Precognition is the ability to accurately foresee future events.
- Isaac Mendez is the first character known to have this ability.
- Peter Petrelli has absorbed this ability from Isaac, but lost it when his father stole it from him.
- Sylar stole this ability from Isaac, but lost it to the Shanti virus.
- Usutu had this ability.
- Arthur Petrelli stole this ability from Peter.
- In a possible future, Gabriel Gray is able to use this ability.
- According to NBC.com's interactive map, Byron Bevington possesses precognition.
- According to Chandra's journal, a Brazilian teenager potentially had this ability.
Isaac always made prophecies in the form of paintings or drawings.
When painting a prophetic image, Isaac entered a trance-like state, and his eyes became completely white. He was largely unaware of his surroundings in this state.
Isaac was able to depict the past, the present, and the future. The 9th Wonders! graphic novel that Isaac created (namely, Issue #14) contains events from both the present and future timelines. Additionally, at least one of his series of eight paintings depicts a scene from 1671.
Isaac was initially able to make prophetic images only under the influence of heroin. In Fallout, he overcame this limitation.
As of Distractions, Isaac could focus his precognitive abilities. He made numerous paintings in an effort to locate Peter Petrelli, but he did not realize that all of them were accurate until he realized that Peter was invisible in them.
It is not known if all the works Isaac created were prophetic or not.
It seems that Isaac could only know the future by painting it because he had to look at the finished work. Peter seems not to make any mention of what he saw in the future, so painting the future is the only way to "record" what one sees.
The events depicted in prophetic images are not completely inevitable. Isaac painted a mural depicting the explosion happening at ground level, and he and Peter later created several images depicting the destruction it caused. Thanks to the actions of several characters, the explosion occurred at a very high altitude, where it apparently did no damage to the city.
Peter looks at a blank canvas and is able to see flashes of a painting from a distance. Once in front of the canvas, he appears to be locked into the precognitive trance until he finishes. He is also able to do a sketch of him hovering with Nathan nearby after going to help Isaac after a heroin overdose and later draws some pictures of the explosion future which he shows to Claire. He was also able to finish one of Isaac's paintings when Isaac couldn't do it due to a lack of heroin. Peter also draws several prophetic drawings, including one of him and Claire meeting Ted and Noah in Kirby Plaza.
It is unknown if painting is the only way for Sylar to manifest this ability, as Sylar was shown receiving quick flashes of the future after killing Isaac in his loft. Sylar lost this ability to the Shanti virus and didn't get it back once he was cured.
Usutu has painted numerous images of Matt Parkman on rocks around him home. Usutu somehow knows when events have changed to invalidate one of his precognitive paintings, and he painted over one such obsolete image with a new image. Usutu can apparently extend his ability to others by having them use his ritual paraphernalia.
Future Gabriel GrayEdit
In the exposed future, Sylar, now going by Gabriel, has somehow regained his ability to paint the future. After he refused to give Peter his intuitive aptitude so he could correctly change the future, Peter had him paint the future to prove to him that the world would be destroyed if he didn't change how things went. Future Gabriel painted a picture of the world being destroyed, and this convinced him to give Peter his ability.
Arthur uses this ability to draw a picture of the eclipse and many other prophetic drawings, such as Claire in Noah's arms, and Sylar and Elle embracing.