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Co-Creators Mark Millar (Writer) and Frank Quitely (with Peter Doherty on colors, letters, and design) have finally released their over-hyped creator owned title.
I will attempt to maintain a neutral tone throughout the review. Okay, so I may have failed just a *bit* at maintaining neutral! Full disclosure this was my first encounter with Mark Millar and I found it to be an unpleasant experience. You can read through the comments for an excellent defense of the issue, and for a slightly more in depth look at why this isn’t going to be my favorite series anytime soon.
Jupiter’s Legacy, in the first few panels tell the story of how the world’s first superheroes gained their powers. It is set back in the 1920’s, and the style of clothing, tone, and narrative are beautiful. This initial story of discovery, faith, and fighting for justice is the story that I would like to read, instead it is the story that the rest of the issue is juxtaposed against. The main focus on Jupiter’s story is on the initial heroes’s children.
It seems like the disillusionment of superhero children has been tackled multiple times in the past few years. Superheroes were once meant to represent the best our culture had to offer; but as our culture has aged and many have become disillusioned with both American culture and the promises it offers to its people, it is difficult to determine what qualities a superhero of our current age would display.
But, I know these characters aren’t it.
The best moments of the issue is when the older superheroes are present, arguing about their moral responsibility to society . Should they mindlessly fight crime and follow government orders, or should they spend their time fixing the fundamental flaws of society itself in order to create a world where their powers wouldn’t be needed? An important question that perhaps more superheroes and their writers should ask. Their children’s complete ambivalence about participating in this debate, or helping their parents fight crime leaves for several dull moments in the book where their indifference is shown through their debauchery, a tired trope by the year 2013.
Is this a quality book? Yes, the Millar weaves a solid story, and Quitely’s art is beyond gorgeous. If the ennui of the rich, famous, and powered is something you enjoy reading about – by all means read this book. If you like Mark Millar and Wanted – by all means read this book. But if you want an interesting take on the children of superheroes, or the role of superheroes in society, or an interesting new take on superheroes read something else.