Superhero Saturday brings more plot and things are getting much more interesting than we expected. (Honestly, we just expected things to get gayer. And they did. But I didn’t mean to blog about that… this time.)
So, in episode 6 we were introduced to a new villain, Lunatic, and for a few episodes he seemed like the main villain of the series because he also appears in the OP. Now Jake Martinez and his group of NEXT have turned Lunatic into a wild card. But more about Lunatic (and Yuri and his fabulous hairclips) another time. We spent three furious hours discussing theories and speculations after seeing episode 11, and we think that there’s a single person behind it all.
Under here is lots of speculah, spoilers up to episode 11, and probably more questions than answers.
Albert Maverick, CEO of Apollon Media
Let’s think about it. Maverick is the CEO of Apollon Media which sponsors both Barnaby Brooks Jr. and Wild Tiger, and also the president of OBC that runs Hero TV. In fact, he is the man who originally proposed the idea of Hero TV. He’s got a lot of influence when it comes to running Sternbild, in episode 11 even the mayor was totally under his control. (This could have something to do with Hero TV being a major business and a source of income for the city, since it’s run by the companies that sponsor the heroes.)
Maverick has been Barnaby’s guardian since he lost his parents when he was four years old. We don’t know what kind of father figure he is but their relationship seems pretty distant. In fact, when he asks Barnaby to tell everyone about his past he’s standing at the other end of the room behind the conference table while Barnaby and Kotetsu are standing at the door. This doesn’t seem like a close relationship at all. We can also point out that Barnaby talks to everyone very politely (it’s really kinda cute, shush) so his upbringing was probably strict and formal. We doubt that Maverick has ever tried to stop Barnaby from hunting down the man who murdered his parents. If anything, he might have carefully encouraged Barnaby’s vendetta. He’s intelligent, but also emotionally vulnerable and an easy target for someone who knows how to manipulate people. And Maverick has had a lot of chances since Barnaby was a kid. (That’s something for another time. Several other times…)
We know very little about Barnaby’s past after Maverick took him under his wing. But there are a few things that may be relevant to the plot.
- When did Barnaby receive his NEXT power? It doesn’t seem that he had any special powers around the time his parents died. Do NEXT’s have a different genetic make up? Is it possible to tell if a child will be NEXT as he grows up? The mayor’s son might have been born as NEXT. Kotetsu mentioned in episode 2 that he became NEXT when he was about 10 (if the boy he was talking to was around the same age as Kaede). Barnaby went to Hero Academy so he was a NEXT by the time he was old enough to go to high school.
- Why does Barnaby have Hundred Power just like Kotetsu? So far all NEXT we’ve seen have had unique powers, though Lunatic’s is very close to Fire Emblem’s. Many NEXT powers are pretty classical (like telekinesis and pyrokinesis) so it’s possible for two people to have the same power. But exactly same is what keeps bothering us. (We had this crazy thought that maybe he was given the power somehow, but that’s really pure speculation. Apollon Media has good scientists but no one’s ever said anything about making NEXTs.)
Maybe Barnaby was meant to die in the fire together with his parents? In his flashbacks we see that Jake Martinez knew he was there, but didn’t kill him. Was it on a whim, or was he working under another person’s orders?
Was he working under Maverick’s orders?
What was in for Maverick if he had Martinez kill Barnaby’s parents – other than getting custody of their child. If Barnaby was already a NEXT when he was four, Maverick got custody of a powerful NEXT child he could bring up the way he wanted. That Martinez was the culprit was coincidence and Maverick didn’t learn about him until after Mr. Legend arrested him four years later.
Usually Kotetsu is just shown talking to Lloyds aka the creepy director guy (“If you don’t like it you can quit.”) at Apollon Media, but it was probably Maverick who got the idea of teaming up Barnaby and Kotetsu, just to make Barnaby look better. What no one expected was that they’d actually get along. Really well, too. (Well enough to start finishing each other’s sentences. Like a married couple. But… that’s for later.)
What’s Maverick after? Why does he need Barnaby? Maybe he started Hero TV just to make Barnaby a hero and a focus of attention. He’s made Barnaby go public and openly oppose Martinez, and that’s also free publicity for Maverick as Barnaby’s sponsor.
If something seems too good to be true…
Maverick seems like a kind, elderly man, but we just get this feeling that something is off about him. Like, he’s too sincere. He’s got lot of power and he knows it. In episode 10 Agnes Joubert wanted to stop the Hero TV broadcast when the heroes were getting overwhelmed by the Ouroboros exosuits, but Maverick stepped in and told her to continue. And pretty soon after that the Ouroboros arrived. On live TV. He said that he’d take responsibility for giving in to the terrorists’ demands and letting Jake Martinez walk free and practically forced the mayor to give his agreement. He knew Ivan was going undercover to spy on Ouroboros. Ivan’s cover was blown almost instantly, almost like someone had tipped him off to Martinez. Maverick also knew that Barnaby had found out who Martinez was, because Barnaby called him after finding a picture of Martinez. Maybe Maverick let Martinez free so Barnaby wouldn’t get a chance to talk to him. It could be that he did this because Martinez seems like the type to gloat. If Maverick was involved with the murders of Barnaby’s parents, Martinez might have revealed it.
Putting this aside, we also thought about that making Barnaby flip out would be part of the plan. He seems cool and calm on the outside, but inside he’s very vulnerable. If he found out that the person who took care of him for 20 years had betrayed him and maybe even had his family killed, the result might not be pretty. He’s got a temper, and even though he can keep a calm face he can’t control his anger very well. We rewatched the episode and now this idea doesn’t seem that legit, unless the aim is to dishonor the heroes. And what better way to do it than lift Barnaby up to the top as the new King of Heroes and then make him fall down? Let’s face it… Sky High is just too perfect(ly airheaded) to be useful for that kind of a plan.
Jake Martinez taunts Ivan and makes fun of how the NEXT started siding with humans after Mr. Legend died. Kriem thinks that the NEXT are chosen by God. That’s why Ouroboros doesn’t seem like something Maverick came up with. He’s probably involved with them somehow, but only to use them to his own ends. And even after all this speculating, we have no idea what Maverick is really after.
Or if he even is after anything. Just watch how the next episode shoots our theories full of holes.
Bring it on Sunrise. We’re… almost ready.