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Heroes: What’s old is New
A recent article at BuddyTv got me thinking: is NBC’s mega Successful new series HEROES a stroke of genius, or an untapped vein in a very old gold-mine. The piece, “Heroes: What Took So Long?” attributed the success of Heroes to an evolution of the super-hero mythology, from the nuclear-age wonders of Marvel in their spandex and futuristic stealth planes, to the grungy streets of New York were heroin addled comic artists unwittingly tell the future, and crooked politicians suppress their ability to fly.
The appeal of Heroes as this gritty, hyper-realistic departure, is in fact not new. The concept of taking heroes and making them “real” is actually not so new at all. One need look no further then the world of graphic novels to get their first look at this trend.
In the late 80’s, through the 90’s, the world of graphic novels became a realm where writers were free to take many liberties with the characters since graphic novels were not considered a part of the continuity of the character’s monthly lines. The results were interesting indeed.
Some titles, like Frank Millers Bat Man: The Dark Knight Returns, which featured a middle aged and ailing Bruce Wayne emerging from retirement, staked their claim on the realism of their books. In the world of Frank Miller, the appearance of Super Powered heroes was nearly surreal next to Bat Man’s arthritic escapades. Those with powers were corrupted by it, only the everymen, like Bruce Wayne, still knew what Justice stood for.
In another universe, Heroes could be considered a prequel to Alan Moore’s watchmen. Yet another alternate universe book; this time with a group of heroes we’ve never heard of who react with the politics and laws of their world much in the same way the heroes of Heroes do. With shame, self loathing, and intoxicating virility.
So while I agree that BuddyTV has brought something new to the screen, the gritty realism of the Graphic Novel, I, like any comic fan, would disagree that it has brought anything new to the world of Heroes.
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