By Matt D. Wilson
"Heroes" hasn't been on TV in more than three years, but that doesn't mean there aren't lots of fans of the series and its world still out there. So this week's news that "Heroes" will be making its return as a Dymanite Entertainment comics series written by "The Sixth Gun" and "Fearless Defenders" writer Cullen Bunn came as a welcome surprise for many.
The licensing deal is still quite new, so there isn't a lot to tell just yet, but MTV Geek spoke with Bunn to suss out what we could.
MTV Geek: So, Cullen, how'd you end up landing this gig?
Cullen Bunn: It pretty much started with an e-mail from Nick Barrucci that read, “Did you watch the show 'Heroes'?” I had been talking to Nick about some other projects that were coming down the line when this project came into being. We talked a little about what we might do with a book that builds on the mythology of the show and treads some unprecedented ground as well. Those two elements—working with what has come before while doing something no one will expect—hooked me on the project.
Geek: Were you a total fanatic about the TV show when it was on?
Bunn: I watched the show every week and really enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say I was a fanatic. Since the comic book series has been announced, I’ve talked to many people who were most definitely super-fans. But I don’t think hiring a Heroes fanatic would have been the right move on Dynamite’s part. I enjoyed the show, but if I was too wrapped up in the fandom of it, I might not be able to pull off what’s coming next.
Geek: Obviously, a comic has to be paced and structured differently than a TV show does. How are you trying to capture the feel of the show?
Bunn: Job one for me was capturing the voices of the characters. I re-watched and re-watched the show to try to get the voices down. And before I start scripting any issue, I watch an episode as a kind of refresher. There were other nods to the series—the opening monologues, for example—but the characters were most important.
Geek: Any characters in particular you're just champing at the bit to write?
Bunn: The comic focuses on the core characters who were introduced in the first season, and there are more than a couple of them that I’m thrilled to be writing. Hiro, Claire, Matt, and Peter were all frontrunners, but what surprised me was that I started becoming really invested in the stories of some of the characters I wasn’t as engaged with [on TV]. The good news is, each character will have a chance to shine. I felt that putting the spotlight on one character each issue was important to ground the story, give it more of the feel of the show, and introduce potential new fans to the world and people that live in it. Now, this doesn’t mean that the first issue features only Claire or that the second issue features only Hiro. Quite the opposite is true. But the story is seen from the point-of-view of a different character each issue.
Geek: Have you discussed the series and its direction with the show's creator, Tim Kring, or any of the producers?
Bunn: Not at this point, although I admit it would be pretty exciting to talk to those folks.
Geek: You say you're going to shake up the Heroes storyline in a major way. Can you elaborate, even a little?
Bunn: Hmm. Even the slightest elaboration could bring the surprise crashing down like a house of cards. I mean, it would be as if nothing was as it seemed, wouldn’t it? And what if I was dishonest with my answer? How would you cope with the realization that everything was a lie? I’ll give you the tentative title of the first arc, though: “Four Months Later.”