The Jupiter’s Legacy series adaptation of the graphic novel by writer Mark Millar and illustrator Frank Quietly has finally arrived on Netflix . Long awaited by fans of the book, unfortunately the adaptation is still far below expectations with a flat and different plot compared to the written version.
The series focuses on the story of Sheldon Sampson/Utopian (Josh Duhamel), his wife Grace/Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), and their two children, Brandon/Paragon (Andrew Horton) and Chloe (Elena Kampouris). They join The Union, a collection of heroes like the Justice League, except for Chloe who chooses to be a model.
Conflict is created when Brandon kills a villain named Blackstar, which violates The Code. It’s not explained in the series, but The Code is The Union’s no-kill rule. Instead, many superheroes were killed. So most young superheroes question the importance of The Code.
Not only that, another problem arose after it was discovered that the slain Blackstar was a clone. When looking for facts about who created the clone, it turns out that there are other villains who want to divide The Union.
Superhero family problem
The series is told in two time structures; in the 1920s where Sheldon and the five first generation superheroes got their powers, and in the present. Both are told side by side in each episode, although the story about the origin of the Union’s power feels more interesting.
In the realm of action, Jupiter’s Legacy is dominated by drama throughout its season. There are only a few fight scenes in the beginning, some in the middle, and the last episode. It’s very boring if you want to look for shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier .
The series focuses on drama: how young superheroes can maintain The Union’s legacy of “heroes who serve as role models for humanity”. The ideological system is unfortunately explained in a complicated way from clichéd dialogues. There’s even a quote ” With great powers comes great responsibility ” in the first episode of this series.
With six main characters from the older generation, plus up to dozens of new generation superheroes, there are many subplots that should be developed. At first glance it is confusing, one of which is because it is told in two different timelines (1920s and the present).
Structurally, Brandon should be the protagonist of this story. Only in the middle of the first season, his presence was not felt at all. Even the appearance of his uncle, Walter/Brainwave (Ben Daniels) dominates. Including her child, Raikou (Anna Akana) who only appeared in the last two episodes
The more realistic portraits of heroes, much like Millar’s other works such as Kick Ass , are the highlight of the series. When superheroes have personal issues that go beyond fighting crime, including the fear of death when dealing with villains.
It’s just that 8 episodes of this series fail to bring the appeal of the original story. Where the graphic novel version offers a more in-depth story about how the older generation of superheroes must adapt to an increasingly evolving world.
Not to mention the rough effect for a class of paid services. Some of the CGI and action are just like fan fiction videos that can be seen on YouTube. Including prosthetic skins that are applied to the older generation to make them look older, although not as bad as Superman’s mustache in Justice League (2017) , but it still feels less convincing.
The Jupiter’s Legacy series delivers an adaptation without the narrative depth as well as the source story. Apart from all the plot twists which are quite surprising, but boring and kind of aimless. Disappointing, although it could be the foundation for a second season that seems more promising.
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