Nerdspan on Jupiter’s Legacy

When Mark Millar and Frank Quitely worked together in the past on The Authority, the result was magical. The pair were able to catch lightning in a bottle a second time with Jupiter’s Legacy from Image Comics, which hit store shelves in trade paperback form last week.

When the series begins, we’re introduced to Sheldon Sampson, the man who would become the superhero The Utopian. Sampson, an undeniable patriot, lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929. Despite this monumental setback, Sampson never lost his faith in America. To him, the United States is the greatest concept of all time.

In 1932, Sampson dreams of an island, off the coast of Cape Verde, and convinces his brother Walter and a group of friends to accompany him on his expedition. Sampson believes the island holds the key to helping America get back on its feet. He was right, but not in the way he expected. The group were imbued with super powers, with Sampson gaining the powers of flight and super strength.

Fast forward to now, and America finds itself teetering on the brink of collapse. The heroes continue to fight the good fight, but with fractures in their foundation. Sampson wants to keep solving problems the old fashioned way, with his fists, but his brother Walter hopes they’d use their powers to help restore the nation to its glorious past.

And then, there’s the kids. For the heroic offspring, with great power comes great irresponsibility. They’d rather be trending than fighting, rather attend night club openings than do good, rather worry about endorsement deals than the average joe. Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with members of the older generation, who can’t accept that these kids are wasting their lives on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll instead of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Millar once compared the series to Hamlet, referring to the conflict between generations in the Shakespeare masterpiece. He borrowed from his favourite movie, King Kong, for the island trip, and he did it perfectly. The twists and turns in the series are tailor made for the big screen, so it’s no surprise that Millar has struck a deal to bring Jupiter’s Legacy to theatres.

For my money, Millar is the best writer in the business right now, bar none, and Jupiter’s Legacy is about as close to perfect as you can get. I give Jupiter’s Legacy five stars out of five and strongly urge you to read this book.

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Published at April 16, 2015

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