By Mark Millar & Wilfredo Torres
When it was announced that Mark Millar would be writing not a sequel, but a prequel story in the universe established in Jupiter’s Legacy, I was ecstatic. Readers were given glimpses into the past in a few flashbacks in the miniseries that sent the mind racing about the events that were left untold. Circle opens with the super-powered team already established. They take on an extraterrestrial foe, but a bigger threat looms from within…
The narrative is set in 1958 and this period is very important or at least Millar makes it so. The home base of the team is clearly reminiscent of the Hall of Justice and the creature they confront is eerily similar to Starro, the opponent that the Justice League of America faced in their first appearance (The Brave and the Bold #28) in 1960. These nods to the glory of the Silver Age are great, but it’s the latter half of the book that truly shines and makes the comic become a post-modern work. Mark grounds the story within the social and political contexts of the time period. By placing these “gifted” humans in these precarious situations, he is able to really delve into the identifies and pathologies of the characters, which was a cornerstone in Jupiter’s Legacy.
Wilfredo Torres’ artwork was a bit of an adjustment considering that Frank Quitely magnificently established this world, but it quickly becomes apparent how well suited he is for this story. His simplistic, yet defined style complements both the strange and the ordinary material throughout the issue. This is fully realized with the aid of great color work. The costumes and the creature are realized in very bright, flamboyant colors. In 1958, these characters would surely stand out, so it makes absolute sense for them to be done this way.
Jupiter’s Circle looks to be another strong tale in Millarworld. It is tonally matching Legacy, which is key to making this book work since what takes place influences the events in the previous series. Fans of the Silver Age will also appreciate the content. Out on April 8, this title should be added to the pull-list of any self-respecting comic reader right now. Newcomers should also pick-up the trade of Jupiter’s Legacy.