Owner: Nathan Petrelli
Description: Ambitious politician Nathan has the ultimate, old school, that-thing-we-all-dream-of superpower. Namely, being able to fly around like frickin’ SUPERMAN.
Best use: Swooping in to save his brother’s life when said brother decided to walk off a rooftop like a dolt.
Particularly useful when: Your kite gets stuck in a tree. Or when you ever need to go anywhere, ever.
The best powers: Space-time manipulation
Owner: Hiro Nakamura
Description: Adorable nerd Hiro has time-wimey abilities that would make a Time Lord blink. Not only can he stop and start reality, but he can teleport across continents and epochs with ease.
Best use: He once saved his own life by transporting himself to 17th Century Japan, where an adventure involving deadly samurai and legendary warriors ensued.
Particularly useful when: You want to impress a date by whisking them to, like, 19th Century Paris instead of your local All Bar One.
The best powers: Regeneration
Owner: Claire Bennet
Description: Indestructible cheerleader Claire can recover from any kind of grisly injury in a jiffy. A bit like Wolverine, but without the knuckle claws and crazed machismo.
Best use: She came right back to life after getting impaled on a tree branch. She also woke up during her own autopsy, so let’s add “not being traumatised by the sight of her own partially dismembered body” to her list of superpowers.
Particularly convenient when: You get a papercut/savaged by a wild dog.
The best powers: Cloning
Owner: M.F. Harris
Description: Dastardly Renautus agent Harris can grow endless clones of himself, and they’re all terrible people.
Best use: Well, he’s a villain so “best” isn’t probably the right word. But if we’re talking homicidal effectiveness, then let’s pick that time a bunch of Harris clones suicide-bombed a peace conference, killing thousands.
Particularly convenient when: You don’t want to go to the office, so you send your clone in instead. See also: every other minor task you can’t be bothered to do.
The worst powers: Activation and deactivation
Owner: Matt Parkman, Jr
Description: Infant Matty can turn stuff on and off. Like toy robots, toy planes, toy monkeys… lots of toys. And televisions. He also makes cars conk out when he cries. Thanks for that, Matty.
Best use: To be fair, the kid does bring back some of Hiro’s powers by touching him, so his powers do extend beyond switching the telly on with his mind.
Particularly inconvenient when: You’re stuck in a traffic jam and your fury makes your car conk out, thus only making everything worse. God, you suck.
The worst powers: Radioactivity
Owner: Ted Sprague
Description: A kind of human Chernobyl, Ted helplessly emanates huge amounts of radiation, accidentally killing his own wife and making flowers wilt in his path.
Best use: If by “best” you mean “awesomely destructive”, then we’ll opt for the time Ted got really mad and blew up a house with his radi-rage.
Particularly inconvenient when: To be honest, we can’t really think of a scenario where being lethally radioactive is anything less than massively inconvenient.
The worst powers: Painterly precognition
Owner: Isaac Mendez
Description: Tortured, drug-addled artist Isaac Méndez can predict the future, but only via paintings which he himself doesn’t even understand. Think Mystic Meg crossed with Bob Ross from The Joy of Painting, on heroin.
Best use: He paints a nuclear explosion happening in Manhattan, alerting others to the imminent threat of apocalypse.
Particularly inconvenient when: People don’t have the time to sit and wait for you to finish your prophetic flippin’ painting. Just come out and SAY it already.
The worst powers: Communicating online
Owner: Hana Gitelman
Description: Yes, her power really is being able to use the Internet, and other digital media. And yes, she does it with her mind, but it’s not exactly flying or teleporting to feudal Japan, is it?
Best use: She chats to Ted online, using her mind. He’s freaked out. It’s vaguely amusing.
Particularly inconvenient when: People are no longer impressed when you send them a text message saying “Look, no hands!”
The worst powers: Supercharging
Owner: Ando Masahashi
Description: Hiro’s best bud, Ando has the ability to amplify other people’s superpowers. Which is both incredibly useful and incredibly uninteresting.
Best use: He supercharged Hiro’s teleportation skills, allowing his pal to whisk a bunch of people away from bad guy Samuel at a critical moment.
Particularly inconvenient when: You don’t live in Heroes-land and there’s nobody with superpowers for you to amplify, making you a fork in a world of soup.
Heroes seasons 1-4 is now available to watch On Demand. Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sci Fi & Fantasy