Heroes and the Evolution of Comic Books

Heroes came out of nowhere at the beginning of this TV season and has turned into a runaway hit show. This was not entirely unexpected; NBC had a lot of confidence in Heroes from the beginning. However, no one could have legitimately expected Heroes to become the top 15 hit and ratings phenomenon that its become. Why, I suppose, is the question. Why has Heroes become such a great hit? What is the shows appeal?

Heroes is a comic book story, through and through. Regardless of what comic you believe it to be knocked off of, all comic are derivative of something or other, and Heroes certainly has its unique qualities anyway. What Heroes does better than any of the comic book adaptations before it, is actually act like a comic in its execution. Of course, Heroes is the first real comic book story to make its way to prime-time live action TV. Smallville might be considered, certainly now, but that show, from the very beginning, considered itself a teen drama. Only now is it getting deep into DC mythology.

Heroes, on the other hand, is paced like a comic book. Every episode is an epic adventure, serial in nature, that covers a wide array of characters in a methodical manner. The writers are taking their time with the story, allowing the characters and relationships to develop in a way that we haven’t yet seen in comic books.

Why haven’t we seen it, however? Why haven’t there been more attempts to bring the comic book aesthetic to television? Have there been fewer break out comic books in the past ten years? The BuddyTV article examines this question with great insight and precision.

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