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Heroes: Volume One



DC Comics

NBC's "Heroes" currently is mired in a serious sophomore slump, but erasing some of my bitterness is this massive hardcover collection from DC Comics, collecting 34 short tales of graphic fiction initially available only online.

Just a few pages in length each, each story fills in some gaps "? mostly backstory "? on the various characters of the show's debut season. And the show is not lacking in players with extraordinary powers: the cheerleader who can regenerate following injuries, the Japanese programmer who can stop time, the Congressional hopeful who can fly, the drug-addled artist whose paintings foretell the future, the cop who can read minds and the skill-absorbing serial killer whose existence threatens them all.

The benefit of such a project is that it can grant more perspective, so to speak, on characters who otherwise fought for face time on the tube. In particular, a young woman named Hana "? aka Wireless "? appeared in only two episodes, yet gets more play here than anyone else, thereby better fleshing out the overall "Heroes" world.

Art is spotty, which is expected with so many talents contributing; some of it is clean and crisp, while other pages are too thickly drawn and outlined. Tim Sale's gorgeous covers "? ported from the series "? are incredible. The scripts are pretty consistent; although they're intended to stand alone, clearly you have to be familiar with the show to grasp them completely.

And those who are, like me, undoubtedly will.

"?Rod Lott

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