Saturday, 7 July 2007

We Could Be Heroes

My Hiro...

I just finished watching Episode 23 and what can I say? The best show on TV today, maybe all time. I won't ruin it for those who havn't seen it yet (Spoilers ahoy!) but if you don't like Heroes then there is obviously something wrong with you. There I said it. And if you like Heroes then you should damn well like comics. You want to know why...

Heroes is a comic book in the form of a TV series. Content aside, it is structured like most modern comic books with single episodes building into small arcs building into one larger arc. The constant reveals and cliffhangers are what comics are all about!
2. The content. The writing staff owe more than a little to the comic book industry in terms of characters, powers and story. Claire (Teenage Cheerleader Wolverine), Parkman (Any number of Mutant Mind Readers), Jessica (The Hulk) and Peter Petrelli has more in common with a certain everyman web slinger movie star hero than just the alliteration. Nathan's speech after the election could have been written by Uncle Ben!
3. Crossover of Personnel. Many of the people involved in bringing Heroes to the screen are also involved in the comic book industry. Jeph Loeb (Co-executive Producer and Writer) is a major star for Marvel Comics. Tim Sale, provider of Isaac Mendez's art, was also chosen from the comic book talent pool. Loeb and Sale actually worked together on a number of the comics that were presented to Micah (sp?) by Candice when she was babysitting. Together they worked on one of my favourite Spider-Man stories of all time in Spider-Man: Blue.
4. You will get the comic book injokes. You will laugh at the fact the two F.B.I agents Alonso and Quesada are named after editors working at Marvel and the sword maker Claremont is named after possibly the greatest X-Men writer of all time. You will feel smart knowing Kirby Plaza is a tribute to one of the truly great comic artists of all time. You will enjoy the Stan Lee cameo all the more. You will chuckle when the phrase 'break the internet in half is used.' You will feel like a geek and it will be fine.
5. Me and you can hang out and comic book geek it up!

So are you inspired? You should be? Here's some material you should hunt down or borrow off me.

Watchmen - The granddaddy of super-hero comics. A deconstruction and celebration of heroic archetypes as well as being a damn good story. It also uses the disaster in New York to unify a divided world thing way before the human bomb and even the horrible real life events of 9 / 11.
Y: The Last Man - BKV's epic saga of the last man on Earth in a world ruled by women. It has the same mix of mystery, action and intrigue as Heroes and a similarily likeable leading man in a cast of interesting characters.
Spider-Man: Blue - I've mentioned Loeb and Sale already. This is a truly moving story of a hero haunted by loss. It also has implied off panel sex scenes.
Scott Pilgrim - Crazy cool indie manga from Brian Lee O'Malley telling the story of wannabee rock star Scott Pilgrim and his attempts to live in a crazy world of Street Fighter 2 like battles with his weird but cool girlfriend's vicious ex-boyfriends.
Blankets - Craig Thompson's raw biography of growing up in a no where town. As gripping as any super-hero fare.

Thats a start. I'll put you on the right track if you want any more!


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