|Do any of you watch that NBC show Heroes?
We just ... came across a pirated DVD set of the first ten episodes. Some ... friends bought them. (As you can imagine, Liz and I would never buy illegal DVDs of movies or TV shows, for Dan Glickman and the Motion Picture Association of America tell us that is wrong and it hurts the hard working people in Hollywood.)
It's pretty amazing, though, these bootleg DVDs. It appears that someone in the States or Canada has TiVoed or DVRed the shows off of broadcast TV, then sent them to some factory in Asia somewhere, because the discs are pressed, not burned one at a time (with the blue/purple underbelly). In fact, the discs artwork is all full color screenprinted, too. It's a big business, this illegal DVD production.
Anyway, Heroes. I'm kind of on the fence about this show. It's well put together, has some compelling characters, but overall I'm a little upset because every single character's superpower is stolen from comic books. Seriously, I think this "Tim Kring" guy who created the show just walked into House of Secrets in Burbank, or Meltdown Comics in Hollywood and stole all of his "ideas" from already established characters!
Now, I know I'm late to the party, because the show came out many months ago and I'm sure comic fandom was up-in-arms for most of the autumn. And I know that it doesn't really matter, that, if anything, this might drive a few people to comics. But still, it upsets me because, well, heck, I feel like I could have "created" and "written" this show as well as Tim Kring has.
Let's briefly look at the characters from Heroes and their superpowers:
Claire the Cheerleader has a healing factor, not unlike quite possibly the most famous X-Man and Huge Jackman's raison d'etre - Wolverine. Sure, she doesn't have the Adamantium claws or the penchant for smoking cigars, but those aren't powers, they're just handy character builders.
Peter, our main character, has the ability to absorb the powers of others he has been near, similar to the X-Man - Rogue, who was played by the charming Anna Paquin in Bryan Singer's epic X-Men film from 2000.
Hiro from Tokyo can to manipulate the space-time continuum, not unlike our favorite X-Man from Austrailia - Gateway. (It's actually a little like that show from the late 1980s Out of this World, where the main character could stop time by touching her index fingers, or teleport by snapping her fingers. But since she wasn't an X-Man, I'll move on ...)
Matt the LAPD officer is a telepath, and gosh, the list of X-Men who are telepaths is as long as Sheikh Zayed Road - Jean Grey, Psylocke, Emma Frost and that Professor X guy, too.
Nathan the Congressional candidate can fly, and, quite honestly, it'd be easier to list the X-Men who can't fly than those who can.
Isaac Mendez, the artist who can paint the future, well, at least when he's high on dope, is similar to the villian - Destiny - who's a little random, yes, but heck, she "possessed the psionic power of precognition by mentally scanning alternate futures and perceiving probable events", albeit without heroin.
Niki the ... exotic dancer ... has an alternate evil personality, Jessica, with superhuman strength. Gee, what X-Man has had a superpowerful alternate personality? Phoenix anyone? 1980's Dark Phoenix Saga is probably the most famous X-Men storyline ever, and was heavily alluded to at the end of the second X-Men movie. Then Brett Ratner made the third movie, and screwed it all up.
DL, Niki's ex-husband, can phase parts of his body through solid objects just exactly like X-Man - Kitty Pryde.
Micah, DL and Niki's son, can control machines and electronic devices, just like ... well, what do you know, no specific X-Man has that power! Wow, Tim Kring, you original bastard you! You thought up a character on your ow-- wait, wait, no. Maybe he just read Bryan K. Vaughn's Ex-Machina where the main character has the ability to communicate with and command mechanical devices.
And he's a politician.
Just like Peter's brother.