As a total eclipse casts a shadow across the globe, a genetics professor, Mohinder Suresh, is motivated by his father's mysterious disappearance to delve into his missing father's secret theory - there are people with unique and special abilities among us.
They thought they were like everyone else, until one day they woke up with unbelievable powers. In New York, Isaac Mendez, a struggling artist with a bad drug habit, is able to paint the future, while Peter Petrelli, a young dreamer, works to convince his brother, politician Nathan Petrelli, that he can fly. Across the states in Texas, a cheerleader, Claire Bennet learns that she's indestructible, but is unaware that her father, Mr. Bennet lives a double life that's twisted deep into the world of these heroes. A Las Vegas single mother, Niki Sanders, is doing her best to raise her son Micah, but is haunted by her mirror image, all while dealing with her fugitive husband, D.L. Hawkins, who has eluded authorities a handful of times. In Los Angeles, a beat cop, Matt Parkman is able to hear the thoughts of others, which helps him to track an elusive serial hugger. Across the globe in Japan, a young office worker, Hiro Nakamura perfects his gift of stopping time through his strong willpower.
As the lives of these heroes are chronicled, as well as the lives of others like them, they each must follow their own path in realizing the extent of their abilities. But as their lives intertwine, they begin to grasp that their ultimate destiny is to save the world.