Jupiter’s Legacy #1
Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by Frank Quitely
Colored by Peter Doherty
Lettered by Peter Doherty
Covers by Frank Quitely, Bryan Hitch, Dave Johnson, Phil Noto, J. Scott Campbell, and Christian Ward
Release Date: April 24, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
In issue #1 of Image Comics’ new series Jupiter’s Legacy, written by famed comic book creator Mark Millar and illustrated by Frank Quitely, we explore the idea that all nations, no matter how powerful or advanced they may be, will eventually be in need of heroes — saviors providing inspiration and a way out of poverty and destruction. Still, will this necessity always be enough in order to institute change?
Before the Great Depression, Sheldon was a big shot. He had everything: money, power, and a beautiful fiancée. Once the stock market crashed, he lost it all. One fateful night after that, Sheldon has a dream. An Island that no man has heard of in thousands of years speaks to him. It tells him to gather a specific group of people, find the island, and then bring back whatever they might discover there to serve as a saving grace for America. His dream is so real — so vivid — that he is compelled to act upon it.
The group ventures out and when they return from the island, they now suddenly possess superpowers and begin wearing costumes. In the same way that king and sky god Jupiter once protected Italy and the empire of Rome, this league helps make a once powerful nation rise to its full potential again in the years to come. Decades pass, the heroes continue to protect America and their children — also exhibiting powers — are called to the same line of duty; however, the children, living in the 21st century, don’t necessarily want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Living decadent, selfish lives filled with sex, drugs, and fame, new heroes rebel against old ways, and old heroes bicker and debate over new solutions to save a dying country.
I like some of Mark Millar’s writing. I absolutely loved his work on The Ultimates, Civil War, and Wanted. I haven’t been as keen about his creator-owned series’; and I did not really enjoy Jupiter’s Legacy #1. Don’t get me wrong, the first issue of the series was not all bad; I was rooting for the heroes in the beginning and the initial concept is really neat. His writing, however, comes off as pretentious and the story is too nihilistic and pessimistic for my liking. This feels like a handout I might receive at a political rally, promoting a person’s opinions on the state of the world in the guise of superheroes. The writing and word usage fails to relate to the average reader. I was expecting to see more of a clash between the ideologies of the young heroes and the original heroes, but when even the seasoned protectors see no hope, it leaves me with an empty, depressed feeling.
Frank Quitely’s art, on the other hand, shines. I was impressed by his use of drab, bland colors to associate with the times of the Great Depression and then vibrant, fast colors for 2013. His character expressions and placement are accurately depicted.
I can say that if you enjoy Mark Millar’s recent work, you will probably like Jupiter’s Legacy #1. It was too hopeless for me, though, and lacks the friction and interaction that I wanted to see between the two generations. For these reasons, I cannot recommend the book.