Jupiter’s Legacy review: Millarworld comes to Netflix

Jupiter's Legacy - Brandon Sampson hero pose
Andrew Horton as Brandon Sampson. Pic credit: Netflix

Mark Millar and Netflix struck a deal to bring adaptations of his comic books to the streaming service, and the first hit this weekend with Jupiter’s Legacy.

Netflix lost their deal with Marvel for streaming shows and have watched those move to Disney+ while DC Comics has its home on HBO Max. Mark Millar fills in the hole.

This is a big deal.

Mark Millar is the writer behind Marvel’s Civil War comic books and helped create the Ultimates, Marvel’s Ultimate Universe version of The Avengers, and the ones the movies were mostly based on. He also wrote Old Man Logan, which is what the movie Logan was based on.

Millar also wrote the comics that the movies Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Wanted were based on.

Now, he is in an exclusive deal to bring his content to Netflix.

What is Jupiter’s Legacy about?

Jupiter’s Legacy is about the first generation of superheroes, a group of people who went to an island seeking answers and returned with great powers.

When they returned, the world had superheroes led by The Utopian (Josh Duhamel) and his wife Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb). They fought criminals and lived by two major codes — “Do Not Kill” and “Do Not Govern.”

While that is in flashbacks, Jupiter’s Legacy set the rest of the series in the present day with the kids of these heroes and other second-generation heroes who are not ready to step up.

This includes The Utopian’s two children, Brandon (Andrew Horton) and Chloe (Elena Kampouris).

Brandon wants to prove he is ready to step up, but his father knows he is not ready and wonders if he ever will be. Brandon is impulsive and passionate, and The Utopian knows he needs to be a symbol others will follow instead.

Chloe wants nothing to do with her superpowers, instead using her family’s name to become famous in a Paris Hilton manner. She is also a drug addict and hates everything about her family ties.

Things go side-wise in the first episode when a supervillain prisoner, Blackstar, breaks out of prison and goes on the rampage. All the available heroes show up to fight him.

Blackstar kills two of Brandon’s close friends and is about to go nuclear while holding down the Utopian. Brandon rushes in and kills the villain.

This broke the Code and his father lashes out, saying they don’t kill, even if it means the death of others around them. There is a bigger shock when they learn Blackstar is still in prison and this was a copy of the villain.

When Lady Liberty is giving a press conference, she learns that “70-percent of the public” believes that Brandon did the right thing, which causes The Utopian to ask what kind of world that 70-percent wants to live in.

The first season then flies from there, showing how the original heroes formed and the tragedies they faced while trying to figure out who that copy of Blackstar was, and who might be trying to bring down the legacy heroes and their Code.

Jupiter’s Legacy review

Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 starts off strong and leads an interesting mystery to the end of the season. For those who read the comics, not much changed here, including the man responsible for the attack in the first episode.

However, what is interesting about Jupiter’s Legacy is that the show is not as interested in heroes vs. villains, but about why they fight and what their purpose is in the world.

This makes sense coming from the mind behind Civil War.

The real story behind Jupiter’s Legacy surrounds The Utopian’s view of the world and those who oppose that vision. The Utopian is a man who has a steadfast opinion of how superheroes should operate and he offers no room for debate.

He says superheroes never kill, and if several of his fellow superheroes die as a result, that never seems to affect him, although he clearly mourns them. He just won’t take that ultimate step to save them.

This leads to the trouble with Brandon, who wants more than anything to be like his dad, but doesn’t understand why his father refuses to support him. This also leads to the ultimate betrayal later in the first season, which will force Brandon to decide between standing by his dad or switching sides and creating his own new code.

This also pulls Chloe back into the fight. She has always thought her father’s ideals are dumb, but she might have second thoughts when situations arise that force her to accept who she is.

There is also a lot of talk about how maybe heroes should govern the world. As Brainwave (Utopian’s genius and psychic brother) said, free will has been going on for a long time, and look at how bad the world is today.

At the end of the day, Jupiter’s Legacy questions what it means to be a hero, and whether a moral code should always be black and white.

These are great questions that mainstream superheroes don’t answer.

The season ends with the revelation of who is to blame, but the story is far from finished.

Jupiter’s Legacy will require more seasons to tell the full story, and while that might bother viewers who always fear Netflix canceling their favorite shows, Millar’s deal with the streaming service should guarantee the show finishes its story.

The first season is good, but as fans of the comics know, the best is yet to come.

Jupiter’s Legacy is currently streaming on Netflix.

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