Category Archives: Jupiter’s Legacy

Jupiter’s Legacy: A Changing Of The Guard

Ben’s Grim Corner By: Benjamin Cook

jupiters-legacy-3-e1374679057164Times have changed.

When I was young, the only place to find a good comics shelf was the grocery store, right next to Monster Truck Weekly and just in front of the Playboys (talk about suggestive advertising…). If I wanna go out and pick up a comic in the 21st, I’d better pack a lunch, because I’ll be staring at covers of Swamp Thing, Fatale, and newest-edition Preacher trades until my eyes bleed.

Gone are the days of singular universes, where Superman and the X-Men can dominate the shelf with six different versions of the same basic premise. Sure, they still do – and damn well I might add – but there’s a lot more going on outside of the two powerhouses nowadays than just Archie, Casper and Asterix.

I say, bring it on.

My whole childhood, it was: “Marvel or DC?” “Avengers or Justice League?” “Wolverine or Lobo?”

… I’m not even sure how that last one is a comparison.

But now, I can have an intelligent conversation with a group of strangers about the male-dominated stereotypes of the Walking Dead, or the religious symbolism of Spawn’s inspired battle against Hell, and everybody follows me.

Then again, there was no way I could have followed those conversations back in the day, when I was mocking Green Lantern’s greatest weakness (the colour yellow? Seriously?!) and threatening violence against anyone who badmouthed the Silver Surfer.

So what’s the difference between then and now?

We’re all grown up – the writers; the artists; we, the readers, who bury our noses in our favourite universe every month and pretend like we’re not grown up yet; and most of all, the comics.

It seems the realm of the superhero has matured along with us – they’re no longer simple rags to keep children entertained with imaginary worlds. The innocence of youth is gone, and you can see it with every gory dismemberment and illustrated nipple.

It’s time to grow up, friends, and if this is what adulthood looks like, then count me in.

Heralding this new zeitgeist is Mark Millar‘s latest creation: Jupiter’s Legacy.

Image Comics' Jupiter's Legacy.

Image Comics’ Jupiter’s Legacy.

Millar is already a legend. He’s worked for Marvel and Image since the ’90’s, with some massive titles under his belt: namely, The Ultimates, Kick-Ass, Wanted, and the essential maxi-series of Marvel’s last twenty years – Civil War.

That’s right, they were all Millar.

His next masterful work re-examines some of the themes of his old stories and delivers them to his recently-launched Millarworld. It’s only a three issues in and, so far, it’s not pulling any punches, so it’s a perfect chance to get into it now.

So what’s it all about?

The story begins in the late 1920’s, just after the US Stock Market Crash, with a small group of idealistic young Americans. Guided by a vision in a dream, the circle of friends arrive at a mysterious island. What is on the island? How did they find it? Who are these American tourists traveling the Pacific?

Slow down, you’re getting ahead of yourself.

Fast forward to 2013. Those young Americans we just met are now old enough to be grandparents. Their children, a clutch of the most entitled, self-righteous, super-powered celebutantes you’ve ever seen, are lost in the new world their parents have built. They, like the rest of their world, have become accustomed to their super-babysitters – they have no responsibilities or burdens, as they know that the Utopian (this little circle’s leader) and his organization of heroic individuals will always save the day. So while Mom and Dad fight injustice and throw evil into the dirt, their twenty-something children drink, party and medicate their lives away, complaining about the loneliness of their celebrity while they exploit every luxury it offers.

But all is not smiles and sunshine within the ranks of the Utopian’s group, an organization similar in many ways to the Justice League (their base is even a space station!). There is dissension beneath the surface … and before long, the undertow may pull the world down with them.

And all the while, unemployment rises, the rich get richer, and humanity waits to be saved while the masters of the world bicker amongst themselves over the method of their salvation.

If you’re tired of superhumans being too much super and not enough human, I heartily suggest that you add Jupiter’s Legacy to your pile.

Until next week, ladies and gents.


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