Jupiter's Legacy Vol: 1 Review - A Dirty Ménage à Trois Between Watchmen, Marvels, and Astro City
• Get It Now From Comixology
If you're a fan of comics or have been reading comics for any length of time you know of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen. You've also probably read Alex Ross's and Kurt Busiek's Marvels.
Those are seminal stories that are broadly known for presenting the idea of Superheroes existing as they would in the real world. The grounded nature and retro vibe of Jupiters Legacy reminded me of those classic works. I also picked up a bit of Astro City thrown in. I don't believe that Jupiter's Legacy is as sharp as any of the aforementioned series but I totally get the appeal here and why it's been picked up by Netflix.
The book follows a group of superheroes known as The Union (think Justice League). The story is set during the 50's/60s. Each issue spotlights the team as they take on villainy as well as their personal issues which always appear to be one step away from breaking them apart. Issues of homosexuality, drug abuse, adultery permeate the series. Although none of this is new ground or particularly edgy in 2021 Mark Millar is still Mark Millar so the concept still manages to be interesting.
Jupiter's Legacy would have been a groundbreaking series about two decades ago but now it's just another in a long line of Superhero deconstructions. The book will make a solid Netflix series when it debuts. I'm looking forward to the episode that features J. Edger Hoover and I hope against hope they can get Leonardo Dicaprio to revisit the role.
The art is light in tone and the art direction is similar to what you'd get from Darwyn Cooke. There's an innocent retro style that carries throughout the series which is a sharp contrast to the fuckery that we get throughout this volume. I like the designs of the characters but it's nothing we haven't seen before in regards to art direction either. Overall this feels like Mark's take on Watchmen than anything else.
I feel like Jupiter's Legacy was a series carefully crafted for television. Although it never feels like the most original story or concept It is functional. The story also has the potential to innovate the "Heroes in The Real World" concept as it goes on. The series isn't bad and has a lot of drama to keep fans interested. The series is just not a must-read material, at least not in this volume.