It's hard to talk about NBC's biggest new hit of the season, Heroes, without getting into a discussion about comic books. The show, which feels like X-Men via Lost, is steeped in comic book homages; one of its characters quotes Spider-Man and another obsessively devours the funnies. There's even a HeroesWeb comic that runs in weekly installments on the NBC site. So it seems only appropriate that the show's executive producer, Jeph Loeb, is looking to turn Heroes into a comic book.
Loeb, who's worked lengthy stints at both DC and Marvel on franchises like X-Men, Superman and Batman, said print talks have just begun, but the hope is to put the Web comic together in a hardcover format. (Exactly who will shop the title is undecided, but NBC Universal owns the content.) The show, which, according to Nielsen ratings for the week ending November 26, was in the #10 slot (above such stalwarts as Sunday Night Football and CSI: NY), follows a collection of regular people who are inextricably blessed (or perhaps cursed) with supernatural powers.
The Web comic, which is penned by the show's writers and features art provided by packager Aspen Comics, is posted in roughly five- to six-page segments that elaborate and expand on each episode of the show. Loeb said the Heroes Web comic "goes a little deeper into the scenes [from the show]." While viewers don't need to read the Web comic in order to follow the show, Loeb said the writing staff has been thinking about introducing a character online who will then be brought on as a character in the show.
Loeb said a book likely won't happen until there is "a minimum of 100 pages of online material." (There are 11 Web comics currently available.) He added that the main question isn't whether to turn the work into a book, but which publisher to work with.