I’m sure everyone was looking forward to this comic. Mark Millar doing a massive superhero story once more, and he’s joined by none other than Frank Fucking Quitely. How could it not be great? Well, the artwork is of course up to Quitely’s usual high standards (I know some people don’t like his work, but quite frankly, those people are idiots), this is a beautiful looking comic and I’m looking forward to poring over it in the coming weeks before #2 comes out. As for the story itself, it’s promising, but it’s not all there yet for me. We open in 1932, as a group of intrepid explorers are searching for a mysterious island that their leader believes will help them save America from it’s economic and social woes. They find the island, and for unexplained reasons, become superheroes. Jump cut to the present day and these superheroes are still around, but the real trouble is with their ne’er-do-well children, who are more interested in making money and fucking around than saving the world.
It’s an interesting high concept, as Millar’s creator-owned work always is, but so far we’re only at the introductory stage, and not much more than scene-setting has taken place at this point. There are some very interesting bits here and there, the argument between Utopian (the Superman analogue) and his brother was very good, and kind of a summation of the last 20 years of superhero discourse, should they interfere in the real world? Millar and Quitely’s last collaboration in The Authority featured heroes that most definitely did interfere, will they do so here? Just like in The Authority, Millar does really well at exploring the idea of superheroes as celebrities and interestingly, showing how America is just as fucked now as it was in 1929.
But I still think the real story of Jupiter’s Legacy won’t start until #2. Do we know how long this series is going to run? I thought I heard 4 issues at one point, but I’m not sure if that’s right. I think this world is rich enough to warrant maybe 12 issues if Quitely can do that. One thing that stood out to me was how much this comic seems like Millar’s love letter to superheroes as a whole, the whole ‘summit of American aspiration’ thing, it’s powerful stuff, and much more earnest than the normally cynical Millar. His last earnest comic was the wonderful Superior, I hope this can be as good as that, it already looks as good.