Review: Jupiter’s Legacy #1 By Millar And Quitely
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.
The highly anticipated, and much hyped, book from Mark Millar and Frank Quitely comes out this Wednesday. The story is written by Millar with art from Quitely. Peter Doherty joins the duo and provides colors and letters. Jupiter’s Legacy #1 has been described by Millar as an “epic of Lord of the Rings proportions” and his “Star Wars.” That’s some very big talk. Does this issue back that up, or has the hype machine oversold it?
The story shows us a few moments throughout time. We start out before the emergence of superheroes in the early 1930s. A group of young adults, led by Sheldon Sampson, or on a quest to find an island. Sampson has been having dreams about this big, mysterious island. The Great Depression has hit America hard, and he’s convinced that the island holds the key to solving America’s woes. He gathers a group composed of his brother and a few college friends to embark on a voyage to find this elusive island. Something happens we’re not shown just yet, and they all return with costumes and powers. America is changed forever. Flash forward to the present where we meet some of the children of the original group of heroes. They have powers just like their parents, but they’re largely slackers, drug addicts, and all around disappointments. The original heroes are still alive and kicking in 2013. Their powers have given them extended lives on top of everything else. The old guard are having philosophical disagreements more than usual, and the seeds of discontent are being sown.
Millar writes an amazing script. There aren’t a lot of explanations and answers right now, the introductory issue is more about setting the tone and getting some of the pieces in place. We know some of our character’s names and get hints at their powers, but it’s mainly looking at each story set we will be exploring. This is a return to the classic Mark Millar. He stows the ultra-violence, sophomoric dialogue, and graphic language to make a really mature and intriguing story. He draws a lot of parallels to the Great Depression and today’s economic troubles. Millar is using this, and the old and young heroes, to show a clash between the golden age and our modern times. He lays down a lot of symbolism with this issue, and it’s not too hard to pick up. Quitely’s art is top notch. There are only one or two panels where a nose looks weird, but overall it is stunning work. There is one panel that is worth the cover price alone. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s very meta. Doherty uses a more subdued palette to make the whole thing feel as melancholy as it should be.
Bottom Line: Jupiter’s Legacy lives up to the hype and then some. Frank Millar and Frank Quitely have made a mature story populated with interesting characters. Millar has crafted a great first issue populated with some of his signature touches. Jupiter’s Legacy #1 sets up the tone of the series mostly, so it’s hard to judge it just by itself. It’s safe to say that it looks like Jupiter’s Legacy will be one you have to read 5/5
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