COMIC REVIEW: Jupiter’s Legacy Issue 2

When Jupiter’s Legacy was released last month, it had a lot of expectation riding on it. The creative consisted of possibly the most mainstream appealing comic writer since Stan Lee, Mark Millar, and arguably the best comic artist in the business at the moment – Frank Quietly.

Issue One, although not highly inventive or original, provided the reader with an intriguing plot that felt closer to Millar’s earlier work (Superman: Red Son and The Ultimates) than his later creator-owned affairs, providing an albeit familiar yet epic feel to it. Issue Two continues in a similar vein.

 

 

 

Jupiter’s Legacy has often been cited by Millar as the book he has wanted to write for years, but only now he has the ability to do just that. I think that this argument shows Millar’s intelligence. It is not that he did not have the ability to write something as epic as this in the past (as stated, Red Son and The Ultimates is proof of this), it is simply that he now has the audience to do so.

With his very shrewd marketing ability, and through books such as Kick-Ass and Nemesis, Millar has become a voice of a generation who are now willing to buy anything with his name on it. For the fans of his later work, they might be disappointed. Millar does not let his extreme sensationalism that has often clouded his later work take over here. Instead we get a grounded, realistic interpretation of what would happen if superheroes existed in our world and were trying to deal with the economic crisis. The intriguing brother feud over what is the right thing to do (let government sort the problem as they were voted in or step in and fix the mess) reminds me of Xavier and Magneto’s many classic war of words.

Millar’s lack of big explosions and shocks is a refreshing change of pace that allows this story to build to be far more than just a quick scrap every other page before the final cliffhanger. Further, Millar’s disenfranchised youths through Brandon and Chloe are cleverly portrayed, mirroring many people’s obsession with being famous. However, there are moments where the dialogue feels slightly out-of-place.

Quietly’s artwork is absolutely stunning. Crisp, clean and a keen eye for storytelling, his art is made even more enjoyable by Peter Doherty. His use of darker, gloomy blues to illustrate the sea and the night juxtapose perfectly with Chloe’s hospital scene. Further, his lettering in the hospital scene really adds that extra punch to give the scene even more gravitas.

Yet the major flaw with this book is that we have seen this all done before. Watchmen started the trend of deconstructing the superhero and did it superbly well. Since then, superhero comics seem to have been obsessed with making them as real as they can be. This is not a huge problem, but it would have been nice to have seen something slightly more than Watchmen 2013.

Millar is the master of the cliffhanger, and yet again he has done what every good cliffhanger should: grabbed the reader’s attention making them want to read the next issue. Although this cliffhanger works, it feels slightly rushed. It might have worked better closer to the middle of the series. At the moment, it feels as if it has kind of come from nowhere and in order for the reader to accept this change, Millar and Quietly will have to prove to the reader that this was natural and had to happen when it did.

All in all, Jupiter’s Legacy is a joy to look at. It is the best work Mark Millar has done in a decade, moving away from sensationalist plots for the sake of them and concentrating on a grounded, intriguing design. Although the cliffhanger seems to have come out of nowhere and it is not the most original of stories, it is still an enjoyable read.

 

Rating: 4/5
Reporter: Luke Halsall

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