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'Heroes,' NBC Sued Over Carnival Storyline

UPDATE: See the complaint, complete with comparisons

A comic book creator has filed a lawsuit against NBC and the "Heroes" production team claiming the carnival story arc in the fourth season was ripped off from a comic series published in 2005-06.

Jason Barnes, who created the series "Carnival of Souls" under the name Jazan Wild, is seeking $60 million and an injunction against NBC's distribution companies and "Heroes" creator Tim Kring's production company Tailwind Productions, claiming that the settings and storylines between "Carnival of Souls" and the fourth season of "Heroes" are "virtually the same," according to Comic Book Resources.

FULL COMPLAINT: Jazan Wild dba Carnival Comics vs. NBC Universal, NBC Studios, Tailwind Productions

"The main character in both stories leads a carnival of lost souls and outcasts," the complaint said. "This dark character seeks to make his carnival more powerful by recruiting new members with special abilities. The appearance of some of the characters is also virtually identical to those in the plaintiff's books.

"Even the dialogue is similar. Indeed, some of the scenes in 'Heroes' appears as if plaintiff's books were used as storyboards by the defendants."

"Heroes" has utilized a comic book theme throughout its four-year run, but in the past has been accused of borrowing heavily from X-Men and Watchmen comic books. However, "Heroes" has only been sued once before, in 2007, when artists Clifton Mallery and Amnau Karam Eele claimed Kring stole the idea of prophetic painter Isaac Mendez from them.

A judge threw the suit out a short time later, and ordered Mallery and Eele to pay $99,000 in attorneys fees.

A request to NBC for comment early Monday afternoon is pending return.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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