Apparently this is the week of watching stuff. I got caught up on Heroes, the new comic book-styled NBC show about regular people gaining super powers.

My overall impression of the first four episodes: It’s a solid start.

On one level it’s amusing the amount of great reviews and hype its getting. Almost every single idea in Heroes is kit-bashed from comic book stories I read growing up. The narration, the dialogue, the themes and the characters are this weird mix-and-match of comic book clichés, with the odd one carefully turned upsidedown on purpose. None of it’s new to comic book fans, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing – similar ideas worked great in comic form and play out just as well on TV. Comics have been a wellspring of ideas for years and Hollywood’s finally paying attention not just to the licenses and characters but also the actual storytelling talent available. It’s good to see.

I did have to laugh when one of the ‘Previously on Heroes’ blurbs at the start of an episode mentioned that we saw people around the globe gaining powers… um, a Japanese guy and five Americans isn’t really ‘global’.

The characters are evolving well. There are tightly woven threads pulling the cast together, unlike in Lost where the coincidences started to feel brutally random and pointless. The personalities are extremes but they work because we get to see so many different reactions to their transformations. Normal TV viewers get a wild new experience and geeks get to revel in the mainstream ‘cool’ of superheroes done without POW, BAM or BIFF.

They’ve got the difficult task of gathering a large group together and making them a cohesive unit without it sucking away the interest of their individual stories. There’s a lot of characters to juggle and it’ll be neat seeing how it plays out in this first story arc.

If you haven’t watched it yet… check it out. It’s obvious in spots if you’re a comic geek, but it’s also head and shoulders over most other stuff out there.

Besides, any scene with Hiro in it has been an absolute winner so far. His excitement and enthusiasm is 100% infectious… and he references comic book trivia perfectly. When he started talking about X-Men #143 (Days of Future Past – SO GOOD) and the space-time continuum I think I peed, just a little bit. 😉

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