Posted by: Graeme McMillan on May 22, 2007
Well, at least they didn’t kill Ando (What, you thought I was joking with that spoilers thing?).
That was actually one of the few things that I outright really liked about last night’s Heroes finale – After last week’s semi-cliffhanger of Ando setting out on his own to take care of Sylar once and for all, coming on the heels of all the talk of sacrifice and everything else, I was pretty convinced that Ando was a goner, setting Hiro on the road to being a true hero who has known loss, etc. etc. Almost everything else, however, seemed just slightly off, as if the writers knew where they wanted to go but just couldn’t work out how to get there. It seemed rushed, as well; I wanted to see Nikki do more than just hit Sylar once and more of a fight between Peter and Sylar than just punching each other, but I remember looking at the TiVometer at the act break where Sylar appeared and thinking, “Wait, they have fifteen-odd minutes to finish this off?”
There was a moment, when Peter was having his travelling-in-time/flashback/epiphany moment, where I was terrified that the grand finale would be that Peter would heal the world with the Rainbow Power of Love, and it’s something that I was even more convinced would happen when his radioactive glowing hands made him double over in slow motion – I could almost hear Elton John cracking his fingers in preparation of a special medeley of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Candle In The Wind” – so the fact that they didn’t do that was nearly my favorite part of the whole show, even if the faux deaths of Peter and Nathan would carry more weight if they hadn’t spent a couple of scenes earlier in the episode pointing out that Peter could theoretically regenerate from exploding anyway (And let’s face it, Nathan probably just flew him up into the sky and dropped him before getting out of the way as he exploded). “No bodies = No death,” as just one of last night’s comic cliches goes.
(Alternatively, the other big cliche from the night – the villain who refuses to die – just pissed me off. Sylar’s not that interesting, people who write Heroes.)
But, no, the best part of last night’s finale for me was the ending. It was completely Quantum Leap, to the point where I really wanted the episode to close with Hiro running from the men on horseback, saying “Oh boy,” but there was nonetheless something oddly optimistic and open about it, as opposed to the progressively-more-claustrophobic storytelling of the last few episodes. It actually felt like a new beginning, as well as a continuation of the existing mythos. And was that George Takei behind that mask…? Overall, it was a high Okay, and arguably low Good end for a show that I had no hopes for when I first saw it.
Shall we get to the comics I didn’t get to review this week for one reason or another, before everything starts again tomorrow? Let’s.
PAINKILLER JANE #1: I tried, I really did, to give this one a lengthy review of its own, but it kept defeating me whenever I tried to talk about it. I thought it was surprisingly Okay, a messy and more interesting take on the same character and, for that matter, style of storytelling as Jimmie Robinson’s Bomb Queen, and I wanted to make some connection between the nerd fantasy figure of those two characters (Impossibly hot, socially awkward, bisexual women who hide their awkwardness under a selfconscious asskickin’ and name-takin’ persona and the cheesecake way in which they’re illustrated – A fantasy for nerds not only for the “No-one understands me” thing, but also because they’re the physically idealized woman and shown on panel as sexually active and therefore, “available”) and Tank Girl, who I’m bizarrely convinced is one of the archetypes of this particular character cliche… but I could never quite get my thoughts together in any kind of coherent form. The comic itself is interesting enough, moreso when it seems to go slightly off the rails, as in the page of one panel character studies that ends up kickstarting the plot. If I can ever make sense of what I was trying to say about the fantasy female figure thing, I may come back to this one.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS SPECIAL: Fun, and with an amazing line-up of artists that fit with Jeff Parker’s writing better than regular artist Roger Cruz. Get Nick Dragotta and Mike Allred on this book permanently, and you’d have something that both the kids and The Kids would have on their shopping list each and every month; their studied retro touch pushes the book out of the “upgraded Marvel Adventures” feel and into the same kind of updated pop joy of something like Allred’s own Madman or Darwyn Cooke’s Spirit. It’s Good, and an odd reminder that the original X-Men concept really did work, in a way.
This week! Onomatopea writing may mean shorter reviews, Jeff’s last day on Friday, and a three-day-weekend will hopefully give me the chance to finish Percy Gloom, Fantagraphics’ Chris Ware-meets-Disney graphic novel that’s so far been incredibly enjoyable…