Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jupiter's Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely - Book Review

From the publisher: The children of the world’s greatest superheroes may never be able to fill their parents’ shoes. When the family becomes embattled by infighting, one branch stages an uprising, another goes into hiding. How long can the world survive when one family’s super-powered problems explode onto the global stage?

Mark Millar's Jupiter's Legacy is a cool book. The story revolves around the premise that the early superheroes were granted their powers after visiting a mysterious island during the Great Depression. The purpose of the powers was to return America to greatness.  Jump ahead to the present, and the children of all the heroes don't really know what to do with themselves.  Political machinations and family dysfunction ensues, leading to a tragedy for some and a bitter future for the rest.  

The chief characters in Jupiter's Legacy are the Utopian (Sheldon Sampson), Lady Liberty (Grace Sampson, Sheldon's wife), Walter Sampson (Sheldon's brother), Chloe Sampson (Sheldon and Grace's daughter), Brandon Sampson (Sheldon and Grace's son), Jules (Walter's son), and Hutch (Chloe's boyfriend, and the son of the Utopian's former best-friend/biggest nemesis).  Yes, it is a twisty family tree, but as the story progresses and connections are revealed, it becomes more and more fascinating.  The characters are well-drawn and are very interesting. The character development continues to build throughout the series, and several of the character arcs head off in directions that were a little surprising.  

When he is at the top of his game, Millar is as good a story-teller as anyone in comics, and with Jupiter's Legacy he has brought his "A" game.  The concept is perfectly executed.  Additionally, Millar slowly doles out background information that continues to expand the reader's understanding of what is happening in the present storyline.

Quitely's art is a perfect complement to the script. The characters are unique in their looks, and the settings are very well done.

My only complaint is that Jupiter's Legacy is merely the set-up to a much larger story. Future volumes can't come soon enough.

I highly recommend Jupiter's Legacy. It is a superhero story that doesn't read like a superhero story (I mean that in the best possible way).

I received a preview copy of this book from Image Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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