Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two things about Heroes, one very spoiler-filled

This is not the spoiler-filled one.

Lisa Schmeiser over at Teevee writes about how serialized shows like Lost and Heroes have driven away viewers -- including herself -- with long mid-season hiatuses.

What I think is funny about the article is that she uses her background as a comic book fan to illustrate why she won't wait for Heroes to take seven weeks off. Comic books, she says, keep a regular schedule, and wouldn't dare lose readers by taking hiatuses.

Everyone who reads comics is already laughing, I'm sure, but I'll explain what's funny to you non-comics readers. This comes a week after the release of new issues of two enormously popular comics, Mark Millar's Ultimates 2, and Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. The punchline: the previous issue of Ultimates 2 was released eight months ago, and the last All-Star Batman and Robin came out a full year ago.

Long, unscheduled, and mostly unexplained breaks between new issues of comics have become the norm for the industry. Ask anyone who has waited way longer than they should have for Wonder Woman, or Astonishing X-Men, or All-Star Superman. Or take Civil War, a massive crossover event, on which several other tie-in comics depended. Each issue of Civil War that was late impacted every other comic that connected to it, making them late as well. Basically, Marvel's entire roster of books was disrupted by Civil War's perpetual lateness.

Quite the contrary to Lisa Schmeiser's argument, comic book fans should be trained by now to be the most tolerant of hiatuses in TV shows. Ask anyone who is still waiting for Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk, which has taken over a year between issues, with no sign of the next one in sight. Bonus punchline: Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk is written by Damon Lindelof... co-creator of Lost.

This is the spoiler-filled one. It talks about the end of the season finale.

Here are three other ways Peter Petrelli could have been stopped at the end of the episode, rather than having Nathan fly him away. Three ways which make me think the show's characters, and the writers, have not been paying attention this past season.

1. Hiro could've frozen Peter in time. Or teleported Peter to a safe distance, then teleported back out of the blast zone. Hiro has had all season to think about what he would do when the explosive crisis arrived. These things never occurred to him? And when Peter sees Hiro, does he ask him to use his miraculous powers to save the day? No, he asks him to kill him with his sword, which makes Hiro hesitate long enough for Sylar to attack. If either of them had a brain, they would've had it done before Sylar made his final move.

2. Claire could've just shot him in the goddam head already. We've already seen it demonstrated twice this season that a head wound only hinders the regeneration of either Claire (big stick) or Peter (shard of glass) until the foreign object is removed from their brains. Shoot Peter in the brain, then take the bullet out later either when they're sure the danger of Peter exploding has passed, or until they get Peter to an area of safety where he can explode without harming anyone else. [EDITED to note: of course, considering the size of the gun she was carrying, rather than lodging a bullet in Peter's brain, she might've blown half of his head off. Which might be slightly tougher to regenerate from.]

3. Or, duh, Peter could've flown away all on his own. Has everyone forgotten he's got the same power as Nathan?? It's so simple, so obvious, that it makes the writers look like chumps for not exploring it. Or it makes it seem the writers think the audience are chumps, and won't think of it. If Peter can't use his other powers while he's going nuclear, that has to be explained. (Maybe it has been, but I haven't seen it; we already know Peter can combine other powers, like invisibility and telekinesis.) The same goes for Peter using Hiro's powers. Maybe Peter hasn't mastered Hiro's powers, but I think we've seen him freeze time once. If he can use Hiro's powers, he could've teleported himself away.

And there's a fourth way this could've gone, which, for all I know, we'll find out next season is what happened:

4. Fine, have Nathan fly Peter away, so they can have their brotherly bonding moment. But when Nathan gets Peter out of harm's way, he lets him go and flies away from where the explosion's going to be. After all, Nathan knows Peter can regenerate, so why wouldn't Nathan just toss him in the air and take off to save himself? Maybe he did -- we'll have to wait and see.

P.S. In case you were wondering, I still really, really liked the episode (despite other quibbles I won't go into), and can't wait for season two.

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