Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 is part heartfelt family story as Chloe (the daughter of the now dead world’s greatest hero Utopian), Hutch (the son of his greatest foe), their extremely powerful son Jason, and a host of blink and miss cameos battle a superpowered dictatorship helmed by Walter Sampson (Utopian’s brother) and Brandon Sampson (Utopian’s son). Mark Millar’s writing is uneven as he quickly introduces a whole new cast of heroes and villains (Including a lesbian superhero with the Atom’s powers), a chase scene with a connection to Jupiter’s Circle (The prequel to Jupiter’s Legacy), and smaller scenes with protagonists and antagonists planning and bonding.
The comic opens with a heartfelt scene of Hutch and Jason watching cartoons and talking about old school superheroes showing that the nostalgic streak that has pervaded Millar’s recent work, like Starlight, Huck, and even parts of Jupiter’s Circle is still going strong. But Millar and artist Frank Quitely don’t let the scene breathe and immediately cut to an unknown supervillain, who is getting rescued by Hutch without letting the rescuee even get introduced until much later. This fast paced movie trailer style of storytelling leaves little time for any character beats to land as Millar and Quitely keep cutting to new characters, who have visually sharp designs, but have almost no time to establish them beyond their powers.
For example, Raikou is the katana wielding superheroine on the cover of Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1, but her connection to Walter and Hutch’s factions isn’t fleshed out except that Jason wants to attack her to get yet another supervillain on their team. We find out that she’s from Saudi Arabia, and that they pay her a lot of money to protect the country, but she is only a cipher in an upcoming action sequence and doesn’t get much in the way of personality even though she gets a badass ninja outfit. Her inclusion in the issue seems strange as maybe Saudi Arabia would be interested in teaming up against the tyrannical superhero-run U.S. government, which murdered some of the greatest superheroes ever in the last volume of Jupiter’s Legacy and is holding many others in Supermax without due process. Millar dabbles in international politics, but doesn’t really dig deep even compared to some of his earlier works like Ultimates and Civil War.
Any time, Chloe, Jason, and Hutch are involved in a sequence, Millar, Quitely, and colorist Sunny Gho shine, especially in a riveting sequence where Hutch eludes Walter’s soldiers, charges his power rod, and rescues the supervillain Tornado. Quitely makes the basically cliched nine panel grid lively and active putting Hutch constantly in motion with Gho using pure white light to attract the reader’s eye to his quick movements. And Quitely doesn’t use a basic punching motion, but channels his inner Tony Harris on Starman and has Hutch fly around the page. It seems like a scene tailor made for Matthew Vaughn in a probable Jupiters Legacy film. Chloe gets to be part of a high speed, sub-atomic chase/heist that hasty introductions of new characters aside, has a real Justin Lin in Fast and Furious quality to it as Gho’s sleek purple and reds add an air of rebellion to her actions. We only get to see the end of the heist Reservoir Dogs style, but Millar and Quitely give Chloe and her pals attitude combined with actual competence in their powers that begs for a longer sequence featuring them.
Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 has a few promising scenes, and Hutch steals every panel he is in with a quick wit courtesy of writer Mark Millar and represents hopeful nostalgia in the face of authoritarianism as he flat out rocks his father’s Skyfox costume. (Yet another Jupiter’s Circle reference.) However, these scenes make more of an extended montage than a plot, and hopefully later issues in the series are more coherent. Frank Quitely is still one of the best artists in comics and opts for a rougher pencilling style than his sleeker work on All-Star Superman to emphasize the heroes’ feet of clay while colorist Sunny Gho throws in some more garish colors to spice up the action scenes.
Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 has a couple likable characters, some fun set pieces, and continues Millar’s hopeful throughline of nostalgia triumphing over tyranny, but it is still a pretty shaky debut with a veritable toy box of characters bursting forth by the time the final cliffhanger happens.
Story: Mark Millar Art: Frank Quitely Colors: Sunny Gho
Story: 6 Art: 8 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review