A reluctant hero, Nathan Petrelli seems to put his political career ahead of all else. But we know better.
This congressman from New York possesses the ability to fly, but had to be coaxed into accepting it by his brother Peter, portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia.
Nathan's complicated family life includes a wife named Heidi, who is stuck in a wheelchair as a result of a car accident he was behind the wheel for. He's also the biological father of Claire (Hayden Panettiere), a fact she learns late in season one.
Nathan is a former naval officer and lawyer. He had planned on making a case against mobster Austin Linderman and his very own father before the latter died of a heart attack.
Peter Petrelli: I keep having these amazing dreams... sometimes I'm falling, sometimes I'm flying! I woke up this morning and when I got out of bed my foot hovered off the ground. Just for a split second, like I was floating. I'm telling you, I think I can fly!
Nathan Petrelli: Tell you what, you think you can fly, why don't you jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? See what happens.
Peter Petrelli: Maybe I ought to start with something a little lower first. It's like learning to walk.
Peter Petrelli: I've been up here all night-thinking about this, thinking about my destiny.
Nathan Petrelli: What are you doing, Pete?
Peter Petrelli: It's my turn to be somebody now, Nathan!