Friday, September 19, 2008

Heroes the Graphic Novels

In preparation for Heroes season three come Monday, I decided to sit down and read the 103 (and counting) graphic novels over the weekend and relive some of the “hidden” moments of seasons 1 (yeah!) and 2 (meh). Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t read these yet!

Issue 1: Michael Turner art. Not his biggest fan, but his unique art style will be missed. And Mohinder is creepy pretty under his pencil. Otherwise not much from this one, but we are only on week one.

Issue 4: Again not much for easter eggs here, but we do get to see that Claire is inherently good. She pulls the football rapist out of the burning car that she crashed on episode four.

Issue 5: After only a brief cameo on the episode, D.L. makes his appearance for the first time here. We find out he’s not as mean a criminal as we might have thought. Oh, and the synopsis front page debuts with this one.

Issue 6: A bit of an important flashback left out of the show in this one. We get a view of Jessica’s crimes in action.

Issue 7: An unimportant issue, but the debut of one of my favorite Heroes in the comic. We get to see Matt Parkman take down a criminal post-punch.

Issue 8: This is a bit of a cop-out for me, as we use it to get the Isaac vs a giant monster painting out of the way. Heroes’ first big mistake with the graphic novels IMO.

Issue 9: We learn Eden’s name isn’t really Eden as we see her origins and the accidental death of her mother. Also the prologue may feature the first appearance of the term HRG for Noah Bennett.

Issue 11: The debut of the Nissan Versa ad. Sorry but that is one ugly vehicle, guys. An interesting insite in to Noah with this issue as he meets Eden’s father after her death.

Issue 12: The first hiatus issue features Peter in a Superman-inspired dream. Arts decent, but a rather pointless story.

Issue 13: The debut of the first multi-part story as well as the first appearance of Hana Gitelman, a major player in the comics who would only briefly appear on the show.

Issue 16: Hana goes rogue from the company in the final chapter of Wireless, a story that would have definitely benefitted from higher page counts.

Issue 17: We get a few more details on poor doomed Ted Sprague as well as his first meeting with Hana.

Issue 19: Micah finally makes his comic debut as he uses his powers to harass his bullies.

Issue 20: We get a view of Sylar in action for the second time with an emphasis on how brutal a madman he actually is.

Issue 21: A weak Hana story, but notable for being the first issue not drawn by Aspen MLT. Staz Johnson (Robin) handles this one.

Issue 22: A flashback to the rescue of Claire and the first appearance of the always excellent Michael Gaydos’ (Alias) art.

Issue 24: The second hiatus on season one gets filled with the 6-part War Buddies which starts here. More Hana doing what she needs to do to win.

Issue 25: A flashback to Viet Nam and the first meeting of Mr. Petrelli and Linderman (using nicknames). One of the first key points about the interweaving histories of the Heroes characters’ families.

Issue 28: The codenames are finally dropped in War Buddies part five.

Issue 31: A story from a future that should now be erased. Meh. But this chapter does feature the first appearance of the always excellent Tom Grummett (New Exiles, Superboy) on a Heroes chapter.

Issue 33-34: Season 1 is over and the continuing comic feature celebrates by killing off their main player in “The Death of Hana Gitelman”. Two double length issues bring Hana in to outerspace while Ted & Parkman go to meet their fate in the season one finale. Hana dies on reentry... or does she?

Issues 35-38: The second summer multi-parter is also the first story not to be written by a show writer as Joe Kelly of Man of Action Studios (creators of Ben 10 and a lot of awesome comics) takes over. This is the rather weak origin of the Haitian, complete with bad voodoo bad guys.

Issues 39-42: Joe Casey (of Man of Action and the always excellent Gødland) brings us the tale of Betty. A large, obnoxious teenager hated by her classmates she uses her illusions first to terrify them, and then become a whole new person. Unlike the Haitian’s origins, Casey gives us a compelling back story that actually makes the one dimensional character on the show far more exciting.

Issues 43-46: The other two members of Man of Action, Steven T. Seagle (American Virgin) & Duncan Rouleau (Metal Men) give us an untold story of Claude and his partner before Noah, Haram, as they hunt down a rogue power named Fusor. Not much else to say on this one as it is again a rather flat story that doesn’t in any way tie in to the events of the show.

Issue 49-50: The buildup for season 2 is on as Mohinder begins his research in to the virus in a story by Mark Sable (Grounded) and excellent computer painter Jason Badower (who also provided the art for 33-34). Instead he encounters an electri-absorbing hero. A solid look in to Suresh’s progression between seasons.

Issue 51: In (I think) the final pre-season two chapter of the novels, we meet Maya y Alejandro. Though the characters turned out to be thoroughly pointless during the season, this is actually a well put together quick piece to introduce their storyline.

Overall a shaky but entertaining build for the show. Cool little Easter eggs and the origins of our supporting players really show that the graphic novels can do more than just serve as support. We will see more of that with the next set of comics.

On to Season Two’s related stories tomorrow and after that, I have some Webisodes to cover!

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