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9th Wonders! is a metafictional comic book series in the NBC television drama Heroes. In the show, it is written, illustrated, and self-published by Isaac Mendez. In reality, Mendez's artwork is provided by comic-book illustrator Tim Sale.
The stories that take place in 9th Wonders! are a direct reflection of Mendez's own precognitive visions. When Hiro Nakamura arrives in New York City five weeks into the future (having teleported there from Japan by use of his space-time manipulation abilities), he is surprised to discover the book for sale on a local newsstand with his recent arrival pictured on the front cover. Upon reading through the story, Hiro discovers it depicts his daily life of the past few weeks in alarming detail. The panels of the book even include his exact dialogue, transcribed into English.
9th Wonders! is self-published, as the creator's name and home-studio address appear prominently in the back of the issue. The "official" company name listed on the issue's cover is the "Helix Comics Group" (a reference to the TV series' helix symbol). The "official/unofficial site" is 9thwonders.com.
9th Wonders! is presented as a new series; an issue being read by Micah Sanders is visible in the debut episode "Genesis". Also in this episode, Hiro can be seen with 9th Wonders! artwork on his computer monitor. During the second episode, "Don't Look Back", another issue is visible with its cover numbering partially obscured. It is shown in the following episode to be number 14. The nature of the book appears fluid, as Nakamura references it heavily in order to receive prompting for his choices of action, leaving even the final page count (monthly books averaging 21–24 pages) in question. However, this is not fully explained.
In ".07%", Isaac Mendez is in his gallery with a courier who is an avid fan of the comic. He shows the courier the new issue and tells him that in it, Hiro travels to the future. He also says that it is the last issue, as he had just found out that he was going to die through his portraits. Isaac then gives the courier his sketchbook and sends him on his way. However, its shown not to be the last issue as in It's Coming and The Eclipse its shown that at least two issues are published posthumusly and the last one was #31. In "Five Years Gone", Mohinder shows the past Hiro Nakamura the comic book and tells him that the events in the book show that Hiro kills Sylar in the past, but this had not happened in the future that they were in. Later, Mohinder injects The Haitian with the poison intended for Hiro (as shown in the same comic). Mohinder gives Hiro the comic and sends him to the past again with Ando. This comic is then taken by Ando in order to help him find Sylar but upon confronting him in "How to Stop an Exploding Man", Sylar overpowers Ando and takes it for himself. Amused by the idea that Hiro would be able to kill him, Sylar disregards the comic.
In the second season, Bob is shown reading an issue of 9th Wonders! while waiting for Mohinder to arrive in the episode "Kindred". In "Fight or Flight", Micah shows Monica issue #10 of 9th Wonders!, which includes a character called St. Joan whom Micah describes as a muscle mimic or copycat (similar to Monica's ability). The blade held by St. Joan on the cover can be seen in one of the cases in the vault where Peter vaporizes the Shanti virus in "Powerless". Also, in "Four Months Ago", Micah is shown with a 9th Wonders! birthday cake.
In the third season episode "One of Us, One of Them", a turtle is briefly seen crawling by a copy of 9th Wonders!. In the episode "It's Coming", Hiro teleports both himself (while thinking he's still 10 years old) and Ando to a comic store in Tokyo. While there, Ando picks up the newest edition of 9th Wonders to prove to Hiro what he's supposed to do. Notably, this edition of 9th Wonders has a cover and most of its text printed in Japanese, with the exception of the final page. However, this may have just been the Japanese edition of it as an earlier episode showed some French versions of a couple when Hiro and Ando were in Daphne's apartment. The last page of the comic simply has a picture of an eclipse akin to that seen in "Genesis" and the two words, "It's Coming". Hiro and Ando used it to find Matt to try to fix Hiro's lost memory and later to find Daphne after she ran away.
In "The Eclipse", Hiro and Ando use the back issues of 9th Wonders! at Sam's Comics to try to find out how to regain Hiro's memory. The very last published issue which had just come out that day, issue #31, depicted Hiro and Ando's attempts to regain Hiro's memories and the cover showed Hiro and Ando arriving with Sam and Frack looking at the comic depicting that in shock. Hiro found out about some of the things he did and didn't want to remember as it was scary, but Sam, through Ando convinced him to not give up. In issue #1, Frack found a clue that showed Hiro had to go back to the past with Claire to the day that baby Claire was given to Noah as in one of the pictures, present day Hiro and Claire could be seen hiding behind a fern. Hiro used the comics to teleport to Claire's house then take her with him into the past where he used issue #1 to show her what was going on. It is also revealed that Isaac's sketchbook contains the last of the 9th Wonders! story. This is found by Ando, Matt and Daphne in the penultimate episode of Villains, "Our Father", titled "Hiro Lost In Time". This one seems to be incomplete (presumably Issac didn't get the chance to finish it before he died), but it showed that Hiro got trapped in the past before he was rescued by Daphne and Ando thanks to Ando's new power. As it was incomplete, it didn't show Ando, Matt and Daphne what to do like the other 9th Wonders! comics usually did, but they figured it out for themselves.
- NBC's Heroes - Official Heroes Website.
- 9th Wonders - Semi-official Heroes fansite.
- Tim Sale's Official Website.