Eyebrows: He does this thing with his eyebrows when he's particularly pissed off. Combine with the Kubrick Stare for an especially angry Death Glare.
  • Anti-Hero: A Nominal Hero, caring only about his own well-being and power, from season 3 onwards, until his permanent Heel-Face Turn.
  • Arch-Enemy: To pretty much every main character on the show, but especially Peter. After Peter foils his plan in Episode 9 of the first season, it's set. They clash several times, with higher stakes than any of the other characters.
  • Ax-Crazy: He even says as much: "I really do want to change. But I'm insane, remember?"
  • Badass Bookworm: In Volume One, his apartment is shown filled from floor to ceiling in books. In Volume Five, his "living space" in his mental prison was shown to have piles and piles of books and clocks.
  • Badass Longcoat: Especially in Volume One.
  • Beast and Beauty: Mostly Beast to Elle's Beauty, but also to Claire's Beauty.
  • Berserk Button: Do not tell him that he's not special, let him find out you're manipulating his issues for your own gain, or lie to him. That's just asking for it.
    • And unless you're his mother or Elle, don't ever call him by his real name.
  • Beta Test Baddie: Sylar's desire to know how everything worked and his need for validation as special influenced his every decision. However, since he received nothing but constant rejection, it eventually drove him from mentally unstable to homicidally insane.
  • Big Bad: Volume One, along with Linderman. Steals the spotlight from Danko towards the end of Volume Four.
  • Big Damn Villains
  • Big Eater: He's fond of using food as metaphors, is often seen snacking on something, and once ate an entire pie by himself. This video even rounds up how often he's around food. His desire for more abilities is explicitly described as a "hunger".
    • His first words after being reunited with his own body? "What's for dinner? I'm starving."
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: It's his most distinctive characteristic. Aside from the psychotic serial killer thing.
  • Body Horror: Never mind the lobotomies. It seems Sylar's new shapeshifting power has a few side-effects... like extra teeth, uncontrollable shifting, and mental instability because The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body.
  • Bored With Insanity: He goes off the deep-end before trying to reform, several times.
  • Brain Food: Heavily implied in the first season. Debunked in a later season.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Applied to him by Parkman on Angela's orders. He manages to break through it, albeit at the price of being thoroughly confused about himself by the end of the series.
  • Breakout Villain: Thanks to a strong showing in Volume One, he's become the Face of Evil for the show.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He's from Queens, but his watchmaker's shop is located in Brooklyn and is where his Start of Darkness began with Brian Davis's murder.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Throughout Volume Two.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: All of the show's other Big Bads try to justify their actions as being for the Greater Good. Sylar, in contrast, is very upfront about being an unrepentant, sadistic monster.
  • Carpet of Virility: During his amnesiac period in the Carnival, he wore shirts that were half-buttoned and showed off his chest hair.
  • Changeling Fantasy
  • The Chessmaster
  • Chewing the Scenery: Occasionally.
  • Chronic Villainy: "Rehabilitation doesn't happen overnight. I AM trying."
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: To Mook Daniel Simmons, screwdrivers through the hand. "Someone... isn't... paying... attention!"
  • Creepy Monotone
  • Dark Is Evil: He has a head of jet black hair and dresses almost exclusively in dark clothing.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The more evil he gets, the sharper and dryer his wit becomes. It really kicks into overdrive when he is in Matt's head and his every line is dripped in sarcasm.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Through most of the last few episodes in Volume Four. And then we get to the final episode and...
  • The Determinator: With copious amounts of Badass and Villainous Willpower; he won't stay dead and he just keeps coming.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Pointedly strips off his shirt when speaking to Maya to hide the fact that he's just murdered her brother. It works.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Calling him Gabriel is a good way to shorten your life expectancy dramatically.
  • The Dreaded: The very mention of his name makes even the most hardened individual scared.
  • Easily Forgiven: By Elle. Also by Peter, but while it seems like it was instantaneous by everyone else, it was years for them.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Twice!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Sylar is horrified when he learns he might be the one to blow up New York. "They're innocent. There's no gain. So why would I do it?" He gets over it pretty quickly after his mom dies though.
    • Also around the time he decides he doesn't want to work with Danko anymore because killing a scared, lonely orphan is low even by his standards.
    • When he is looking to take Claire's powers, she asks if he will eat her brain (at the time, this was a popular fan theory on how Sylar absorbed powers). This is his response:
    Sylar: Eat your brain? Claire, that's disgusting.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Peter. Explicit in Volume Three.
  • Evil Eyebrows: Of the big, low, and menacing kind.
  • Evil Mentor: To Maya in Volume Two, as well as Luke in Volume Four (although that one doesn't last too long).
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Every Big Bad who has ever tried to use Sylar to fulfill their own agenda has had it blow up in their faces. Often with fatal results.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Occasionally in Volume One.
  • Evil Tastes Good: It's no wonder people thought he ate brains.
  • Exact Words: When Sylar meets the person who uses Telekinesis, he offers to help him get rid of the power he has. He certainly meant it when he said that he'd help him get rid of it. What he doesn't tell him is that the way he's going to help him is by bludgeoning his head with a crystalline paperweight.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's a psychopathic serial killer who delights in stealing abilities, but he likes pretending to be nice.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: He loves this trope to pieces.
  • For the Evulz: Quite a few of his actions have no logic aside from pure sadism.
    "Yeah... I don't have to kill people (to learn their powers), It's just something I do."
  • Friendly Enemy: Much to Peter's annoyance since Volume Three. He's also this to Mohinder, Bennet, Parkman, and Angela.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Lampshaded: "I could've been a nobody."
  • Gender Bender: The first thing he does when he gets the ability to shapeshift.
  • The Gift: Rapidly masters all acquired powers, whereas most original owners (including our intrepid heroes) have to go through a long period of How Do I Shot Web? and Power Incontinence.
    • Could be justified because Sylar's original ability was to understand how things work.
  • Good Feels Good
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: When he took Claire's abilities, he basically stops trying to avoid getting hurt. Snap his neck? He sets it right back. Go ahead, shoot him, he'll get right back up. And when Elle blasts him full of all the electricity she can muster, all that gets destroyed are his clothes. This got especially glaring since up until he had her power he was a very good fighter and deflected bullets with ease so he never got hit in the first place. Jamming a shard of glass into the back of skull would've never happened to pre-regeneration Sylar. Now he treats his body like a meat shield.
  • Heel-Face Brainwashing: Twice: when he's turned into Nathan, and after being stuck for five mental years in a nightmare.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: He switches sides every other episode in Volume Three, before finally settling down back to his old villainous self. At the end of Volume Five, his latest Heel-Face Turn seems to actually stick.
  • Hero Killer: Has by far racked up the show's highest count of both main character and supporting character kills. Every hero knows that when Sylar shows up, they're in for the fight of their lives. It's a credit to the heroes that by Volume Five most of them have become powerful enough in their own right to successfully fight against him.
    • At this point it's less that they have become more powerful (though they have), and more that it seems Sylar has Fallen A Level In Badass, especially because he doesn't quite know what he wants, and either can't or doesn't want to kill.
  • Hijacked By Sylar: Has a habit of backstabbing the season's Big Bad then taking over right at the beginning of the season finale. Evil Is Not a Toy, after all.
  • Hollywood Nerd: As Gabriel Gray.
  • Horror Hunger
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: 6'2" to Elle's 5'1". Also has the same height difference with Claire and is One Head Taller than Maya.
  • The Hunter
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Its shown quite often that Sylar really just wants a real family, which is why he seems willing to believe that Peter is his brother.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: This is the foundation of Sylar's entire characterization. No matter how erratic he is, it's all because of his pathological need to be genuinely acknowledged as special.
  • Identity Amnesia: In Volume Five.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap
  • Implacable Man
  • Improbable Weapon User: He likes nailing people to walls and ceilings with common household objects.
  • In the Blood: Looks like the Hunger runs in the family.
  • Informed Flaw: For all the show's talk about "the Hunger", Sylar seems perfectly capable of interacting with other supers without the uncontrollable urge to kill them and eat...err..."study" their brains. Notably, he has spared both Luke and Micah, and also refrained from snacking on Doyle despite dragging him across the country for more than a day.
  • I Resemble That Remark: When Matt calls him a "dangerous criminal", Sylar scowls at him and proceeds to make Matt's life hell.
    Sylar: Well that's not very nice. You're so quick to label.
  • It's All About Me: He normally couldn't care less about the intentions behind blowing up New York or the rounding up of specials to lock them away; it's when his severely disturbed mental issues are exploited as tools that he gets really pissed.
  • Joker Immunity: Sylar was supposed to die in Volume One but had become far too popular by the end. The writers have been trying, with increasing desperation, to justify his role on the show ever since. Volume Four briefly continued the trend by introducing yet another villainous father figure in his biological father, Samson Gray.
  • Jumped at the Call: A big part of his fanbase comes from his absolute joy at having superpowers, especially when compared to someone like Claire who does nothing but complain about it.
  • Just Between You and Me: Sylar tells Alejandro that he plans on using Maya as a toy after he gets her to harness her plague power. It's justified in this case, as he is perfectly aware that Alejandro won't understand a thing he says anyways, as Alejandro does not speak nor understand English.
  • Kubrick Stare: See the picture of him above? That's his default expression. It's especially creepy with his Big Ol' Eyebrows.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia/Fate Worse Than Death: In the Volume Four finale, Matt mind wipes him (overwriting his memories/personality with Fake Memories) into believing he's Nathan.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort
  • Lean and Mean
  • Lighter and Softer: In the future, he is a happy suburban dad who genuinely loves his son Noah and Peter whom he believes to be his brother.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He got the name Sylar off the watch he was fixing when he killed his first victim.
  • Lonely at the Top: In Volume Five, after receiving a kickass "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Hiro and being haunted by the absorbed memories of family, love, and brotherhood from Matt and Nathan, Sylar finally realizes that being the Ultimate Evil may have allowed him to become the most powerful man on the planet, but it's also completely cut him off from all human connections, making him destined to spend eternity alone. This eventual prompts a complete Villainous Breakdown and finally a seemingly genuine Heel-Face Turn.
    • The Aloner: Spends 3 years alone in a world where he is the only person alive, and an additional several years alone with only Peter Petrelli to keep him company, all thanks to being trapped in his worst nightmare by Matt Parkman.
  • Love Martyr: He lets Elle kill him repeatedly because he loved her and later comments on he killed the only woman who ever loved him.
  • Magic Pants: When he's locked up in a cell with Elle, she blasts him with enough electricity to rip him into pieces but his pants stays on while the rest of his clothing is destroyed.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Is currently taking it to new extremes while he's sealed up inside Matt Parkman's head. It bordered on Mind Rape eventually.
  • Meaningful Name: Gabriel Gray: Alliterative, Biblical, and "Gray" can mean boring, neither good nor evil, or even "gray matter".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Has a shirtless scene every season.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Has the ability to "understand how things work," which could potentially be used to crank out Nobel Prizes on a weekly basis, and all he can think to do with it is steal brains.
    • Justified by "The Hunger," which for some reason forces him to want to eat brains (or whatever it is he does).
      • "The Hunger" is his need to know more. Humans are naturally curious creatures and Sylar is still human, if he understands how everything works except for abilites, it makes sense that he would have "hunger" to figure them out.
  • Motive Decay
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Briefly during Volume Three, in a flashback to his days as Gabriel Gray, shortly after his murder of Brian Davis when a horrified Gabriel tried to hang himself.
    • And again in Volume Five, when he suffers from amnesia and begins to relearn his memories.
  • My Hero Zero: He was Chandra Suresh's "patient zero."
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast
  • Neat Freak: A subversion. Prior to his Start of Darkness, it's been shown that his home is scarily clean and organized, with plastic covered furniture. Once he completely snaps and starts murdering people, he has no qualms about getting bloody and dirty.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Weaponized. It's his favorite way of screwing around with his opponents, especially the Petrellis and Bennets can testify.
  • One Head Taller: Than Maya. He comforts her with a pat on the head as she clings to him crying after Alejandro yells at her.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
  • Papa Wolf: In one alternate future, Future!Sylar has reformed, apparently, and is trying to be good. And then they kill his kid. BOOM!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Done several times.
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Perma Stubble
  • Perverted Sniffing: He enjoys using this to screw with Claire.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The slice and dice method of power acquisition.
  • Power Parasite: Another Power Sponge-type. Throughout the series, he has collected the following powers (several of which were lost after Volume One when he was infected with the Shanti virus):
  • President Evil: In "Five Years Gone." And he is narrowly prevented from becoming one in the main timeline in the Volume Four finale.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Type C. Sylar is extremely powerful and is more than capable of holding his own in a fight. He also loves indulging in childish behavior to mess with people and appears to prefer wearing sneakers over boots. He's shown to treat abilities like a toy collection and explicitly described Maya as a shiny new toy to play with. All of this emphasizes how deeply messed up and extremely dangerous he actually is.
  • Psychotic Smirk
  • Really Gets Around: Hooked up with Elle, Maya, and ostensibly Lydia, and has kissed Claire and Angela. Except that he later kills Elle, shoots Maya in the chest (she survived), Claire jams a pencil in his eye as retaliation, and he kissed Angela just to mess with her. (Lydia escaped his wrath mainly due to his conflicting emotional issues, but she ends up dying anyway at the hands of Samuel and Eli.)
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Mohinder's blue and blue to Peter's red.
  • Redemption Demotion: Seen in Volume Five during the process of his Heel-Face Turn. Having lost his "killer instinct," Sylar is quite a bit less effective now that he's unable to kill (to the point of being taken captive by Doyle, a man who had previously been his Butt Monkey on at least three separate occasions). Although he was apparently still powerful enough to pwn Eli the Replicating Man. On the other hand, he did manage to easily deal with Doyle shortly after being taken captive without killing him (by wiring him like a puppet and tying him up)
  • Reformed, but Rejected: For ten minutes.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Mind wiped Sylar becomes one for Nathan.
  • Serial Killer
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: At the end of Volume Four, where Nathan, or at least Nathan's identity, is the can.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Albeit by accident. (Maybe.)
  • Signature Move: Using his telekinesis to slice through a victim's forehead. Originally, he did this in order to get at the brain. Eventually, he started doing it to everyone, powered or otherwise. In Volume Four, he uncovers a repressed memory and learns that he picked it up from his biological father, who used it to murder his mother.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Done in Volume Five, as he torments Parkman at home and at work.
  • Social Darwinist: His initial justification for snacking on supers, although unlike most examples of this trope he doesn't seem to have any ill will towards normal, un-evolved humans... as long as they don't get in his way.
  • Sociopathic Hero: In between Villainous Breakdowns.
  • Stalker with a Crush: For Claire.
    • Sort of makes sense, since they're both immortal and he'll essentially be forever alone without her there...
    • The tattoo of her face doesn't really help.
  • Staying Alive: He's Sylar, for crying out loud. Of course he always survives.
  • Stupid Evil: In Volume Three, when he falls off the wagon and kills again, Hilarity Ensues when he goes out and does it in broad daylight, not even trying to hide all that blood. (...cake?) Particularly glaring considering how stealthy he was back in Volume One.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Does this almost as much as Jason Voorhees.
    • He even manages to do it from sitting in the back seat of an occupied car. The most ridiculous part is none of this has ever been explained by any of his abilities either.
    • A case of nensha-based Super Dickery which is All There In The Webcomics.
    • In Volume One, it was heavily implied that he could levitate using telekinesis, which could explain most of his stealthy appearances and disappearances.
  • Superpower Meltdown: In an alternative future.
  • Sweet Tooth: Every time Sylar is seen eating, it's always something sweet or some kind of junk food. He lights up at the sight of a cake, despite the fact that his hands and torso were soaked in blood. He also loves pie so much that he ate an entire one by himself.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: He can take a scene where he's holding a mother and son hostage in front of a tortured soldier...and make you LAUGH during it. That's talent, boys and girls.
  • Terrible Ticking: The ticking clock sound effect that plays whenever Sylar's up to his old tricks evokes this trope. Even though it's not literally a ticking he can hear, it symbolizes that he can see how everything works in a way no one else can, which drives him insane.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil
  • Troll: In Season 4, when he's trapped inside Parkman's head, he decides that he's going unleash as much havoc as possible upon Parkman's life in order to get what he wants, which is out of Parkman's head, and partly to entertain himself. He once kissed Angela just to make her extremely uncomfortable, which made Peter really angry.
  • Villainous BSOD: Sylar suffered from it thrice: Once was when he learned about his potential role in destroying New York City. The second is shortly after he gains his chameleon abilities, where it becomes apparent that he is losing touch with his memories and especially his sanity, where he is forced to write "I Am Sylar" in such a way that would potentially expose his survival just to ensure he held onto his sense of identity. The third (and presumably final) time he experienced this was when he is sealed off. Sylar also was implied to have suffered one after Hiro meddled the timeline.
  • The Watchmaker
  • Wild Card: Sylar is on no one's side but his own. His actions are good or bad if he thinks he's got something to gain from either side's offers. But lying to him to get him on your side just results in a lot of blood and him defecting to the other side by default.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Where that need to be special comes from.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Apparently, "understanding how things work" also comes with an uncontrollable drive to poke around inside people's brains. Okaaaaay, then.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: When his son dies.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He generally leaves kids under puberty alone, although he's not above using them as extortion pawns or threatening them. Teenagers, like the Alpha Bitch at Claire's school, Luke, or Claire herself, are fair game although even that depends on his mood.
    • The closest he got to hurting a child is his kidnapping attempt of Molly Walker when Matt and Audrey stopped him. (If he had wanted her ability, he would have killed her already, but he apparently decided that she was more useful alive and chose to kidnap her instead.)

     Elle Bishop 

Elle Bishop (Kristen Bell)

A young, self-described sociopathic thrill killer and agent of the Company with the ability to generate lethal bolts of electricity from her hands. She's the daughter of Bob Bishop, the new leader of the Ancient Conspiracy following the death of Mr. Linderman. At the end of Volume Two, she starts showing doubts about her path in life after Mr. Bennet reveals to her that her screwed-up personality is largely due to painful experiments conducted on her by her father throughout her entire childhood, and ends the Volume saving Mohinder, Molly, and Maya from Sylar, for which they call her a "hero".

After her father is murdered by Sylar at the beginning of Volume Three, Elle is fired from The Company and spends some time searching for a purpose in life (even briefly teaming up and bonding with Claire over their mutual Power Incontinence) before finally falling back into bad habits alongside the other supervillains over at Pinehearst Industries. Has a Pet the Dog moment when its revealed that she indulged in a pie eating/soul saving session with proto-serial killer Gabriel Gray and then later does an Evil Is Sexy turn when she gets it on with Sylar. Beforehand she gives him advice: do what he wants for himself, which ultimately leads to her getting Sylared.

Associated Tropes:

     Adam Monroe 

Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei (David Anders)

The oldest, first known superpowered human. Adam Monroe was a British mercenary fighting in Feudal Japan under the identity of Takezo Kensei (a legendary hero and childhood idol of Hiro's) who discovered he had the ability to regenerate from all wounds, effectively making him immortal. Although initially a rudderless drunk, he was inspired by a time-traveling Hiro to become a legendary hero. However, the two had a falling out over a girl, leading to Adam Monroe pulling a Face-Heel Turn, spending the ages fighting in constant wars and growing to hate mankind more and more.

He ultimately comes to think of himself as a god, founded the Company by seeking out 12 like-minded superpowered disciples, and ultimately attempts to wipe out 99% of the human race with a super-virus to end hunger, poverty, and war and allow him to rule over the remaining survivors as their "hero". Adam returns in Volume Three when Hiro needs information about the Company's superserum. He makes a break for it and is ultimately caught by Arthur Petrelli's Legion of Doom and has his immortality stolen by Arthur, "aging" him to death.

Associated Tropes:

     Angela Petrelli 

Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose)

The mother of Peter and Nathan Petrelli, revealed to be one of the 12 leaders of the Company. A ruthless pragmatist who was highly involved in Linderman's plan to make the world a better place, even if it meant killing off 0.07% of the human population. Has the superpower of precognitive dreams, which was the first superpower her son Peter absorbed. Is also extremely adept at manipulating people to do what she wants. As of Volume Three and Four, while she isn't exactly a good guy, it's harder to call her a straight-up villain.

Associated Tropes:

     Samuel Sullivan 

Samuel Sullivan (Robert Knepper)

Ability: Terrakinesis

The owner of a carnival, Samuel is the new villain on the scene, but his motives are, for now, shrouded in mystery. Though it seems that his primary motivation is a huge thirst for power...

Associated Tropes:

  • Alliterative Name
  • Ambition Is Evil
  • The Antichrist
  • Badass Longcoat
  • Berserk Button: Hurting one of the "family" members. Although he himself has no qualms of doing so if it means framing a normal human, as evidenced by when he had Eli kill Lydia and frame Noah for the deed.
  • Biblical Names/Meaningful Name: In the Old Testament, Samuel was the prophet who drove the Philistines from the Holy Land, formed the Kingdom of Israel, and anointed Saul as its first king.
  • Cain and Abel: He murdered his brother Joseph in a rage after the latter refused to tell him the truth about his power.
  • Dark Messiah: With more than a hint of The Antichrist.
  • Death by Childbirth: It's implied that his mother died in the massive earthquake that coincided with his birth. Might also fall under Self-Made Orphan, as it is also implied that the massive earthquake happened because of his birth.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: He looks and acts fairly sinister, but the only character who immediately sees his evil upon meeting him is Noah Bennet.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: With a twist. He apparently utilizes some sort of unseen energy that connects Powered Humans to each other. The more that are close to him, the greater the magnitude of his powers. And thus his single-minded determination to gather specials to him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After being turned down by his long-time crush, he wipes out an entire town and goes on to try and destroy New York City. This guy does not take rejection well.
    • Heck, in the second episode, he creates a giant sinkhole under the house where he was born, killing and maiming a dozen people (and maybe more). Why? Because the owner of the house gave him the brush off when he asked to have a look around.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Peter. In both cases they have older brothers who care about them, but while Nathan tried to build Peter into a better person by nurturing his potential, and ultimately Peter did everything in his power to (repeatedly) save Nathan from death out of sheer love for his brother, Joseph tried to hold Samuel back from discovering the true potential of his abilities and ultimately Samuel kills Joseph out of sheer resentment for what he believed was his brother making him waste his life.
  • Expy: A concentration camp survivor with incredible power over an elemental force of nature who gathers together a group of superpowered mutants in a bid to destroy humanity? Where have we heard that before?
    • However, Samuel Sullivan is a twist: Although Magneto's desire to eliminate humanity for the good of the superpowered mutants is genuine (in most mediums, anyways), Sullivan himself pretty much fabricated that belief, not really caring one bit for his mutants and is only recruiting them so he could have his powers ascend to godlike levels.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He makes a big show of being a wise and caring Father to His Men, but inside he's a cold and manipulative Jerkass who cares only about satisfying his own selfish desires.
  • Fetus Terrible: He nearly destroyed Coyote Sands when he was still in the womb.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He used to be a drunk-off-his-rocker useless layabout assistant to his brother Joseph, a rather upright ring leader. It was only after accidentally killing his brother and learning more about his powers did he hijack the carnival, reinvent himself as a idealistic, charismatic messiah offering sanctuary, and claw his way towards Magnificent Bastardry.
  • Genre Savvy: Maybe he reads some X-men comics on the side, but the whole "sanctuary for people like us" schtick was something he had to come up with as a lure on his own. And it worked about as well as it does in the comics.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: He'll recruit as many "specials" as he can get, by hook or by crook.
  • Heartbroken Badass: His rejection, by Vanessa, is ultimately what drives his plan to destroy New York.
  • Jumped at the Call: Possibly. He mentions something to the effect of, "I was free when I found I could move the very earth beneath my feet."
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His takedown of the police station and the cops who killed Jeremy.
  • Large Ham
  • Love Makes You Evil: Subverted. Although it is implied shortly after Vanessa breaks off the relationship with him that he decided to eliminate all of humanity because of her breakup, he later admits that his wanting to eliminate normal people's only relation to Vanessa was when she expressed fear of his powers, something he actually liked, meaning that her breakup had barely anything, if at all, to do with his next actions.
  • Magnetic Villain
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Monster Clown: Technically speaking, as he runs a carnival that more often than not would have people you'd expect from the circus, he qualifies as a clown. And boy, is he monstrous.
  • New Era Speech: He really loves to give these to his "family," especially over their communal dinner table.
  • Omniglot: Despite having no formal education whatsoever, he is fluent in at least three languages (English, Japanese, and American Sign Language), which just happen to be the three languages he needs to converse with every one of the season's major characters.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Without a notable power-up that he eventually intends to gain, he's able to level entire towns with a little concentration. If he gathers enough people around him, he'd probably rival Ted in sheer power, except Samuel would actually be able to control it. Supported by the many Volume 3 prophecies in which the earth is cracking open in a world full of specials.
  • Popularity Power: An in-universe example. The more "specials" he gathers around himself, the more powerful he becomes.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Sort of... His parents are never mentioned, but the closest to a parent is his brother, and he essentially murdered him after learning his brother called Danko to arrest him.
    • Also, as noted by the Death by Childbirth trope, his mom died while giving birth to him during an earthquake, and it is implied that the earthquake was caused by his birth.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Vanessa.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Starting when his "family" turns away from him; completely and utterly once Hiro teleports his former coworkers away from the carnival, effectively leaving him powerless.
  • Visionary Villain
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted. His stated goal of creating a sanctuary where "specials" can be protected from Fantastic Racism would be a laudable one...but it's only a cover for gathering together enough "specials" to boost his power to godlike levels.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Despite the name, the Sullivan Bros. Carnival was really run by his brother Joseph... until he killed Joseph and took it over.


     Noah Bennet 

Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman)

A.K.A. HRG (Horned-Rimmed Glasses) for his iconic spectacles. Initially (and falsely) identified as the Big Bad in the first few episodes, before the plot really got rolling. A Badass Normal agent of the Company, whose job is to track down and tag superpowered individuals. This is complicated by his own daughter being just such a "person of interest", a fact which he is hiding from his superiors.

After being pushed too far, he ultimately decides to screw his job and take down the entire Company himself (it doesn't turn out too well). In the 3rd season he's revealed to have been the Company's number one operative in the fight against supercriminals and directly responsible for the capture of most of the Level 5 Supervillains, making him something of the Heroes universe's version of Batman.

He's reinstated by the Company in Volume 3 to help re-capture the escaped villains (including a very awkward brief partnership with a seemingly reformed Sylar that quickly degenerates into the two attempting to off each other), and later in Volume 4 is hired to help co-head Unit 26 in its crusade against all supers (although it quickly turns out he's acting as a Reverse Mole loyal (in his own roundabout way) to the interests of supers, particularly daughter Claire and his real boss Ma Petrelli).

Associated Tropes:

     Simone Deveaux 

Simone Deveaux (Tawny Cypress)

The daughter of Charles Deveaux, Simone is unaware of her father's history with the Company and existence of evolved humans. She is an art dealer who used to date Isaac and still harbors feelings for him, but is also interested in Peter, who is her fatherís hospice nurse.

Associated Tropes: