Jupiter’s Legacy #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Spencer Sampson has dreams. Dreams of a better tomorrow and a salvation for his country, currently on its knees due to economic crash. Dreams of the highest peak of human potential. Dreams of an island where all his questions will be answered and a foundation for the heroes of the future can prosper and thrive, a beacon to humans alike setting an example of humanitarian and egalitarian utopia.
With the help of his lover, brother and a drunken ship’s captain, Sampson will reach his home and build a better life for those who walk the Earth for the many years to come.
Brandon Sampson has goals. Aspiring to polish off free drinks in a VIP area of the most popular clubs in the States. Aspiring to take advantage of groupies who flock to his fame and status and are then directed to the Men’s room to wait for him. Aspiring to hold onto his contracts with Samsung and Omega to earn money by simply having the Sampson brand as a surname instead of using the powers that his genetics gifted him with.
Chloe Sampson has plans. Plans to impress her mother with her unflinching charitable persona and endorsement deals. Plans to finish off a few lines of superhero nose candy and plans to direct her body comfortably towards the ground for some rest and unconsciousness.
Things don’t always go as planned
Goals aren’t always achieved
Dreams are often nonsense
New from Image comics this week is the long awaited return to comics from the creative duo of Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, WE3, The Authority) and Mark Millar (Civil War, Kick-Ass, Wanted). It has arrived in the package of a cynical look at the Superhero genre exploring responsibility of the superhumans and the reality of what children of Golden Age heroes from the stock exchange crash of the 30s would look like in our entitled and ‘cult of celebrity’ modern fall of America times. As you would expect, the children of the proud and altruistic Utopian are douchie, spoiled, ungrateful brats. With the attitudes of the Seven from Garth Ennis’ The Boys, perhaps turned down a few notches and brought to a more realistic perspective, the new wave of children of the mighty who have come before them are more concerned with upcoming television appearances and where the next hit will be.
The dynamic between Spencer Sampson and his brother Walter fades from hopeful and compassionate to a classic argument between heroes as they discuss what approach to human crisis is better taken, whether it be as an interventionist god that sets all the problems of society straight or simply to help guide civilization towards the light and possibly influence their evolution to the great species that they could be. With this debate comes the “with great power comes great responsibility” mindset but what “responsibility” is that exactly? With the first issue of Jupiter’s Legacy we are painted a very clear and promising picture of what type of universe we will be living in this age of powers as developed by the dream creative team.
Mark Millar has never particularly been a favorite of mine and often I find his stories inorganic, delivering shocks and twists that seem forced and eye-rollingly silly. Lately however, for example in his recent Secret Service mini-series with Dave Gibbons I have begun to enjoy more of his work finding that series to be particularly fun and enjoyable. Jupiter’s Children is a story that I feel is a very obvious tale from him and clearly set in a wheelhouse he is comfortable preforming in. I don’t in any way mean to denounce his scripting in this book instead to state that this just seems like familiar territory which isn’t a bad thing at all. In a mere 20 pages Millar manages to squeeze a lot of world building and character set-up in without feeling rushed or wasting a single page. We see the rise of the Golden Age heroes, their offspring and the inevitable downfall of the team dynamic in a jaded world not to mention an insanely entertaining super villain fight that was exciting and really funny. Ultimately, you can tell you are reading a Millar Superhero comic as his cynical, Ironic voice shines through quite clearly through the pages of the self-proclaimed “Greatest Superhero Epic of this Generation”… *Que over-the-top eyeroll.
The main reason to pick up this book is by far Frank Quitely’s incredible interiors. No one else can really draw detail like Quitely and he manages to make the abundance of talking heads in the book interesting and insanely beautiful. A simple panel showing a distant empty island is gorgeous and moments like that throughout Jupiter’s Legacy make it one of best looking books so far this year. His depictions of typical cape fisticuffs is the high point of the book for me as the Utopian and his followers pummel an alien with an anti-matter battery in his chest all the while trapping the monster in a psychic painting to separate his mind from his body. Stylistically, Quitely & Millar are a perfect fit for this book as the facetious tone of Millar is complimented through the lens of Quitely’s unique pencil work. Frank Quitely is one of the best living artists in comics and with the first instalment of Jupiter’s Legacy he continues to prove it.
Jupiter’s Legacy is definitely a comic worth picking up if for the art alone but also for an interesting family drama that will obviously explode into something far bigger with its continuation. Simply heed the words of the ever modest Mark Millar, “…This is your big superhero summer event and you don’t need to buy a lot of crap tie-ins to enjoy it. It’s bloody great!”. I may hate to admit it but I don’t necessarily disagree.
Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
Follow him on twitter @Ghost_Factory
Listen to his music www.ghostfactorymusic.com