It’s been increasing for at least the last ten years but these past six months seems to have been flooded with new superhero shows (WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Invincible). Despite the medium, streaming, these new shows do not ressemble the ones we had before. They are more adult, tackling deeper, harder subjects in their superhero context; they also have higher production values and Jupiter’s Legacy follows that trend.
Created by Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil, Spartacus, Smallville) who’s adaptating the comic book series by Mark Millar & Frank Quitely. The series stars Josh Duhamel (Love, Simon,11.22.63, Transformers), Ben Daniels (The Crown, Rogue One, House of Cards), Leslie Bibb (About a Boy, Iron Man), Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall, Men, Women & Children, Labor Day), Andrew Horton (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), Mike Wade (SEAL Team), and Matt Lanter (Stars Wars: The Clone War, Timeless).
Premise: Following the world’s first superheroes who have kept the world safe since the 1930s. In present day, their super-powered children are geared to succeed them but they struggle to live up to their revered elder guard parents’ legacy. It’s an epic drama that spans decades and navigates the dynamics of family, power and loyalty.
Review: There is no doubt that the show is tackling juicy and interesting subjects when it comes to superheroes. Among them is the idea of the superhero code, what does it mean? And what it can cost to uphold it in a world that’s constantly changing?
The series does a great job at illustrating that struggle, demonstrating how hard it is to live up to that kind of standard, in particular when you’re facing opponents who are not holding back. There are real consequences that adds the emotional gut punch, grounding that debate, taking it from concept to applying it in the field. It’s interest stuff; at times it feels like the heroes are fighting with one hand tight behind their backs. But that idea of the code, its validity as is, is to me barely introduced here. It could have been explored more this season.
Peppered throughout the series, and hogging a ton of screen time, is the origin of the first heroes in the 1930s; who they were, how they came to be, and who they are now. By going back and forth between the past and the present, the show gives some depth to the first generation of heroes, the parents, but also contrast them with the newer generation and what it is like for the newbies. The series makes a decent job at making the old and new generation interesting but short changes one in favor of the other just to set up another season because some score need settling.
As for the cast, they do a great job. They each bring something to their characters and sell the action, even in their cosplay looking super suits that reminds me of Sky High. I have no big complaints about in that area. The visual effects are good, they fit with the general aesthetic of the show.
Jupiter’s Legacy volume 1 is a great starting off point, but it feels like a prologue. I feel like I watch half of an amazing season, it feels incomplete, so I’m very much in favor of a second season because there’s a great potential in the show.
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