By Mark Millar, Frank Quietly, Peter Doherty and Sunny Gho
Powerhouse collaborators Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Frank Quietly (All-Star Superman) return with Jupiter’s Legacy 2, and so far it’s everything readers and critics praised the first time around. With the original series and a spin-off prequel series already in print, this new arc has a strong foundation with fully fleshed out back-stories. Even still, the first issue stands as a fine jumping on point for new readers, with a clear and legible ongoing story. All the same, it’ll likely make you want to go back and read everything that has come to pass. A strong foundation makes new stories possible, while knowing the elements of that foundation make new stories that much more entertaining.
Simply put, Jupiter’s Legacy is about superheroes and their children. Stories depicting familial struggles, especially generational ones, which rely on past events to nurture the appeal of present day storylines, could be considered the mark of a soap opera. Though Jupiter’s Legacy may technically be a melodrama, it is first and foremost a book about superheroes. In an industry brimming over with superhero books, it’s a bold, and potentially risky move to introduce an all-new universe. The addition of family legacy only strengthens the unavoidable tropes of the superhero genre, while characters with extraordinary powers make the story more than just a soap opera. The culminating result is a wholly original story, one that plays off of classic tropes as much as it builds on them with a fresh ingredient: the American ideal. In Volume One the younger, resentful generation of superpowers stage a coup, murder their elders, and take over the country. Volume Two focuses on one escaped hero attempting to gather super-criminals in order to regain the upper hand.
In Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 Millar and Quietly continue to examine the moral complexities and consequences that occur when superheroes decide to “save the day” by addressing issues as social realism. How much power is too much power? Who should hold the majority of power? What do you do with that power? In a story like this, the answers to those questions blur the lines between right and wrong and good and evil. Add in the fact that family dynamics affected by generational superiority complexes aren’t, at least in principle, that different from political regime changes, and you’ve got an intriguing story with lasting potential. Leave it to Mark Millar to further enhance that intrigue with every issue by way of his usual gritty dialogue and brutal fight scenes.
Millar gives Frank Quietly – who seems to design comics by giving every single panel his full attention – a lot to work with. A silent moment where superheroes land in the front yard of a suburban residence is as compelling as a multi-panel action sequence. Quietly’s style is distinctly unmatched and has a nature as malleable as clay without sacrificing a sense of movement. Despite using thin, delicate lines he is able to convey weight and dimension in his figures, with perfectly placed details that let us believe what stays in is as considered as what is left out.
Peter Doherty returns as well, providing lettering and design, while the remarkable Sunny Gho is on colors, and both bring a level of professionalism worthy of this book. Gho rounds out Quietly’s drawing with an appropriate amount of rendering that seems to pick up right where Quietly left off. In using color palettes that are as powerful as the story itself, Gho adds a brilliant textural layer, apparent in wide shots and close ups alike.
This book is a true collaboration and it shows that the creators are working from their favorite ideas and concepts. Each member of the creative team is responsible for the overall storytelling, and in this case we’re in good hands. Jupiter’s Legacy is back!