For years, writer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted, Kingsmen: The Secret Service) has been examining, re-imagining, and deconstructing superheroes and the capes and cowls genre. Paired, once again, with uber-talented artist Frank Quietly (The Authority, We3, Batman and Robin), Millar’s new superhero saga, Jupiter’s Legacy, is the writer’s latest peek into his fascinating and unique vision of how our world would operate if populated by super powerful meta-humans, as well as his speculation on how that same world would suffer from their presence. With Jupiter’s Legacy, Millar and Quietly deliver an unflinching, epic, and riveting tale of a superhero coup in the modern world, while never neglecting the more intimate and personal conflict taking place at the heart of the book.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Jupiter’s Legacy tells the story of our modern world and a team of superheroes known as The Union struggling to deal with a weak global economy, a political system that has lost the faith of its citizens, and the fear of a “crumbling” America. The Union, led by The Utopian (a.k.a. Sheldon Sampson), gained their powers in the 1930s and clearly represent not only the Golden Age comic book superheroes, but the connection of those superheroes to the culture and idealism that still defines America for many. Now, disillusioned and unable to hold the world they knew together despite their powers, The Union (and especially The Utopian) find themselves at odds with not only the youth of American in general, but the next generation of superheroes and guardians – their fairly ambivalent and spoiled children. It’s only a matter of time before the stresses and fears that we have all experienced in recent years due to the global recession, the vicious political climate, and the clash of the generations, push the The Union to reject The Utopian’s philosophy of leaving politics and leadership to the proper, non-super powered authorities. Soon enough, the former members of The Union are set on “fixing” the state of the modern world, despite the negative repercussions that might occur. All that stands in their way is The Utopian and his family.
While anyone who knows Millar and Quietly’s work on The Authority will know that the team has covered some similar “ground” before, it’s almost impossible to not be excited about this winning team working together again. In addition, readers will be pleased to find that Jupiter’s Legacy is not a lazy rehash from a creator retreading old territory, but, rather, an intelligent, engrossing, and brutal superhero tale that could easily find a place on one’s comic book shelf among other impactful takes on the superhero medium such as The Boys, Kingdom Come, and, perhaps, even Watchmen. With Jupiter’s Legacy, Millar not only offers his readers a compelling and complex cast of characters, but a story that touches on a number of timely and relevant themes and subjects, including American idealism and our identity as a nation, the end of capitalism, the general apathy of America’s youth, generational expectations and conflict, and more.
Quietly, as expected, knocks it out of the park in the art department. His detailed, precise, and elegant style is as gorgeous and absorbing as ever and is only enhanced by Peter Doherty’s fantastic and rich colors.
FINAL VERDICT: Jupiter’s Legacy is an amazing read that is a no-brainer purchase for fans of Millar’s work on series like The Authority and The Ultimates. Those who enjoy more grounded, realistic, and gritty portrayals of superheroes in all their grime and glory (think Watchmen, The Boys, Death Sentence) will absolutely love Jupiter’s Legacy.
You can find out more about Jupiter’s Legacy by visiting the official Image Comics website.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers!
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer