Jupiter’s Legacy premiered on Netflix this week and is from Mark Millar’s Millarworld. The story came from the superhero comic book series, first published in 2013, written by Mark Millar, drawn by Frank Quitely.
The Netflix series is based on Millar’s work but written by Steven S. DeKnight. The series Directed by Charlotte Brändström, Christopher J. Byrne, Steven S. DeKnight, and Marc Jobst. Each director was responsible for two episodes each. Josh Duhamel plays Sheldon Sampson, Ben Daniels plays Walter, Sheldon’s brother. Leslie Bibb is Grace Kennedy fellow hero and wife to Sheldon. Andrew Horton is Brandon Sampson with Elena Kampouris Who plays Chloe, Brandon’s brother. Both are children of Sheldon and Grace Sampson.
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. The story is an origin story with flashbacks from the present to the past showing how after the crash of the stock market in 1929 and the suicide of his father, Sheldon Sampson develops a mental disorder. He leaves his friends and goes on a journey to a windmill and farm where he sees visions of an island and six people that should go to the place he sees for a reason he can’t figure out.
Reunited with his friends and his brother Walter, he is compelled to go and convinces the people in the vision to go with him. Funded by his friend George Hutchence and his brother Walter they board a ship and head to the middle of the Atlantic ocean with coordinates from his vision. Navigating a terrible storm they find the island and land. The six go through a hard test and are psychologically tested through the ordeal and proved worthy to receive the gift of superpowers unique to each but all have the ability to fly.
After attaining their powers, they return to the U.S. to begin their superhero careers, coming up with a moral code that is hardcore, yet effective. Sheldon wants the founding members of the Union and all future superheroes to uphold the code because the alternative would take away the free will of the people to act without their involvement and control. It was also set up to avoid any of the members from using their powers for world domination or any other such catastrophe that might stem from their god-like abilities.
The first, and perhaps most crucial rule, is that no one in the Union is allowed to kill. In the early years that was not a problem but in later years when threats became greater with supervillains arising with great a power that rivaled the Union members it became more difficult. The present-day story is about that struggle with the code and plans to depose Sheldon as leader of the group.
The story takes a long time to develop and the pacing is slow in the present day. While the origin story was handled in the comic and graphic novel within a few pages it goes into great detail in the series. Also, there is a death that surprised me of a character that plays a key role later in the comic but does not live. How the writers are going to handle that I am not sure. The main antagonist of the series although he is revealed has a long way to be fully revealed as the bad guy.
Much of the story was taken directly from the comics but moves slower than Millar’s in the comics. This could be driving Millar fans crazy with their knowledge from the comic series. Perhaps the series will move much faster in future seasons we will see. It is definitely worth a watch and I recommend it to Comics Talk readers. I think the series was created to please fans of Millars’ work and those who have not read his creations before.