Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Interesting Wired blog about Heroes

John Brownlee over at Wired
has written an essay favorably comparing NBC's Heroes to Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory. (Each word takes you to a different volume of the trade paperbacks -- ain't I clever?)
I hadn't thought about it before, but it's a fitting comparison. Seven Soldiers pinioned on the idea that these very different characters had to band together to stop a threat without actually knowing/interacting with each other. The series was set up as seven different limited series that all interconnected into a greater story.
Funnily enough, Morrison had teased the series in a four-issue arc in JLA: Classified. The idea was this: periodically throughout human history, earth's population was decimated by an alien race called the Sheeda. They were, essentially, the faeries of myth. Only evil and insidious (much more in line with the faerie myths of old than the romanticized girlie stories of today). The Sheeda were opposed by the original Seven Soldiers, who were decimated in the process.
This new generation of the Seven Soldiers came across their destiny quite by accident (well, aside from Shining Knight) and weren't quite sure what to make of this whole Sheeda thing. It was cloaked by various other evils. People died. Lives were changed. And it was all as high-concept and thrilling as any other book Grant Morrison writes.
Seriously. Grant Morrison is one of the best writers in comics. His run on JLA is still the gold standard for superhero storytelling, and may well be for a while. Seven Soldiers of Victory is a worthy successor, with Great Big Ideas cloaked in the pulp stylings of four-color adventure.
Back to Heroes. The idea has always been presented that, at some point in the show, the various heroes would have to gather together to stop a threat. Of course, the threat has always been up to interpretation. Is it Sylar? Peter? Ted Sprague? The Horned-Rim Glasses guy? The mystery and the sense of discovery is one of the things that's made Heroes such compelling television. Every one of the characters is on their own quest. Every one of them has their own purpose and agenda. But they all seem to interconnect at odd angles, and they meet up from time to time, reinforcing the belief that there is some sort of Purpose in their interaction.
I like that they're formatting the show as if it were a comic, and that each season will be a volume of the trade paperback, essentially. A self-contained story that fits into a larger (and hopefully greater) whole. It's a different approach for TV, but I'm not unfamiliar with it.
If you haven't checked out Seven Soldiers of Victory, do so. It's really worth a look.

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