Graphic Novel Review: Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely

Jupiter's LegacyJupiter’s Legacy, Book One by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely

Genre: Superhero

Series: Collecting Jupiter’s Legacy #1-5

Publisher: Image Comics (April 2015)

Author Infomillarworld.tv

Wendy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5

A dream leads Sheldon and his team to an island (headcanon says it’s the island from Lost) where they are bestowed with superhuman abilities. Now called The Utopian, Sheldon brings order to the world with his friends and the growing number of superbeings and their children, but not quite in the way his brother Walter and his son Brandon thinks he should, especially when Utopian refuses to allow the superbeings to become involved in political matters.

Millar wrote one of my favourite Superman stories, Superman: Red Son, where a Superman who really does use all of his powers for good shows just how dangerous benevolence in the hands of a very human god can be. The Utopian/Superman comparisons are obvious–presumably intentionally so. Right down to The Utopian’s insistence on awkward, bumbling alter egos. Millar’s penchant for taking the superhero genre beyond the limitations of Marvel and DC’s canon is evident here, with the added touch of superhero children who don’t care much for their imposed responsibilities or how Utopian treats them. None of the supers care for Utopian’s heavy handed rule so their subsequent mutiny shouldn’t come as a surprise–though I initially felt it was played out too abruptly. I was somewhat disappointed in what then seemed like a glossing over of the resulting new world order, but once the focus firmly shifts to the Utopian’s on-the-run daughter and her family, things really start to get interesting and leave me wanting more.

As I said, this book does not have the limitations of DC and Marvel’s canon universes, so Millar is free to do as he pleases. This means upping the murder-death-kill level of violence (though I appreciate that it is well placed, rather than gratuitous), and the powers displayed seem almost limitless, particularly with Utopian’s offspring.

The series sets up a pending collision as the forces of we-think-we’re-not-evil go up against the forces of sort-of-were-evil-without-realizing-it-but-probably-just-mostly-misunderstood. With the ground work of this Millar’s world established, it was these last few confrontational pages that really drew me in and made me want more and am looking forward to the final five issues of the series. I hope to see what family truly means under these terms and how the innocent people under the ruling party’s thumb are handled. Oh and I’d really love it if we could have a bit more racial diversity in the characters kthx.

66235-new3-5stars

5 Comments on “Graphic Novel Review: Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely”

  1. Everyone has such varied opinions on this. Some of my friends love it and some hate it. If I happen to get hands on it, I may give it a try. One friend and I had a really long discussion about what he didn’t like and he may have dissuaded me a little bit. LOL.

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    • I would be interested in hearing his points of contention, but I suspect I would agree with him. I didn’t much like it until near the end, which is when a graphic novel really either pulls me in or lets me down. Rat Queens held me from start to finish in volume 1. Jupiter’s Legacy? It had elements I liked, elements I was meh on, but then it snagged me with its potential in the last little bit. Enough for me to be willing to see what happens next and then cast my verdict on the series as a whole.

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  2. I neither loved, nor hated this. Red Son is also one of my favorites and Frank Quitely is one of my favorite artists. This could very well be Millar’s purer take on Red Son without the DC baggage. Even the villain is the super genius in this one. Just the brother instead of Lex Luthor.

    For what it is worth, my favorite part of Red Son was how Millar portrayed Lex Luthor.

    Regarding the racial diversity – I’m all for it, but with the origins being a group of friends in the 1920’s it would have been a bit of a stretch.

    Great review, Wendy.

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    • This did very much feel like Red Son without the baggage, which is why I am a bit more lenient on it, and yet hesitant at the same time. I don’t want a rehash of that story, as much as I loved it, but I love the idea of exploring the concept without the DC leash.

      RE: Diversity – there’s always an excuse to justify it :-/ Even if the main group were only white, there are ample opportunities to show other characters of colour, especially considering the number of people — costumed or not — that show up there after.

      Liked by 1 person

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