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Volume 1
Common consensus is that Heroes Jumped The Shark after the first season. I tend to agree, which is why, when I re-watched the series, I stopped at the end of Volume 1 because the others are lame.

The first huge, glaring hole in the first season is Nikki. Seriously, her entire arc is stupid. She has no superpowers. She has a serious psychological disorder, and she needs help. Yes, I know she technically has...super-strength, or something boring like that, but she never uses it, and it's never relevant to her narrative at literally any point—when your main conflict is "I blacked out, and when I woke up, these guys were dead," it's not the "...and I used my Super Strength to kill them" that's the surprising part. The surprising part is how you committed multiple murders and don't remember it. You could have killed them in the Billiard Room with the Lead Pipe for all it matters. So what's the point of even having her on the show? She adds nothing to the main conflict of the series and she doesn't have any self-discovery development about her superpowers (which, again, she never uses, ever) like the other characters do. The series would have been better off without her.

Another problem is that this show was written as a weekly serial drama, and it shows. Every episode has to have a twist or a cliffhanger. I suppose this is fine when you're watching an hour a week, but on DVD, it feels rushed and, if not poorly-paced, at least suboptimally-paced.

Hiro is fun to watch. He plays off of Ando very well; their sections are consistently enjoyable, with the possible exception of the finding-the-sword thing, which seemed...pointless. Peter's sections are usually good because it feels like he's always advancing the main plotline and tying the other characters together. Sylar is a good villain; The Company is not. I don't think the writers really knew what to do with The Company. That whole plotline never really had a satisfactory payoff; it's built up as a vast, shady, worldwide conspiracy and...well, it never does much of anything. Kidnaps people. Tracks them. Acts mysterious. Derails Matt and Mohinder for half the volume with no real reason. No, Sylar is a much more interesting bad guy to watch.

So, eh, it's okay, but it didn't hold up too well for me on the second viewing. Still the best volume, but...eh.
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Heroes By Volume
Volume 1 (Genesis): Many fans would argue that not only is this the strongest of the volumes, but also a stroke of sheer geek genius. And they'd be right. This set up the world of Heroes without going into too much detail to make mainstream viewers cringe. The concept was cool, the stories were interesting, the characters were involving and every episode felt like it both added to the mystery and solved one or two to keep things from going crazy. It is, truly, a great piece of TV art.

Volume 2 (Generations): And here's where things start to go downhill. Many characters get Derailed, most of the newcomers aren't interesting or inviting and the plot didn't build like the last one did to keep up the suspense. It brought a few good ideas to the table, like giving Hiro an acrh enemy in Adam Monroe, but it's mostly just dull and pointless.

Volume 3 (Villains): This, in my opinion, is the absolute worst moment in Heroes history. It goes nowhere. Plots are brought up and dropped everywhere. Characters who could've been helped by some development and closure instead got needlessly killed off. No one is likable. No one is smart. It's just a great big mess. This is Heroes very own Countdown To Final Crisis.

Volume 4 (Fugitives): In the show's defense, this Volume did learn from its predecessor's mistakes. We see a central storyline taking focus and developing on its own rather than several plots being picked up and abandoned. We see some characters regaining their sanity and acting like themselves again. And we even see the rivalry between the Petrelli brothers developing in interesting directions. However, there's a lot of bad too. An old containment camp for specials storyline ends up going nowhere slowly. Sylar's quest to find his dad just adds a lot of Wangst to a character already undergoing serious Badass Decay. And the ending just sucks. It really, really, does.

Volume 5 (Redemption): A very accurate title and enjoyable season. The majority of the characters are finally back on track and well utilized. The multiple stories are juggled nicely and always with a sense of suspense. And the villain is actually very cool and fun to watch. Sure, some plots get dropped and the climax is a bit of a let down, but this is probably the best season since the show's first.
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It's almost unanimous. Watch volume one then leave it.
Heroes has recieved alot of flack lately and may I say rightly so. Characters have repeated the same mistakes over and over, smart characters have done stupid things. good characters have turned evil and evil characters have turned good at the flip of a coin. No one knows what the hell is going on in a very Lostian sense and very soon no one will care.

However it wasn't always like this people. There was once intrigue. There was once suspence. There was once constant characters who had yet to be derailed and thrilling plot arcs that inexplicably weaved themselves together. Heroes was going to be the show that brought sci-fi and comic book storytelling to the masses and herald a new generation of heroes for us to admire. The old heroes of generations past would be swept away in their sted inthralling us within the confides of the Television medium. Alas it was not to be. The show's hubris was great and the writers' strike was to (ironically) strike the show down like Zeus did to Bellerophon, and now it must live out it's life as a blinded cripple, grieving and shunning the haunts of men.

Please, I beg of you. If you love your comic book heroes and didn't see Heroes only see the first series. After that the show is doomed.
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Heroes By Volume
Volume 1 (Genesis): Many fans would argue that not only is this the strongest of the volumes, but also a stroke of sheer geek genius. And they'd be right. This set up the world of Heroes without going into too much detail to make mainstream viewers cringe. The concept was cool, the stories were interesting, the characters were involving and every episode felt like it both added to the mystery and solved one or two to keep things from going crazy. It is, truly, a great piece of TV art.

Volume 2 (Generations): And here's where things start to go downhill. Many characters get {{Character Derailment: Derailed}}, most of the newcomers aren't interesting or inviting and the plot didn't build like the last one did to keep up the suspense. It brought a few good ideas to the table, like giving Hiro an acrh enemy in Adam Monroe, but it's mostly just dull and pointless.

Volume 3 (Villains): This, in my opinion, is the absolute worst moment in Heroes history. It goes nowhere. Plots are brought up and dropped everywhere. Characters who could've been helped by some development and closure instead got needlessly killed off. No one is likable. No one is smart. It's just a great big mess. This is Heroes very own {{Countdown To Final Crisis: Countdown}}.

Volume 4 (Fugitives): In the show's defense, this Volume did learn from its predecessor's mistakes. We see a central storyline taking focus and developing on its own rather than several plots being picked up and abandoned. We see some characters regaining their sanity and acting like themselves again. And we even see the rivalry between the Petrelli brothers developing in interesting directions. However, there's a lot of bad too. An old containment camp for specials storyline ends up going nowhere slowly. Sylar's quest to find his dad just adds a lot of Wangst to a character already undergoing serious Badass Decay. And the ending just sucks. It really, really, does.

Volume 5 (Redemption): A very accurate title and enjoyable season. The majority of the characters are finally back on track and well utilized. The multiple stories are juggled nicely and always with a sense of suspense. And the villain is actually very cool and fun to watch. Sure, some plots get dropped and the climax is a bit of a let down, but this is probably the best season since the show's first.
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