NBC’s Heroes Finally Gets Sued

I dropped off Heroes early in second season, but by that point, I'd already seen significant "homages" to Rising Stars, X-Men, and Watchmen. But now, a comic creator named Jazon Wild is suing, claiming the fourth season copied liberally from his Jazan Wild's Carnival of Souls graphic novel series. 

In just some of the similarities, Wild says both Heroes and his stories "have a carnival that can magically appear and disappear in order to collect its protagonists. Both stories have a young boy enter the carnival and receive a prophecy that changes their lives. Each boy then develops special abilities that then lead to the very same carnival seeking them out, 14-15 years later. Both stories have a Carney or Hero, running through a remote wooded area while being chased by an angry mob, who believes the Carney or Hero has committed murder. A girl then cries out to the protagonist as he escapes into the wooded area. In both 'Heroes' and 'Carnival of Souls,' it is at this point that that a magical carnival appears and saves the Carney or Hero. Then the magical carnival disappears before the angry mob can reach the collected Carney or Hero."

I can't speak to the similarities or dissimilarities of the stories, but I think it will be fascinating to see what happens with this. My prediction is that the suit will be dismissed before it gets started.

Has anyone ever read or heard of this Carnival of Souls?  Any similarity, or does James Robinson have a case as well, because of his circus storyline from Starman? Or perhaps Kiss?  Or maybe Todd McFarlane? Either way, Wild is going to get some attention he wouldn't have otherwise.



  1. Really Strazinksy is the only one with a right to sue

  2. Here’s the thing. Doubt this guy has a case. All of those examples are fairly generic and I feel like i’ve seen them in multiple movies or read them in a few books. I could be wrong.

  3. I thought the antecedant for the moving carnival was the sentient street in doom patrol.

  4. I have no idea what is going on in that comic you just sampled…..Much like Heroes.

    They have a case! 

  5. It was just canceled, isn’t that enough?

  6. I think we all have a case to sue.

  7. Guys, I think we’re out of orange juice.  Uhh, what’re y’all talking about now?

  8. While I havent read the comic, I have seen all of Heroes (please dont judge me).

    I obviously dont have any idea if the guy has a case or not, but from that italicized description up there, it describes a very specific scene from the show. For whatever thats worth.


  9. Stuff like this always seems silly to me.  How can you own ideas or stories in such a broad sense?  Everything that’s created is inspired by or built off of what has come before it.  This guy does a story I’ve never heard of so now no one else can ever do a similar story?  How can they prove they stole his idea?  How can we ever have any creative progress if we can’t work with ideas that already exist?

    Of course, I’ve never watched Heroes and I think it looks dumb.  Still, the logic behind these kinds of lawsuits baffles me.

  10. in other news, representatives of the scribes who first wrote down the Old Testament are suing the heirs of Siegel and Shuster

  11. I can’t get past the title "Carnival of Souls".  I know of three movies titled "Carnival of Souls" as well as two books. I wasn’t even aware of the music of the same name.  So right there that feels…"stolen"?

    Is the phrase "Carnival of Souls" from something historic which I should know the reference? Is this way there are so many references to it?

  12. Wow, glad I never got into Heroes. If this is what they’re ripping off, they must really be out of ideas!

  13. @NaveenM: agreed. It’s why I never got into it in the first place, the first few episodes felt like a rehash of what i’ve got in many a’ longbox. At anyrate, more power to the little guy if he wins. I think it’s unlikely but I’m sure rooting for the guy.

  14. AquaPimp82 

    It’s like wrestling. "Kick him when he’s down! Hit him with the chair!" lol

  15. These lawsuits are pretty ridiculous, particularly since the concept of "Carnival of Souls" as described above is pretty much the same concept as "Brigadoon", anyway.

    Just some artist who hasn’t hit trying to get some easy money and publicity.  Success breeds jealousy.

  16. Carnival of Soles. Gentlemen, welcome to Heel.

  17. @ everyone-It seems like Heroes is really going through some storms this year. I still watch Season 1 and love it. Season 2 was plot driven to the fullest. Season 3 returned with some fuel but I felt the writers stretched the story. 

  18. He should sue HBO over Carnivale as well. Also Something Wicked This Way Comes. Those have supernatural carnivals as well.

  19. Really doubt this guy has a case.

  20. Great title for the article. A series that openly ripped The Fly and X-Men. Tim Kring has said before that "We’ll take an idea from the guy who gets our coffee."http://www.tvfanatic.com/2010/02/this-just-in-tim-kring-has-no-idea-how-to-write-a-tv-show/

    As far as for jazan’s books, I downloaded his comics apps on my phone. I like it. It does have a scene with a house of mirrors where a dead mother appears. It also has a scene where a carnival appears in the woods to save a fleeing superhuman. It has a hunter attacking a carnival and at the end of the story the carnival is demolished. Seems to be more of a case than just a carnival story.