Mark Millar is on a roll, as his “Millarworld” is finally coming to Netflix this year with Jupiter’s Legacy, a series adapting one of the author’s best-loved and most recognized works. In the plot, we follow two generations of superheroes who must deal with everyday problems as the shadow of the previous generation looms over the younger ones.
The comics were very well-received at its release and even spawned a spin-off. With its proposal to deconstruct superheroes, it is a plot that fits well in the period we live in, especially with productions such as Watchmen and The Boys. Here, we list everything you need to know about Jupiter’s Legacy!
Jupiter’s Legacy is an American science fiction and action comic book, published by Image Comics between 2013 and 2015, totaling five issues. In 2017, the publisher revived the saga with a second volume, with five more issues. After that, we still had a spin-off/prequel called Jupiter’s Circle.
The saga is part of Millarworld and was well acclaimed by the critics over the years, although some say its vision of superheroes is cliché. The rights to the adaptation were bought by producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who originally intended to make a feature film and now supervise the serial adaptation coming out on Netflix.
Jupiter’s Legacy has two very influential “fathers.” The story was written by Mark Millar, known as the creator of several fantastic original comics such as Kick-Ass and Kingsman, two sagas that have already become movie franchises. Besides, he has written notable Marvel and DC events such as Civil War and Superman: Red Son.
The artwork was done by Frank Quitely, who is known for his unique style. The artist is well known for working on the New X-Men phase for Marvel and drawing the classic All-Star Superman for DC. Millar and Quitely previously worked together on The Authority, a comic published by DC under the Wildstorm imprint.
Inspirations in Pop Culture
To create the universe of Jupiter’s Legacy, Mark Millar was inspired by various pop culture productions and franchises. For him, the focus of the plot was to pay homage and make references to the origin stories from the Golden Age of Comics, the phase in which superheroes began to emerge, mainly due to the presence of Superman.
Not only that, Millar says that another significant inspiration for his work is the entire Star Wars universe, especially the classic movies. Besides, the title of Jupiter’s Legacy refers to the Roman god of lightning and thunder. Although we don’t have gods in these stories, Millar claims to have been greatly inspired by Roman myths of gods and heroes.
Besides having many connections to other pop culture works, Jupiter’s Legacy was created in the middle of a significant turnaround in world politics and economics. Mark Millar says that the Great Recession, which took place between 2007 and 2009, was one reason that led him to write some of the comic’s subtitles.
Basically, the comic brings several discussions and questionings about geopolitics and how the United States has changed in the last years. Besides this, we have a strong contrast between the older generation of heroes, who believe in capitalism’s ideal, and their children, who see some problems in this political and economic system.
In 1932, Sheldon Sampson traveled to an island in Cape Verde after the island appears to him in a dream. Believing that the place will bring him good news after losing almost everything in the Great Depression of 1929, he ends up taking his brother, his future wife Grace, and five old college friends. They gain powers and become known as the Union, with Sheldon taking on the Utopian’s title, Earth’s Greatest Hero.
The story then cuts to 2013, as we follow the aftermath of the Great Recession. Now, Sheldon begins to have friction with his brother while at the same time having to deal with his children, who were born with special powers but do not wish to pursue the life of a superhero. Thus grows the story of Jupiter’s Legacy, which criticizes the American Way of Life right in Barack Obama’s administration.
In the comic, we are introduced to two distinct groups. First, we have the Union, the “first generation” of heroes. They emerged in the 1930s and are still active, led by Utopian, a superpowered being who acts as a Superman analog. He has a wife, Lady Liberty, and a brother, Brainwave, who are also superpowered.
The other three team members are Blue-Bolt, a boy who can fly and shoot energy rays and has trouble coming to terms with his own sexuality, the fun-loving Flare, known for his super-speed, and the powerful and misunderstood Skyfox, who is eventually remembered as a major villain of the team.
The New Generation
The new generation of heroes, on the other hand, is made up of the children of these heroes, all living very different lives than their parents did. Utopian and Lady Liberty give birth to Chloe Sampson, a socialite who spends her time partying and drugs. Her brother Brandon, a telekinetic who uses his powers for selfish purposes.
Besides them, there is also Hutch Hutchence, Skyfox‘s son, who ends up having a relationship and a child with Chloe. Unlike his father, Hutch is a pleasant boy who even begins to question Chloe’s closeness to him since he thinks she is only interested in him going against his own parents.
In addition to the primary publication, Jupiter’s Legacy received a spin-off with Jupiter’s Circle. This saga, like the original, contains ten issues divided into two volumes. The purpose here is to tell more of the Union’s story, the first-generation superhero team led by Utopian.
This prequel is set in the 1950s and 1960s, exploring a little more of the lives of each of the six heroes and their early adventures. The spin-off brought back Mark Millar behind the scripts, but the art this time was handled by Wilfredo Torres and Davide Gianfelice, although Frank Quitely returned to illustrate some covers.
The Netflix Series
The partnership between Mark Miller and Netflix closed in 2017 and effectively kicked off the collaboration between the streaming service and the founder of Millarworld.
In the plot, after nearly a century of keeping humanity safe, the world’s first generation of superheroes must rely on their children to continue the legacy. However, tensions rise as the young superheroes, hungry to prove their worth, struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary public reputation and personal standards.
The eight-episode season of Jupiter’s Legacy premieres Friday, May 7, on Netflix. Be sure to check it out!
The most feared villain of the first year, Blackstar, comes to life in the released video. However, other characters are also introduced. These include Hutch (Ian Quinlan), son of one of the world’s greatest supervillains, Chloe Sampson (Elena Kampouris), heiress to the greatest superheroes, Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) in 1929, and his son, Brandon Sampson (Andrew Horton).
Also, the first generation of superheroes is revealed: Lady Liberty/Grace Sampson (Leslie Bibb), The Utopian/Sheldon Sampson (Duhamel), and Brainwave/Walter Sampson (Ben Daniels).