Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Jupiter's Legacy #1
Millar & Quitely
The much hyped launch from Mark Millar and Frank Quitely takes shape in a way I hadn't expected from Millar as the book steers clear of the comedy, gore and most of the other Millar staples found in his creator owned work. Quitely delivers the usual detailed pencils that bring a level of realism to the book just as you have come to expect from the unique artist. Overall, the book is a very average start story-wise, but it is worth picking up solely based on the artwork.
The book begins by introducing much of the main cast as they travel to a mysterious Island. This takes place during the 1930s and the cast has been hit hard as a result of the Great Depression. What they find changes them into super powdered people that change the world.
Fast forward to modern times and these characters now have aged, but still put on the capes and tights to solve problems with their muscle. The book mostly focuses on their disengaged, slacker children. The pair of offspring are young adults and they struggle to find a place in a world that idolizes them for the feats of their parents. They can't live up to the expectations placed on them by their parents or society, but realistically they appear to have stopped trying.
The book attempts to show a real world and how it would be with super humans. Many, many books have tried this. Whether it be parody, as seen in Ennis' The Boys, or through the lens of cold misuse of the powers, as with Warren Ellis' Black Summer and everything in between. Where Millar fails is that he attempts to retro-fit actual problems of today in a world that has had super heroes overseeing the United States (or the world) for the past several decades.
This is the problem with injecting a sense of nationalism when it comes to super heroes. If the super heroes were literally out for the greater good for one specific country then they would intervene in almost any international conflict. It's easy to project that current day problems, such as energy usage, mounting debt or even poverty would no longer exist if one country had super heroes. With super heroes would there be such national debt due to building up the military? The military would be scaled down significantly and conflicts would have a downward slope effect with super heroes standing watch. Would that tax revenue be redistributed to act on energy or something else? The answer is yes. Therefore, Millar referencing Obama's problems are largely laughable. Obama's problems would most likely be managing these super powered weapons and not driving to solve national debt issues.
The aspect of the book that does work is the notion that the offspring would be mentally drifting through life. Exploring this pair seems much more reasonable and hopefully this will carry through to the coming issues.
Quitely is a great artist. Nothing I say here hasn't been said many times before about countless works of his. The book doesn't do anything layout wise that is a breakthrough, such as with his work in We3. The pencils present a toned down version of the super heroes which feels so much more realistic than the muscle bound wrestler look. The book flows fabulously from an artwork perspective.
The first spends a lot of time building up the characters. It's a slow first issue but it takes great care to set things up for future issues. The themes that Millar are tackling aren't new and don't make a lot of sense but based on his previous works he gets more time to develop these ideas. This is an average book but the art drives it up a notch. We'll have to see where this is going.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles