Heroes in the last episode (Mon, April 30, 2007) defined two categories for Heroes. Those who are slated for extermination and those whose abilities can't directly hurt anyone. My classification of the heroes takes two separate categories.
Abilities and Powers
It appears that the Heroes takes a lot of inspiration from the comic universe. Most notably, is Marvel's X-Men, where each mutant has only one ability. Like X-Men and other comic heroes, some abilities are more powerful than others and some weaker abilities only need a little imagination to shine.
In the Heroes universe, everyone who is "evolved" or "different" has only one ability, but there are a few exceptions. Whether it is controlling time, healing of yourself, healing of others, invisibility, or flying, most normal heroes can only control one special thing. This ability doesn't have to be limited to one power and can have multiple powers associated to it.
There are those whose ability allow them to take another's ability and control the powers like their own. Those that can do this are the most powerful in the Heroes universe.
Powers are different controls of a Heroes ability and limited to that ability. Normally, a person who can fly, can't also shoot fireballs. However, it hasn't yet been revealed all of what each Hero can do, if they can do anything else. The best example is that Hiro, whose ability is to control time, can stop time, slow time down, teleport, and go back and forth through time. The other example for a single power is that one guy can only fly and that is it.
Classification of Ability
I was thinking about it and I think you can place most Heroes within three and probably more categories based on what their ability is and how powerful that ability is compared to others like them. This would have to wait until either the official word has been given on categories of Heroes or more episodes establish categories, or the episodes establish categories in the episodes to define others.
These Heroes can only control their ability in limited capacity. They only have one power or limited to only one usage of their ability. Therefore their power is the same as their ability. Even among these, there can be some powerful players.
- Claire, who can Heal herself after an attack or during an attack and it is extremely difficult to kill her. If she can learn martial arts or how to shoot a gun, she could become a extremely powerful of her own.
- Nathan - Can Fly
- "Claire's Mom" - Control Fire (might be class B)
- Linderman - Healing
- D.L. - Can phase through matter (might be class B)
- Matt Parkman - Read thoughts (might be class B)
- Isaac Mendez - Paint the Future
- ...Many of the Heroes that Sylar killed in the show.
Heroes whose ability has expanded to include more than one power. These characters are slightly more powerful than Class C, because of the range of their powers. Not every Hero can freely control all of their powers, unless they have practiced a great deal.
It wouldn't be much of a show if Hiro can just go back and right every wrong, can stop time and beat the bad guys up or just move out of danger. There have been a few cases that his ability wouldn't let me stop something. Such as Jessica killing those men while they were in the storage room, or stopped him from kissing the waitress. There has been clues that Hiro does learn to control his ability and use his powers whenever he wants. I believe that him traveling back and forth through time will allow him to control that power to where he can go to where he needs to go without fail.
- Hiro - Control Time
- Jessica - Split Personality has strength and some intelligence.
- Haitian - Affects the neural centers of the Brain. Powers include taking memories and blocking powers.
Class A (aka "Sylar")
These Heroes transcend their ability and can absorb another Heroes ability. The Heroes that can do this are the most powerful of the series, since not only can they control their powers but they can control another's, by expanding their powers, they can do more than even the Class B. Most Class C Heroes will have difficulty defeating Class A Heroes, depending on how many powers they were able to obtain.