By Mark Millar, Frank Quietly, Peter Doherty, Sunny Gho & Rob Miller
Jupiter’s Legacy is the gift that keeps on giving and, as if things weren’t awesome enough already, events in Volume 2 are starting to really heat up in the latest issue by mega-collaborators Mark Millar (Empress) and Frank Quietly (Batman and Robin). Issue #3 serves as a very necessary step forward in the story, while taking a quick pause from the action. The intensity is still there, the cinematic quality still intact, but the characters are taking time to reinforce and plan before making their next big move. The story here feels like it’s built to a point where the creative team can do no wrong, but will that hold true for our heroes, such as they are?
At the risk of quoting one major player out of context, the following is a perfect summary of what Jupiter’s Legacy has become since its debut years ago:
“…Superheroes were little more than uniformed agents of a corrupt ruling class.”
There’s a terrific mix of politics, social issues, and family dynamics all cradled in the arms of the superhero genre. More and more comic books creators are inventing storylines that make us wonder what the world would actually be like if there were in fact super-powered beings among us…or ruling us as the case may be. The more you read stories like that the more plausible they seem, and perhaps the meaker we all feel about our current affairs. It’s not true, of course, and the real world is plenty real, but the escapism factor of imagination through comics is glorious and worthwhile. However, if modern storylines are meant to gives us a sense skepticism instead of lifting us up – which was the original intent and why they’re called “heroes” in the first place – then it’s still gotta be an entertaining comic. In that case, don’t fret, Jupiter’s Legacy is as good as ever in those regards.
Besides entertaining us, Millar is executing a well thought out series with JL2 and it shows. Even though generations have passed, or evolved, it’s literally their legacy that affects the present day circumstances. Some characters are resentful while others, each for their own reasons, are determined to make a difference. The irony is, that’s how this whole mess started in the first place. One ruling party usurping another doesn’t always lead to a more desirable outcome and you might say that’s the most exciting part here. Sure, readers will want to see the clash of titans and ultimately whether this will be a worthy revolution or not, but what will the world be like afterwards? With a story as dense as this one has become it’s worth thinking about what’s next, although, thankfully, that doesn’t detract from the current arc whatsoever.
Artist and co-creator Frank Quietly is like a racecar driver on his 50th lap and still firing on all cylinders. His pen touches paper and magic happens every single time. Challenge yourself to find flaws in his work and you’ll likely end up with more praise than criticism. Yes, he’s a pro, but he’s also bordering on legendary status in the industry if he hasn’t already crossed over that line. Never has there been such strength in lines as delicate as these. His precision holds the detail in place so that the images are conveyed with prescription-like clarity. Sunny Gho follows with perfectly considered palettes and textures in his coloring. The way in which Gho treats light is especially impressive and gives us a sense of wonder that allows the brilliance in Quietly’s line work to really shine. With Peter Doherty and Rob Miller on letters, design and digital effects, Jupiter’s Legacy 2 is a collaboration through and through. And damned if it isn’t getting better with each issue, if only because the story is that much more complete!
Grab this book, seek out the back issues and trust in this comic to satisfy your need for superheroes blended with genuine, thoughtful drama. It’s gimmick free, direct and to the point and manages to engage on so many levels. There is a magnitude to the writing and the art that makes Jupiter’s Legacy 2 a standout addition to an already established universe.