Review – Jupiter’s Legacy
Josh Duhamel as Sheldon Sampson / The Utopian, Grace’s husband, Walter’s younger brother, and the Union superhero team’s leader. He is the Superman archetype, with a similar powerset and morality.
Ben Daniels as Walter Sampson / Brainwave, Sheldon’s older brother, possessing psionic abilities, along with flight and super strength.
Leslie Bibb as Grace Kennedy-Sampson / Lady Liberty, Sheldon’s wife and one of the most powerful heroes on the planet. Acting as Sheldon’s confidant, advising him with regards to modern change and parenting, she always voices her opinion even if it conflicts with his opinions.
Andrew Horton as Brandon Sampson / The Paragon, Grace and Sheldon’s son, who struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
Elena Kampouris as Chloe Sampson, Grace and Sheldon’s rebellious daughter, who is absorbed into a life of drugs and modelling.
Mike Wade as Fitz Small / The Flare, one of the most valued members of The Union, now a retired paraplegic. A skilled engineer and inventor, Fitz developed most of the tech that has aided the Union.
Matt Lanter as George Hutchence / Skyfox, Sheldon’s closest friend and teammate before turning against the Union after breaking the Code. He is imprisoned in some extradimensional space.
The first generation of superheroes has kept the world safe for nearly a century. Now their children must live up to their legacy in an epic drama that spans decades and navigates the dynamics of family, power and loyalty. Let’s sit back and enjoy the official final trailer from Netflix!
The TV show is based on an American superhero comic book series, first published in 2013, written by Mark Millar, drawn by Frank Quitely, coloured and lettered by Peter Doherty and published by Image Comics. It follows the rise and fall of the American Dream through the lives of a group of Superheroes from the great depression till now.
Translating It to Screen
In 2021 we live in a world where we regularly have new dystopian style Hero shows coming along every few months, so why waste your time with this one? What sets it apart from the stratospheric Watchmen? Does it hold a candle to Doom Patrol? Why flip over from the Boys and, Think Mark Think, what could follow the finale of Invincible a mere 7 days previously?
For the most part, Jupiter’s Legacy both finds its feet and stumbles at the same time. As with Watchmen the episode has more flashbacks and floating plot points than it should. Personally, I would have shown the arc in chronological order, these constant nods and winks flashing back, sometimes mid-scene will annoy many viewers. Regular readers will know how much I hate constant flashbacks!
Episode one does a great job of showing the difference between the generations as well as an end episode fight with Blackstar that Omni-man would be proud of. The broken family of heroes shows a mirror up to even the most perfect family. Tyler Mane, famously Sabretooth in the original X-Men movie, finally gets some lines and he milks every one for maximum effect.
The 1920s and 1930s arc is way too long and takes the action away from the interesting nuclear family! The stock market crash plays a heavy thematic for the morals and values Sheldon imbues on the Union and their simple No Kill comes back to bite him (literally.)
The show is somewhere between the vast budgets of shows like The Boys and Watchmen and the chintzy CW CGI reliant shows like Flash and Arrow. As such sometimes you can see the CGI stick out like a sore thumb. The faster the battle or action the more CGO dependant and the worse it looks.
The Island quest on the boat, as well the action on the Island, works better as it seems more prop-driven and less CGO laden. It looks like a good old adventure movie like Indiana Jones or Doc Savage.
The makeup is middle of the road, the aged starts have lots of latex wrinkles and this could have been solved with two actors playing each generation. This falls into the ageing and de-ageing debate that allows a studio to pay once for a role normally played by two or more characters.
The actors overall do a great job, the serious older heroes walk stiffer, have less emotion while the youngsters drink, party and enjoy life. Duhamel and Bibbs do a decent job taking the lead here and their formative depression-era versions are much stronger than the super silvers in the present day. Horton and Kampouris steal the show though as the disappointing son and the rebellious daughter.
The tension between Daniels and Lanter act as a good catalyst and are central to both driving the plot and the relationships forward. Lanter is the stronger of the two both in acting ability and strength of character, his ever-positive George looks his best in “Paint the Clouds with Sunshine” episode where his butler offers him a hundred eggs boiled at different temperatures. The same scene is mirrored later on with depressive tones.
In any other year, this would have been a great show, with messages of a previous prosperous generation dictating to younger, more rounded children. But with so many other similar shows now in its class you really have to punch above your weight to draw in both comic book and a wider audience. The obvious parallels with costumes and powers to Justice League were highlighted when Millar brought out the book and so soon after Zack Snyder’s recut JL, this is a poor cousin.
It is an enjoyable romp with lots of twists and turns if you’re wanting something to binge-watch you won’t go wrong with it. For fans of Millar, this is not as edgy or thought-provoking as his other projects but as the first show out of the new Millarworld. Enough of you are watching the show as it’s peaked after four days to Netflix UK’s number 1 pick!
The finale ends with a satisfying twist, plot holes are left dangling and questions abound for series 2! I give overall a 4-star review.
What do you think of my Review of Jupiter’s Legacy? Have you binged it over the weekend?
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