Dana Davis as Monica Dawson
|First appearance||"The Kindness of Strangers"|
|Portrayed by||Dana Davis|
|Ability||Adoptive muscle memory|
Monica Dawson, portrayed by Dana Davis, is a fictional character on the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. She is a young woman in her early 20s from New Orleans, and she has the power to mimic any physical motion she witnesses.
Monica Dawson was one of many new characters to join the second season of the series. She is the first cousin of Micah Sanders and niece of D. L. Hawkins. She also has a younger brother named Damon. She lives with her grandmother, Nana Dawson, who takes on responsibility of caregiver to Monica and her brother. Monica and the Dawson family live in New Orleans, which was heavily flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina. It is known that her mother was killed during the devastation of Katrina.
TV Guide describes Monica as "an avenging angel intent on bringing justice to prevalent corruption," presumably inspired by the death of her mother. Her family home was flooded, leaving her family with financial difficulties in addition to the sudden loss of her mother. She works hard to support her brother and grandmother (played by Nichelle Nichols). Furthermore she has to deal with the implications of discovering she has a special ability. "She's a good girl with a good heart who has had her life taken from her, and she's looking for a way out." She adopts the role of surrogate caregiver to Niki and D.L.'s son Micah, who lives with the Dawson family during the second season.
Description of the character personality is scarce, although the show's writers have described her as an "extremely kind young hero, and one to willingly give up everything to help the people close to her." She is also one of the very few characters who like having their abilities.
Monica speaks with Nana, Damon, and her cousin Micah before going to work. Just before she leaves, she sees a television program about cutting tomato roses. At Burger Bonanza, she talks with Camille about her frustrations with home and work. As she talks, she absentmindedly cuts a tomato rose, just as she'd seen the cooking show host do earlier. At home for dinner, Monica sees that Damon is watching a pay-per-view show called WrestleMania 22. Micah admits that he used his power to rig the TV so they could watch without paying, and this makes Monica angry. She witnesses Rey Mysterio perform the 619 (a wrestling move also known as Tiger feint kick) on Randy Orton before heading back to work, where she is supposed to close the store at the end of the day. Back at the restaurant, Monica tries to lock the front door, but a man forces his way in and draws a gun on her. As the man robs the cash register, Monica performs 619 in the same way she saw Rey Mysterio, and she sends the robber through a glass partition.
Monica finds Micah playing the piano. She mimics Micah's piano-playing without realizing she is doing so until Micah points it out. Because of her surprise at this, Micah realizes that she is a muscle mimic like a female crimefighter in the 9th Wonders! comic named St. Joan. He tells her this, also revealing his own ability and that of his father. The two go out to test her ability and agree to keep it a secret between them. After they return, Monica answers a knock at the door and finds Mohinder standing on the other side.
Mohinder tests Monica's ability at the Company's hospital. Under Bob's instructions, Mohinder comes up to Monica with a syringe containing the new variant of the Shanti virus, telling Monica it's standard procedure. Mohinder decides against it and leaves the room. Later, Bob brings Monica to her home and gives her a cover story for her absence, a list of contact information, and a video iPod. The iPod contains footage of many different physical skills for her to learn using her ability.
After her brother gets Micah's backpack stolen, including his comics and his father's medal, Monica tells Micah she knows where the thief lives and takes Micah there. Disguising herself in a black hood, Monica watches a video of parkour on the iPod Bob gave her, then she breaks into the deserted house and easily finds Micah's things. However, the teen and his gang members return. Finding her, they capture her and throw her into the back of a van.
As seen in "Powerless", she is taken to an abandoned building and tied up. The gang starts spreading gasoline all over the floor to ignite the building. Monica manages to get her phone out of her pocket and turn it on. Using Micah's ability, Niki is able to track Monica's cell phone and find her. She enters the burning building, unties Monica, and helps her escape. However, the building explodes with Niki in it.
Scenes with Monica in the third season were filmed, but were cut.
Monica is seen again in "Rebellion, Part 1: Rebel Yell", where she has assumed the responsibility to watch New Orleans with the help of Micah, using her abilities and becoming "Saint Joan" herself, according to Micah. After a heavily-acrobatic escape, she is taken by DHS agents. Later, Micah enters the government's network and finds Monica to be listed as a "passenger" in the posthumans' flight in "A Clear and Present Danger". At the hangar, she was hooded, drugged and wore an orange jumpsuit. By the time the plane crashes, her status is unknown (it's also discovered that Nana was also on the plane).
In "Rebellion, Part 7: The Liberation Of Saint Joan", Monica is finally located by the "Rebellion" team in an abandoned hospital in Washington D.C., where Abigail and West stopped a doctor from experimenting on her. Once saved, she is told Micah has gone (I Am Sylar), so they search for him with Lee and Sparrow.
In "Ice Queen, Part 1", Micah states that he has already reunited with Monica and the "Rebellion" team before the beginning of Redemption.
Powers and abilities
Monica has the power of adoptive muscle memory, or photographic reflexes, which allows her to replicate any physical motion she witnesses without having to practice it. For example, in "The Kindness of Strangers", she creates a tomato rose after glancing at a cooking show her grandmother was watching. Later on, she stops a robber with a wrestling move that she saw during a match on TV. In the following episode, Micah helps her hone her powers, and she learns piano, Double-Dutch, and martial arts from a movie. She learns gymnastics while with the Company during the episode "The Line", and Bob gives her an iPod loaded with video demonstrations of any skill she wants to learn. Her powers only allow her to duplicate what she is physically capable of doing; she cannot duplicate the powers of other evolved humans.