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Jupiter’s Legacy # 3 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

Once again, Mark Millar has shared with us an insightful interpretation of the superhero genre. In a previous chapter we saw how the Utopian and the other superheroes saved the United States and inspired the American people. 

But decades later, the great nation is no longer defined by altruism but rather by corporate greed. A financial crisis is imminent; unemployment rates are increasing, people are getting evicted from their houses, unable to pay for their mortgages (just as it happened in real life in 2008, after the collapse of the subprime market). In this scenario, what’s the real duty of the hero? To capture a robber? To maintain the order? Or to undermine the old values and propose a new way of life, a fresh structure for a brand-new society?

This chapter begins with a classic nod to Superman. If we remember John Byrne’s legendary run in Superman, we will remember a specific scene in which the Man of Steel is interviewed by Lois Lane (a similar scene takes place in Superman’s first movie). Lois Lane, surprised, asks “How did you know where do I live?”. And Kal El, confident and gracefully, replies “Oh Ms. Lane, I know where everyone lives”. Following the same premises, the Utopian talks with his daughter’s boyfriend. Surprised, the young man asks the veteran hero how he found his private cell number. And the Utopian answers, proudly and kindly, “I know everyone’s number”.
Jupiter’s Legacy # 3 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
The Utopian's wife is murdered / la esposa de Utopian es asesinada

Millar had already turned the Utopian into a messianic figure, a savior, a true successor of the Superman mythos. Here, the Utopian is the world’s most altruistic, noble and generous man. And it’s precisely those virtues which provoke his downfall. When an asteroid is about to collide against Earth, the Utopian calls every superhero in the planet to get help but no one answers. Alone, he flies; and thanks to his unbelievable strength he destroys the asteroid, but he also detonates the nuclear devices hidden within. He has been ambushed. And while he’s weakened by the explosions he is attacked by the same superheroes he had trusted for years. The world’s greatest hero is massacred, and the one who delivers the last fatal blow is his own son, Brandon. 

But parricide isn’t the only crime here. Walter, Brandon’s new mentor, has decided to exterminate the Utopian’s family: he brutally kills his wife and tries to do the same with his daughter. But she manages to escape thanks to her boyfriend, the same young man that had been talking with the Utopian in the initial pages.

Frank Quitely’s art is amazing. From the richly detailed cover (the beaten up face of the Utopian is absolutely breathtaking), to the fighting sequences and the violent outcome of struggles that involve all sorts of super powers and weapons. The final splash page is also quite impressive, and it is thematically connected to the cover. Extraordinary images. 
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Jupiter’s Legacy # 3 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
The final ambush / la emboscada final

Una vez más, Mark Millar ha compartido con nosotros una lúcida interpretación del género superheroico. En un capítulo previo, vimos cómo Utopian y otros superhéroes salvaron a Estados Unidos e inspiraron al pueblo norteamericano.

Pero décadas después, la gran nación ya no es definida por el altruismo sino más bien por la codicia corporativa. Una crisis financiera es inminente; la tasa de desempleo se ha incrementado, la gente está siendo desalojada de sus casas, incapaces de pagar por sus hipotecas (tal como sucedió en la vida real, en el 2008, luego del colapso del mercado subprime). En este escenario, ¿cuál es el verdadero deber del héroe? ¿Capturar ladrones? ¿Mantener el orden? ¿O socavar los viejos valores y proponer una nueva forma de vida, una estructura fresca para una sociedad moderna?

Este capítulo empieza con una clásica referencia a Superman. Si es que recordamos la legendaria etapa de John Byrne en Superman, recordaremos una escena específica en la que el Hombre de Acero es entrevistado por Lois Lane (hay una escena similar en la primera película de Superman). Lois Lane, sorprendida, pregunta “¿Cómo sabías dónde vivo?”. Y Kal El, asertivo y con gracia, responde “Oh Ms. Lane, sé dónde vive todo el mundo”. Siguiendo las mismas premisas, Utopian habla con el enamorado de su hija. Sorprendido, el joven le pregunta al veterano héroe cómo encontró su número privado. Y Utopian contesta, orgullosa y amablemente “Sé el número de todo el mundo”.

Jupiter’s Legacy # 3 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Brandon betrays his father, the Utopian /
Brandon traiciona a su padre, Utopian
Millar ya había convertido a Utopian en una figura mesiánica, un salvador, un verdadero sucesor del mito del superhombre. Utopian es el hombre más altruista y noble del mundo. Y son precisamente esas virtudes las que provocan su caída. Cuando un asteroide está a punto de chocar contra la Tierra, Utopian llama a todos los superhéroes del planeta para conseguir ayuda pero nadie responde. Él vuela solo; y gracias a su increíble fuerza, destruye el asteroide, pero también detona los artefactos nucleares ocultos en su interior. Y mientras es debilitado por las explosiones, es atacado por los mismos superhéroes en los que había confiado por años. El más grande héroe del mundo es masacrado, y quien asesta el último golpe es su propio hijo, Brandon. 

Pero el parricidio no será el único crimen. Walter, el nuevo mentor de Brandon, ha decidido exterminar a la familia de Utopian: mata brutalmente a su esposa e intenta hacer lo mismo con su hija. Pero ella consigue escapar gracias a su enamorado, el mismo joven que había estado conversando con Utopian en las páginas iniciales.

El arte de Frank Quitely es asombroso. Desde la portada rica en detalles (el rostro golpeado de Utopian nos deja sin aliento), hasta las secuencias de pelea y el desenlace violento de luchas que involucran todo tipo de súper poderes y armas. La página final es también bastante impresionante, y está conectada temáticamente a la portada. Imágenes extraordinarias. 
Jupiter’s Legacy # 3 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely
Walter & Brandon: Earth's new rulers / Walter y Brandon: los nuevos amos de la Tierra

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/11/jupiters-legacy-3-mark-millar-frank.html


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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 -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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