I actually started learning the Hanzi using "Learning Chinese Characters" (http://www.amazon.com/Tuttle-Learning-Chinese-Characters-Revolutionary/dp/080483816X/) and bought Heisig's book to compare them, but even if they are based on the same principles, the first one is way better.
Matthews & Matthews book not only teaches you the meaning, but also includes mnemonics for the pronounciation and the tone of each character. Maybe it's not that important for Japanese, but Chinese characters give you a lot of clues about their pronounciation using phonetical components, so learning their pronounciation at the same time actually saves you a lot of time. Why memorize "man + lord" = "to live somewhere" if you actually know that "lord" and "live" are both pronounced "zhu" and thus can easily memorize that "live" is something that has to do with "men" and is pronounced like "lord"?
Also, the book comes with drawings to help you remember the basic building blocks AND has awesome crosslinks between the entries everywhere and a very good index that enable you to find what you are looking for so much faster. Of course, it only teaches you the first 800 ones (+ their components) while Heisig already takes on 1500 in his first and 1500 in his second book, but I hope there will be another Matthews & Matthews book for HSK B soon.