Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Heroes Huh?

I just noticed that last post was my 400th. Woo-hoo. However, seeing as how my first post was a dummy placeholder to stash the graphics I was using on the blog, this is more properly my 400th post. So yay.

Back when I was buying comics regularly, the way I decided to drop a title from my list was if I noticed that I was regularly pushing that title to the bottom of my reading stack. If I got to the bottom of the stack and said, "Oh crap, I've still got to read Flash," I knew I was pretty much done with that title (then again, simple inertia kept me reading Flash for probably two years past when I really should have stopped).

I''m noticing the same thing with Hulu, now. When I log onto Hulu to watch my slate of Monday shows, I'm like, "Heroes? Nah, later. Terminator? Yeah, but Chuck first, then Terminator, then Heroes and My Own Worst Enemy if I still have time."

I felt bad for Jeph Loeb when I learned he'd been fired from Heroes, but frankly, even though this season is better than last, it's still disappointing. That's the risk you run with series that have a central mystery. If the mystery disappoints as it is revealed, the entire series deflates, especially if you haven't managed to craft characters the viewer wants to stick with for the long haul.

I can count the characters I really like watching on one hand (Hiro, Claire and HRG), with some others I'm fairly interested in (Daphne and Elle). Some characters I used to like have turned ridiculous and annoying (Nathan and Suresh), and I was tired of Sylar by the end of Season 1.

But the thing that's got me writing about Heroes now is the lastest Hiro subplot. Hiro's brain has been regressed to age 10, and his only way of finding out what's been going on in the last few months has been to read issues of 9th Wonders, the prophetic comic book drawn by the late Mystery Sock.

We first learned that the comic was prophetic in episode 2 of season 1. Hiro uses that issue to guide him for several episodes, then in episode 19, we see Isaac shipping the "last" issue to the printers via bike messenger, which it appears never gets published, because whenever characters reference the story in the future, they're looking at unpublished proofs, not the actual issue in question. And that issue tells how Hiro travels to the future, then comes back and stabs Sylar in the final episode of Season one.

But now, ten and eleven episodes into Season Freaking Three, 9th Wonders is still being published, still depicting events contemporaneous with the show's timeline. Who has taken up the mantle of prophetic cartoonist? Oh, these are issues that Isaac drew before he died, only now the inventory has finally run out. But there is a rumor that there is one final story out there, in a sketchbook Isaac gave away just before he died.

Remember when I was complaining about "Bolt" and moviemakers purposely getting their own job wrong for story convenience? That goes double for this show, with an exec producer who is a working comics professional resorting to this kind of ridiculous retcon to write characters out of a fix. Seriously, as much as I love Hiro, I wouldn't cry if they killed him off, along with Peter and Angela and Poppa Petrelli and Sylar and any-fucking-body else who can time-travel/predict the future. It was cool for a season, but now it's seriously hurting the show. We're all getting sick of that shit. Either dump the prophecies, or at least stop making the show completely revolve around them.

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