cover image Heroes, Vol. 1

Heroes, Vol. 1

Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Chuck Kim, . . DC/Wildstorm, $29.99 (233pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-1705-1

Although essentially a tie-in to a pop culture hit, this graphic novel isn't bad. Conceived as an integral part of the popular TV show, the book collects a series of weekly online comics that appeared right along with the TV show. The comics are used to skillfully introduce both new characters and equally engrossing plot lines into the Heroes story, and they offer background info that supplements what's on TV. Heroes is the story of a group of otherwise normal people spread around the world, who have extraordinary—and potentially destructive—powers they often barely understand. These “special” people are hunted down by both a mysterious organization and a superpowered serial killer. The comic follows the show's major characters, but also introduces new ones, like Hana Gitelman, known as Wireless, who can literally hear digital communication transmissions; the comic also provides background on politician Nathan Petrelli and the mysterious Linderman that takes them back to the Vietnam War. Produced by a long list of prominent creators, the art is inconsistent, ranging from competent to excellent (“War Buddies” and Tim Sale's 9th Wonder covers shine) and is held together by the rich color production. An impressively readable melding of TV and comics storytelling. (Nov.)