Who Needs the Justice League When You Have ‘Heroes’?
Despite all of the hype -- much of it created some 14 months ago during a sneak peek at Comic-Con International: San Diego -- I stayed away from the latest TV juggernaut called Heroes. Yes, I liked the "no capes" concept, the early buzz was better than good and superhero comics A-Listers Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale were involved, so Heroes had a lot going for it.
Heroes had two strikes against it, however. For one, I'd just invested a season watching a very entertaining Shawn Cassidy-produced sci-fi serial, Invasion -- developed as a companion piece to Lost -- that died after 23 episodes, and on a forever unresolved cliffhanger to boot. What's more, Heroes would be competing for Monday night viewers for part of its season against my favorite show, the Emmy-winning spy thriller, 24, featuring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, arguably a Captain America for the 21st century (I know Kiefer's a Canadian).
It's really amazing how the fortunes of 24 and Heroes in the pop culture world changed so quickly. Heroes got an early jump in 24's Monday time slot, and viewers never let the momentum go, even after 24, a multiple Emmy winner for its wonderful Day 5 season, returned in January. Some pundits would blame 24's Day 6 season, one that left many loyal viewers scratching their heads and showrunners scrambling. (My take: 24's Season 6 proved how difficult it was to sustain the real-time concept creatively, but it gave Sutherland that opportunity to take Jack places he'd never gone before emotionally, and I liked that a lot.)
Based on all the positives I'd heard from friends and read in a great many places, I made a deliberate decision to wait for the inevitable Heroes Season 1 DVD set, hoping to watch them all before the start of season 2. I hadn't watched a TV series via DVD first, but for Heroes -- and probably 24 too -- it was the best way to go. Of course, I expected some dead plot points along the way, largely because series creator Tim Kring and his production team opted to tell one continuing story over 23 episodes, an approach that will change in season 2.
Besides crafting an entertaining modern-day myth about ordinary, very fallible people discovering the extraordinary and life-changing abilities they possess, Kring assembled an almost perfect cast (Milo Ventimiglia's Peter, Greg Grundberg's Parkman and James Kyson Lee's Ando are my favs), punctuated with great guest appearances by Malcolm McDowell and Eric Roberts.
So, when I heard yesterday's news about Warner Bros. prepping a Justice League of America movie, and speculation that George Miller was slated to direct it -- prompting rumors that the superteam film would be a digitally animated affair (think Happy Feet) -- I'm just not that all enthused about it. I've got "my" Heroes, so I really don't care much if the JLA, Avengers or Inferior Five make it to the big screen any time soon.
Perhaps, Warner Bros. could better spend their money elsewhere. For starters, how about comics for kids... Movie-wise, I'd advise keeping the two Chrises happy on their Bat-franchise, or doing some serious retooling on Superman (as the I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC... vids on YouTube gently illustrate).
And, as far as Quentin Tarantino's dissing of Heroes last week... Q should be making more movies anyway.
If you're excited about Monday night's season 2 premiere of Heroes as I am, watch this cool EW.com video featuring the series' newest cast members, including Kristen Bell, star of the late Veronica Mars.