Jupiter's Legacy 2 #1 Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Frank Quitely Colors: Sunny Gho Letters: Peter Doherty Publisher: Image
Writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely return to their prequel series of “Jupiter’s Circle” with Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1. In the previous volume, a group of bratty offspring of superheroes decided that they didn’t want to be like their parents. Instead of using their abilities as a force for good, they went another direction to seek their hunger for fame and fortune. What ensued was a staged coup that led to an overthrow and murder of the old guard. Taking control of America and imposing their ideas amongst their subjects to force their agendas and feed their egos.
Fortunately one superhero named Chloe, was able to escape the treason and took it upon herself to rid the country of its oppressors. Along with her boyfriend Hutch and eight year old son Jason, they set out to find the former super-villains for assistance to bring democracy back. A classic story of role reversal.
Right away the comic wastes no time and does a fair job of updating readers old and new, on what has happened recently in the series during the previous volume. Flashbacks are used as well to give readers more context about certain characters. Introducing elements that play a part in future scenes. The story is simple, straight forward, and easy to pick up on. Millar doesn’t throw any subplots or twists to confuse readers, he effectively lays out the groundwork for the narrative moving forward.
Unfortunately that’s where the positives end as far as the writing goes. The idea of an all-powerful family bickering with one another filled with betrayals and backstabbing is always an intriguing one. The comic’s title embraces that with its reference towards the Roman gods. However as typical with any Millar book, the ideas are there but the execution doesn’t resonate with its potential. His theme analysis within his comics are normally one note, black and white, no shades of gray, with no nuances and this opening chapter doesn’t supply anything to suggest a different take.
Another troubling aspect with this issue is its characters aren’t set up in terms of identity or personality. It just quickly introduces numerous characters without establishing any insight into their inner-psyche and doesn’t amount any context as to who they are or where they come from. People who read the first Jupiter’s Legacy will probably understand those characters importance to the narrative but it’ll confuse and turn off new comers. It’s a problem because a first issue should be used to attract fresh eyes. Which may suggest that this comic be better suited to be read as a collection as opposed to a monthly series.
Frank Quitely is a highly praised artist who has worked on some of my favorite series of all time. Particularly with Grant Morrison, such as “All Star Superman” and “New X-Men”. However with those projects it’s the writing that hooked me in and not the art work. Quitely has a strange and awkward style when it comes to depicting people’s faces. They come off as if the characters are suffering from sucking on a sour piece of candy at times, and they often look like clay figures. It’s not as heavily present in this installment with some characters but in other spots it exemplifies my issues with Quitely’s work. However the man has won numerous awards, such as a few Eisner Awards. Which if you aren’t aware, are the equivalent of the Academy Awards for the comic book industry. Frank Quitely’s style just simply isn’t for me but you might differ.
Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 is a demonstration of a typical Mark Millar book, strong ideas met with weak execution. His work is typically praised, i.e. Ultimates, Kick-Ass, and Civil War but when it comes down to personal preference, I’m not a fan. If you appreciate those productions then chances are you’ll appreciate this series’ opening installment. If you found those stories to be too one note, contrived, and lacking subtlety then you’ll find the same problems here. Personally I found nothing in this comic to intrigue me into investing money on the next chapter.
Score: 2 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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