Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HEROES: the webcomics collection

Oddly enough, as big a fan as I’ve been of the Heroes TV series, I’ve never followed the online graphic stories offered each week on NBC’s website. These five to six page vignettes, produced by various writers and artists under the guidance of Tim Kring and Jeph Loeb, are intended to bridge gaps between TV episodes. Plus, they’re obviously a nice bonus for diehard fans of the show. But I’d never dropped in on the website and had never so much as looked at the comics. Until today.

DC Comics has collected all of the first season’s webcomics into a handsome hardcover book titled Heroes: Volume One, so now I’m caught up at least with the initial 34 short stories. And I’m blown away. I guess I imagined that these free online stories were all throwaway bits, extraneous padding like so many of the “deleted scenes” found on DVD sets. Well, they’re not. Rather, they add genuine depth to Heroes’ enormous cast of characters and an enhanced resonance to the story arc from season one. The artwork is fantastic, and each story, brief as it is, really packs a punch.

Each story is introduced by a Tim Sale “cover” from the fictional 9th Wonders! comic book. These images, many of them familiar to viewers of the TV series, are startling and are alone worth the price of the book. And I want to stress what a beautiful book this is. The colors are vibrant. The paper is of the highest quality. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Warning: This comics collection is not a good introduction to the television series. Most of it will mean nothing to you if you haven’t watched Heroes faithfully. But if you are a fan, I can’t recommend this volume highly enough. It’s the perfect companion to your Heroes: Season One DVD set.

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