Heroes Vol. 1
by various writers & artists (WildStorm, 2007)

Heroes, the graphic novel collection, doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense unless you're familiar with Heroes, the hit television series.

If you're a fan of the show, however, this book is priceless.

The hardcover volume contains 34 comic-book "shorts," which were collected from the Heroes website during the course of its first season. The stories here don't really stand alone; rather, they act as supplemental materials to each week's events on TV. So, while you might not need to know about the time Hiro folded an origami crane from the cover of a priceless first edition of the Superman comic or fathom the thoughts going through Claire's head just before she slammed a would-be rapist's car into a wall, it adds additional depth to the characters and to the overall Heroes mythology.

Other vignettes found here include Isaac's first precognitive painting, the development of Eden's ability to command and the past, present and questionable fate of Wireless (who disappeared from the TV series without explanation). There's plenty more, but heck, if you don't watch the show, it wouldn't make any sense to you anyway.

The stories are by a variety of writers and artists. The book also includes many of artist Tim Sale's paintings, which stood in for Isaac's work in the series, as well as an interview with series creators Aron Eli Coleite and Joe Pokaski and an insightful introduction by Masi Oka, who plays Hiro.

You can watch and enjoy the series without ever reading this book, and you probably won't feel its absence. But if you have unanswered questions -- or if you just can't get enough of the stuff -- you'll probably find much of what you're looking for here.

review by
Tom Knapp

19 April 2008

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