Posted April 26, 2013 by Chris Romero in Comics

Review: Jupiter’s Legacy #1

Jupiter’s Legacy #1

Writer: Mark Millar

Artists: Frank Quitely and Peter Doherty (colors)

Publisher: Image Comics

Jupiter's Legacy © Image Comics

Jupiter’s Legacy © Image Comics

When was the last time you saw a group of borderline elderly heroes bashing a villain to submission? Can’t remember, can you? Well, the premiere issue of Image Comics’ mini-series Jupiter’s Legacy has just that, along with enough sibling rivalry and self-pity to make your family look normal. Ok, semi-normal, if your family is anything like mine. Featured on our Top 10 Most Anticipated Titles of 2013, Jupiter’s Legacy debuted this past week, exploring the heroes of yesterday and today. 

Writer Mark Millar has teamed up with artist Frank Quitely to bring us Jupiter’s Legacy, a series about the spoiled and lazy children of iconic superheroes who have less initiative than me on a Friday night after a couple beers. Millar’s story pits two distinct world-visions and approaches toward a changing modern world; one that’s plagued with vanity and superficiality versus one that puts other people before self-indulgence. The former is the world of Chloe and Brandon Sampson, children of grey-bearded national superhero Sheldon Sampson. Sheldon’s more patriotic than all of G.I. Joe combined, but he’s finding himself lost among a population whose ambitions lie not with patriotism and achieving high-moral ground, but rather with cheap drugs, club-life, and going viral. Beginning with Black Tuesday, the American stock market crashed in 1929, leaving millions of Americans without the financial means to put food on the table. This pivotal moment in history is where Millar begins his story, as Sheldon sets sail to discover an island which appeared only in his dreams. Some of his closest buddies, along with his brother Walter, followed, leading them to become the country’s national treasure of superheroes for decades to come.

Millar transitions his story well, taking us from 1928 to the Los Angeles of today. His use of character dialogue clearly identifies a stark contrast between doing right for the sake of serving the country, and doing right for the sake of building your brand. It’s an interesting battle of values that we don’t see too much of in comics, or in many forms of media for that matter. The book’s premises allows us to focus on where our respective countries are headed, both economically and socially, as well as examine who we are as people. These contrasting elements make Jupiter’s Legacy a fun and thought-provoking read. It will definitely be interesting to see which side prevails: the old-fashioned do-gooders or the new wave of self-gratifying youngins.

Sheldon Sampson © Image Comics

Sheldon Sampson © Image Comics

Millar also provides just enough details about Sheldon’s children, giving us a glimpse of their character and role in the story. We see Brandon is a stereotypical bored rich kid right, right out of the Kardashian show (sorry for the dig, but really), who’s looking to boost his public profile in an age where the world’s “best villains” have died. Chloe makes some remarks about her parents that demonstrates her admiration for them, but how she applies their lifelong mission as public servants to herself remains to be seen.

Quitely is at the top of his game in this book. His characters each have a unique and appealing distinction about them, and he does a fine job capitalizing on the hip factor of the cool kids. If only I could be a cool kid.

Jupiter’s Legacy #1 is off to a hot start with a lot of promise to be one of the best mini-series of the year. We’ll have to wait to see if it’ll be worthy of such praise, but Millar and Quitely have collaborated to make an entertaining debut issue.

Rating: Returned/Resisted/Recommended/Required

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Written by Chris Romero

Chris Romero

Chris is a staff writer for Geeks Unleashed. Hit him up on twitter: (@romesGU)