The first of the Heroes webisodes has premiered online, featuring a plucky little mailman with one of the worst superpowers ever. The first chapter, "Nifty Trick," also introduces a new villain who may have Marvel Comics calling its lawyers, and teaches us the true meaning of product placement. Web series spoilers after the jump.

The main character of "Going Postal," the online miniseries, has the superpower of making your brain bleed with his super-scream. He runs up against a powdery-looking bad guy who is a "Constrictor" — and that's the point where Marvel dials up their lawyers. But first our poor postal hero gets cornered by a puppy and tries to reason with the mutt about how this whole scenario is cliche, before yelling at the dog and using his powers of loudness to scare the dog off.

Posty is then cornered by nameless man in a suit (obviously the Company) and the suit's bald and pasty companion who writhes and wiggles around like an idiot. Did they let someone's kid direct this? "You're the Constrictor! Wiggle around like a snake!" Of course, the snake-man gets postal guy in a headlock and crazy camera angles ensue. Unfortunately, it never actually looks like pale guy is hurting our mailman hero, merely lovingly hugging him. Hug harder, snake guy!


Mailman escapes by yelling very loudly at the suit, whose ears start to bleed. Then the suit pulls out a gun: why didn't they use that in the first place?

The segment ends with an awesome piece of product placement for Sprint, one of the web series' sponsors. Especially since half the time when you watch the webisodes, it starts with the Sprint ad that makes fun of product placement with a fake movie that's all product placement, it's great how the camera lingers breathlessly over the Constrictor's Sprint phone. The takeaway message: If you're going to murder a man's loved ones to try and turn him into a tool of your evil Company, use a Sprint phone. And then the pale man slinks off, walking in some twisted parody of a snake-person.


[NBC Going Postal]