Thursday, June 30, 2016 • Midnight Edition • "Resistance is futile."

Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

Written by Arion on Tuesday, August 20 2013 and posted in Blog
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
The superhero genre usually follows established rules. The approach, most of the time, tends to be Manichean. Ideologies are caricaturized or simply ignored. In order to portray a fictitious world of muscled heroes the writer must participate in a “brawn versus brain” battle. In most mainstream works, usually the brawn wins; in other words, the physical confrontation, the “strong versus stronger” dynamics are essential.

Very rarely do we find stories conceived with a different notion. Mark Millar has introduced a number of elements into his narrative that defy the typical reductionism of superhero scribes. In the previous issue we saw how a group of superheroes helped and inspired Americans during the great financial depression. But we are no longer in the 30s, and economic troubles are now more important than the predictable fisticuffs with old villains.

For Walter, brother of the Utopian, this is quite clear: the economic infrastructure must change, the unemployment rate must be diminished, it’s time to “get your head around a post-capitalist ideology”. When he tries to explain his ideas in the White House, he’s stopped by the Utopian. This crisis cannot be averted by superhumans, and only the government can take care of it. Walter and his brother argue. Perhaps this is a not so subtle clash between values and traditions, between opposing ideologies, but it’s also a triumph. Brains over brawn, after all.  

Walter also appears on Frank Quitely’s magnificent cover. Holding a transparent cube, he gazes into the horizon, contemplatively, silently. Quitely gives us a wrinkled face that is the map of an entire life. And like an impossible photography of a man that doesn’t exist, this honest expression makes us realize that everything about this character is true: his determination, his ideology, his fortitude.
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Utopian’s daughter / la hija de Utopian

Quitely’s interior pages are also a delight. From the mayhem provoked by Chloe, the Utopian’s daughter, after she finds out she’s pregnant to her sexual rendezvous with the son of Earth’s most infamous super-villain. 

The final page is iconic and dramatic, there we see Walter talking with Brandon, the Utopian’s son, “the old have really no more wisdom than the young. We’re just ugly enough to look wise and not so driven by our genitalia” says the old man. But in Quitely’s hands, even ugliness and sordidness are turned into a visual feast that must be devoured by ravenous eyes and minds that hunger for good art. What a delicious second issue.    
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
A hero’s daughter and a villain’s son / la hija de un héroe y el hijo de un villano
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Utopian’s son / el hijo de Utopian

El género súper-heroico usualmente sigue reglas establecidas. El enfoque, la mayoría de las veces, tiende a ser maniqueo. Las ideologías son caricaturizadas o simplemente ignoradas. Para retratar un mundo ficticio de héroes musculosos el escritor debe participar en una batalla de “cerebro versus músculos”. En los trabajos de mayor difusión, usualmente gana el músculo; en otras palabras, la confrontación física, la dinámica de "el fuerte versus el más fuerte" son esenciales.

Rara vez encontramos historias concebidas bajo una noción diferente. Mark Millar ha introducido varios elementos en su narrativa que desafían el típico reduccionismo de los escribas de superhéroes. En el número anterior, vimos cómo un grupo de superhéroes ayudó e inspiró a los estadounidenses durante la gran depresión financiera. Pero ya no estamos en los años 30, y los problemas económicos ahora son  más importantes que los predecibles pleitos con viejos villanos.

Para Walter, el hermano de Utopian, esto es bastante claro: la infraestructura económica debe cambiar, la tasa de desempleo debe disminuir, es hora "de pensar en una ideología post-capitalista". Cuando intenta explicar sus ideas en la Casa Blanca, es detenido por Utopian. Esta crisis no puede ser combatida por los  superhumanos, y sólo el gobierno puede encargarse de ella. Walter y su hermano discuten. Tal vez este es un choque no tan sutil entre valores y tradiciones, entre ideologías opuestas, pero también es un triunfo. El cerebro le gana a los músculos, después de todo.
Jupiter’s Legacy # 2 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Walter & Brandon

Walter también aparece en la magnífica portada de Frank Quitely. Sostiene un cubo transparente, su mirada se pierde en el horizonte, contemplativamente, silenciosamente. Quitely nos da un rostro arrugado que es el mapa de toda una vida. Y como la fotografía imposible de un hombre que no existe, esta honesta expresión hace que nos demos cuenta de que todo en este personaje es verdadero: su determinación, su ideología, su fortaleza.

Las páginas interiores de Quitely también son una exquisitez. Desde el pandemonio provocado por Chloe, la hija de Utopian, después de enterarse de que está embarazada hasta su encuentro sexual con el hijo del más infame supervillano de la Tierra. 

La página final es icónica y dramática, allí vemos a Walter hablando con Brandon, el hijo de Utopian, "los viejos realmente  no tienen más sabiduría que los jóvenes. Sólo somos lo suficientemente feos para vernos sabios y no estamos tan dominados por nuestros genitales", afirma el viejo. Pero en las manos de Quitely, incluso la fealdad y la sordidez se convierten en un festín visual que debe ser devorado por ojos voraces y mentes hambrientas de buen arte. Qué delicia de segundo número.

Originally Published at

Support our sponsors:

Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


More articles from Arion
The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!