The Last Hero

by guest contributor Jennifer Fang, originally published at Reappropriate

(Hat-tip to Angry Asian Man)

Like most of y’all, I am desperately addicted to Heroes. I mean, where else can I get my dose of smart drama, good acting, good plot and comic book geekdom all in one sitting. Even though most found the Season 1 finale anti-climatic, I loved the emphasis on familial bond, the emotional evolution of The Flying Man, and the cheeky tinge of pre-destination. Who needs an epic battle? I was good with brief Peter vs. Sylar showdown, a certain foreshadowing for even more epic battles to come.

So, it is with great anticipation that I look forward to Season 2 next year, when we will pick up with amiably incompetent time-traveling Hiro, potentially trapped in samurai era Japan. However, I’m a little miffed with the news released that among six new actors hired for recurring roles for Season 2 of Heroes is the unmistakably Caucasian David Anders, formerly of Alias cast as the legendary samurai, Takezo Kensei. Angry Asian Man speculates that Anders might have been cast as some sort of bizarre yellow-face verrsion of Kensei, however, I believe that this will be a Last Samurai twist to the Kensei legend: the greatest master of Asian martial arts and a legendary Japanese figure will be a White man. Either that or Takezo Kensei will be a “figurehead”, with different men assuming the mantle at different times or according to some sort of mantle-passing tradition.

This is just the kind of plot device that White writers think are clever, and it certainly is in keeping with a long line of similar characters in Marvel and DC comics. After all, the writering staff of Heroes includes Jeph Loeb, a huge name in the comics world. And in both DC and Marvel, many of the genre’s best martial artists trained in Asian fighting styles are White; Batman, Nightwing, and Black Canary to name just a few from the DC Universe.

More promising about today’s announcement, however, is that the show’s creators are keeping up with their reputation for cultivating one of the most diverse casts in a primetime television show. The other actors that have been announced as joining the show include (left to right, top to bottom) Barry Shabaka Henley, Holt McCallany, Eriko Tamura, Lyndsy Fonseca, Dianna Agron, Nick d’Agosto, and Dania Ramirez.

I can’t believe we’re going to have to wait until next year to find out about who all these new heroes are! Although I’m not too thrilled about the Anders/Kensei plot twist, I’m still optimistic that the show has a long ways to go before it jumps the shark.