Two ‘Heroes’ Go Down
If you thought Uatu’s jaw dislocation was surprising, wait until you’ve heard this one… Jeph Loeb is no longer involved with Heroes.
The producer of NBC’s television epic and the frequent comic book writer has been axed from the daily ongoings of Heroes, according to Variety. Jesse Alexander of Alias fame is also off the series, says the trade. Both Loeb and Alexander were day-to-day managers of the show under the direction of creator/executive producer Tim Kring since season one.
No reasons are listed as to why the two producers have been kicked off the show, though it’s no secret that Heroes has been disparaged since the debut of its second season. The show, now in its third year, promised a departure from the formulaic nature of its sophomore season, and with consistent critical hammering, a hardcore decision was bound to be made to save the series’ financial future. The departures of Loeb and Alexander are likely seen as moves to fit that bill.
Jeph Loeb has made a career in the super-hero industry. His graphic novels Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory, in particular, have gained him critical acclaim, as has his work on Superman: For All Seasons. He’s also known for his work on the "color-centric" comic books over at Marvel Comics, specifically Hulk: Gray, Spider-Man: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow and the forthcoming Captain America: White. Loeb, whose best known super-hero work may be his collaboration with artist Jim Lee on Batman: Hush, had been involved with Heroes from the show’s beginning.
Loeb’s frequent collaborator Tim Sale, who illustrated both much of Loeb’s comic output starting with Challengers of the Unknown, is the artist behind the show’s frequent "future-telling" paintings such as those by Isaac Mendes or the newly introduced African painter. Whether or not Loeb’s departure will influence Sale’s continued work remains to be seen.
Whether or not Heroes, which suffered poor ratings during its strike shortened second season, will be negatively effected by the apparent removal of Loeb and Alexander remains to be seen. However, given that the show should be "King of the Jungle" but has merely kept its head above water in the midst of poor ratings, a true reckoning for Heroes remains to be seen.