Group Review: Jupiter’s Legacy #1

Welcome to the first of two group reviews this week. If you're unfamiliar with our previous group reviews, its where the different writers of Comic Bastards weigh in on a comic and score it with a Buy, Borrow or Pass. We'll leave the synopsis to Image.

From Image: The comic-book event of 2013 finally arrives as superstar creators MARK MILLAR and FRANK QUITELY give us the superhero epic that all future comics will be measured by. The world's greatest heroes have grown old and their legacy is a poisonous one to the children who will never live up to their remarkable parents. Unmissable.

Samantha: Buy

Expectations from parents… tough to live up too. Expectations from superhero parents… might as well become a villain. Jupiter’s Legacy gives us a look into superheroes if they were living in our time. It is a great example of how 20 year old superheroes would become celebrities trying to throw money at charities instead of doing actual work for a good cause. The children superheroes are lazy, drug addicts, and are SO over the whole saving the planet idea. This leads to their parents doing all the work and leading to disappointment throughout the whole clan. This review is making the comic sound like a soap opera but believe me the drama is a good read and will only lead to some dynamic characters with an up-to-date twist on superheroes.  This comic could be titled Incredibles 2.

Steve : Buy

I love how Quitely’s art (of which I, with probably everyone else, have been a huge fan for a while now) begins by giving the feeling of an Indiana Jones story, seasoned with elements of everything from Captain Marvel to King Kong. It then shifts, quickly but not jarringly, into something closer to Kingdom Come, or like a grown-up Incredibles, and I like how Millar has structured the self-destructive, detached and hedonistic ways of the next generation of heroes, not as outright villains, but rather slacktivists and posers. The fight scene between the now older brigade of mysteriously power-enhanced superheroes and a villain named Blackstar is both disturbing and telling, as is its aftermath and the discussion that arises between the heroes regarding the right vs. the responsibility of ruling America. I personally think that, while it comes across as a bit well-worn and preachy at points, Mark Millar’s proficiency here is at the upswing. When combined with Quitely’s aforementioned ability to draw the absolute shit out of comic books, I give this book a very strong buy. I really do believe that this is the first in what I think will prove to be a series well worth its long awaited arrival on the stands.

Sergio: Borrow

Jupiter's legacy was a title that I had been looking forward to but found myself wanting to like it more that I actually liked it. There was a lot of story packed into just 22 pages and gave me a feeling that everything about it had been rushed. I'm curious to see how the three conflicts that were introduced will pan out in a few issues once the title gets in its stride. Brandon being an egotistical prick whose bored with being a super hero, Sheldon and Walter's conflict about how super heroes should act and what they should defend is going to be interesting although it felt very Professor X vs. Magneto, and Chloe's addiction to fame, amongst other things, would all make for amazing stories just not all at once as they were presented here, but what do I know? I'm sure Millar had a reason for setting it up the way that he did.

Frank Quitely's art was my favorite attribute to this issue. Along with Peter Doherty's colors, I felt that it gave the story a very realistic look and feel which was perfect seeing as how the main plot takes place in present time.

Overall I'm going to stick it out for a few more issues and not give up on Jupiter's Legacy right away. Over the next few issues I'm sure that my "borrow" will upgrade to a "buy" once a little more back story is given and the story isn't so cluttered.

Ed: Buy

When two megastar names like Mark Millar and Frank Quitely are attached to a brand new creator owned project you needn’t say anything more to generate hype and, regardless of whatever you think of their past work, such a team up demands attention. Can Jupiter’s Legacy possibly live up to that kind of hype? On the evidence of this issue, I would say yes.

Millar has avoided the purposeless courting of controversy that’s become cliché for his work in recent years and focused on scripting a comic that’s more cerebral than sensationalist, though there’s still a helping of the brutality we’ve all come to expect from him. With allusions to the financial crises of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and its intention to explore some worthy ideas openly declared in the first eleven pages, this has the feel of a timely and intriguing series.

Quitely’s art is as beautiful as ever with his intense, crinkly line as well as his mastery of anatomy and perspective in full effect. While Quitely is clearly relishing the deadline-free working conditions that a creator owned project allows, we can only hope that he’s drawn enough pages in advance to keep the comic ticking over at a fairly regular basis, given his history of delays on past projects.

It would be very easy to get carried away and praise Jupiter’s Legacy #1 to the high heavens but after the disappointment I’ve experienced with some previous Millar projects that got off to a good start I would advise readers to keep their expectations in check. That said, if the remainder of the series is half as good as this first issue promises it to be then it will still be better than most of the other superhero stories on the shelves.

Dustin: Pass

I’m giving this a pass because I really think it’s just for fans of Mark Millar or for people that have never read Millar’s work previously. I’ve had the blinders off on his work for a while now and they all have the same general vibe, which is “the world is shitty and I’m going to add that realism to your comic books.” It was fun with things like Ultimate X-Men and Wanted, but now it’s grown tiresome.

At its core this is Millar’s take on the superhero world after they went grim and dark. The golden age has disappeared and now a new generation has taken over. It really came across more as a metaphor for the entire comic industry, which could have been cool if he hadn’t added his typical creative flair to it. Also the dialog could have been toned down. As Millar develops as a writer he continues to lean more towards the Chris Claremont school of thought in which everyone talks way too much.

Quietly’s art is great, but I don’t know if I’m really curious enough about this issue to come back for the second issue.

Connor: Buy

This book ventures away from what Mark Millar normally writes. There isn't the violence and the foul language, probably why it’s an Image title and not Millarworld. The story is quite simple: what should heroes do to help the world. I do worry it may get all social commentary, they can easily go wrong.

Frank Quitely took care of art, he gives uncanny detail to hair and rumples in clothes but it all does look quite nice. This has done what an issue one should do, pique my interest in that I want to know what will happen next. Give it a go, it's different Millar (although you can tell it’s him), I hope he can pull it off.

Well there you have it; even though it seems to be a mixed bag, the "buys" have it.

Writer: Mark Millar

Artist: Frank Quitely

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $2.99

Release Date: 4/24/13