Mark Millar and Frank Quitely present the closing chapter of Book One with “Jupiter’s Legacy” #5 and it is — unsurprisingly — a complete stunner. It makes for a great pause in the story, one that would perhaps have been better without the year long wait between issues.
The repercussions of running from who you are have played a large part of this book and climaxes in Chloe, Hutch and Jason’s battle with government forces in front of a worldwide television audience. In his youth and hubris, Jason just can’t understand why they should repress their true identities. Chloe and Hutch, older and more fearful of the world around them — and even more so of their own legacies — feel that they must hide, quietly waiting out their days in a world that has no place for them.
Millar pushes buttons to force their hands — namely, the attempted apprehension of Jason for illegal use of his powers — and unleashes years of rage and repression in some spectacular fight sequences by Quitely. There’s a certain power to the lines chosen in each and every panel of any page he draws; the bricks Chloe hurls towards their opponents have weight and texture that leave the reader aching. Millar knows how to build to a “F Yeah!” moment; he creates a classic moment when Chloe accepts her legacy and delivers a pitch perfect line to show everyone that she has done so. Millar’s best work uses violence as a restrained tool to further a point within the story rather than the point of the story itself. Here, he allows the family’s defense to be a statement to the world that repressing one’s true self only leads to terrible consequences.
In the end, it was the act of defending her own legacy that made Chloe, as well as Hutch, look at who they had become. Showing Jason that they cannot live in fear was a big move for these characters, especially given the world’s attitude towards their identities. You decide to shape who you are in the world or you allow the world to shape you — that looks to be the message of “Jupiter’s Legacy” and capping off Book One with the family embracing their identities is a great moment. There are some fireworks coming down the pike, for sure, and this may only be a brief moment of light before things get even darker but this issue is a great moment of personal growth for the characters. There will be an interminable wait for the next issue of this book but, for now, it’s good to know that the first half of this tale is both complete and incredibly satisfying.