Review: Jupiter’s Legacy #2, Lazarus #1 and Satellite Sam #1

Jupiter’s Legacy #2

juplegacy02_coverAThe comic book event of 2013 continues as the schism between the superheroes widens and a plot to unseat the greatest hero of them all emerges. I dove into the first issue of the new Mark Millar series expecting his more recent brand of storytelling, over the top violence and moments that make you wince. Instead I found a mature title that’s understated and muted compared to his other recent work. The first issue was really solid, though not great. The second issue though, is getting more towards that “great” territory.

Following up on the various characters we met in the first issue we get a better look at the heroes and their kids and what ails them. Millar drives further into the twisted psyche and lives these “heroes” live and it’s definitely not rosy. The next generation of heroes are pretty broken and definitely not living up to the standard set forth by their parents. And as we learn more about their powers and personalities, how they lash out should get pretty interesting.

But, things aren’t great with the first generation of heroes either. Dissension exists and animosity that’s been brewing over the years looks like it’ll finally spill over. And if those final pages are what’s to come, that meltdown will be epic and entertaining to follow.

Of course, it’s not just Millar’s writing, Frank Quitely provides the art, which is as solid as you’d expect. It’s great stuff to look at, with characters looking different and each having their own style.

The second issue improves on the first, setting up a superhero story that seems like it’ll be pretty epic.

Story: Mark Millar Art: Frank Quitely
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Lazarus #1

lazarus01_coverIn a dystopian near-future, government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and possession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family’s holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever’s day goes downhill from there….

I love Greg Rucka’s writing, I usually gush over it. While Lazarus‘ writing is solid in the first issue, the plot and pacing is the problem. A lot is set up in this first issue. We’re introduced to this strange world, sort of explained the rules of the world and given a bit of the long term plot. There’s a lot to pack in there with sequences that are fantastic. But, there’s so much crammed in, I felt like I didn’t get enough of each bit. It was too much, too quick, with not enough explanation.

That’s the thing that I go back and forth about this first issue. Each part is very cool separately, but together it feels like too much with too little detail and the issue would have benefited from decompressing it a bit and explaining more. Never thought I’d say that. There’s some pages in the back that talks about Rucka and Lark’s collaboration, those would have been better used as an over-sized issue with more comic.

The art by Michael Lark is pretty solid. There’s something familiar about the world, but still it’s a futuristic world where you can’t quite tell how messed up it is. The mystery is continued through the art, which is cool.

Overall, the first issue is good, but not great. This might be a first arc that’s better to read as a trade than individual issues.

Story: Greg Rucka Art: Michael Lark
Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Satellite Sam #1

satellite same #1 coverSEX – DEATH – LIVE TV!
NEW YORK CITY, 1951: The star of beloved daily television serial “Satellite Sam” turns up dead in a flophouse filled with dirty secrets. The police think it was death by natural causes but his son knows there was something more? if only he could sober up long enough to do something about it. This noir mystery shot through with sex and violence exposes the seedy underbelly of the golden age of television.

I’ve said it numerous times, but I love a good crime/noir mystery. There’s some attraction to me about the idea of dames, detectives and investigators and throw it during a time period that can be a character itself and you’ve got a great combination and fun entertaining story.

Here writer Matt Fraction goes the crime story route, something I don’t think I’ve seen him do. And, not knowing what to expect this totally caught me off guard. The first issue is all set-up and you leave the end wanting to go back and see who the suspects are and try to figure out the motivation. This is a hard-boiled detective/whodunnit that exudes fun.

That’s helped in part by the art of Howard Chaykin who brings his unique art style which seems well suited for a story of this type. He draws the “dames” exactly as you’d expect with a hint of danger and sexiness.

Then there’s the backdrop of the fledgling television industry, which brings a political aspect that makes the set up even more intriguing.

The comic comes out July 3rd and it’s easily one of my top picks for the week.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Howard Chaykin
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review