It's raining superheroes not just on the big screen, but on the internet as well. With the massive success of The Boys offering a subversive take on the superhero genre and what it would mean to be an ordinary human being living in a world full of godlike beings, other streaming services are scrambling to find their own subversive Superhero show.
Jupiter's Legacy is one such show that is set to premiere soon on Netflix. Based on the comic book series written by Mark Millar and drawn by Frank Quitely, the series looks set to be the streaming giant's next breakout show. Here's what you need to know about the series before binging the whole thing on Netflix.
10 It Offers Critical Commentary On The Golden Age Of Super Heroes
To properly appreciate the series, you need to be familiar with the tropes that it aims to subvert. Jupiter's Legacy is a postmodern take on the Golden Age of Superheroes, as exemplified by Justice League and superhero comics in general of the '50s. This was considered the apex time for a particular brand of superhero comics that were safe, family-friendly, and idealistic to the point of appearing naive and impractical in a real-world setting.
9 It Juxtaposes The Golden Age With The Gritty '90s
In the gritty '90s era of superhero comics, the Golden Age of comics was often held up as something to be mocked for its overly simplified moral narratives and lack of dealing with real-world issues.
In Jupiter's Legacy, this clash of world views is explored in the interactions between the old-school superheroes who have been protecting the world since the '30s, and their offspring, who have grown cynical and disillusioned with the state of the world in present times.
8 The Union Is The Justice League Stand In
Much like The Seven in The Boys are the evil variants of DC Comics' Justice League, The Union Of Justice in Jupiter's Legacy are ultra-noble variants of The Justice League. The characters of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the rest of the leaguers are represented by The Utopian, Lady Liberty and other members of the Union family.
This version of the Justice League resembles The League in it's Golden Age incarnation, which most non-comic book audiences will remember from the Superfriends animated tv show.
7 The Show Is About Their Children
After traveling to a mysterious island in 1932 with college friends and his brother Walter, Sheldon Sampson and his team gained superpowers. The group came together to form The Union, a team of heroes dedicated to upholding the ideals of the American way of life and helping citizens deal with the recession and its attending problems.
The story picks up with the introduction of their children, who are now Superheroes in their own right and face the daunting task of living up to their parent's legacy in a world with a very different set of morals than the one that existed in their parent's time.
6 There Are A Lot Of Murders Within The Family
Since the show follows the lives of a family of superheroes and their offspring, most of the conflict comes from family members betraying each other and even going to the extent of killing each other. The two main villains of the series are directly related to The Utopian and view the task of eliminating him as a necessary step towards taking over the world and imposing their own ideals on the rest of the human population. Mark Millar has mentioned that he took inspiration from Shakespeares' Hamlet in terms of family tension leading to the murder of important characters by their own relatives.
5 The Main Source Of Tension Is Between Sheldon And His Brother
Spoiler Alert, the main villain of the series is Sheldon's brother Walter, a psychic superhero who plots to overthrow The Utopian. Walter believes that Sheldon's steadfast refusal to play a more direct role in the creation of a new world order where the superheroes are the rulers of mankind is a gigantic missed opportunity.
While Walter's true nature is not revealed in the beginning, you get a feeling for the fact that this dude is not nearly as noble as his brother when he calls a guy a homophobic slur, and sure enough, Walter quickly descends into the depths of super-villainy after orchestrating the death of his brother and anyone else who stands in his way.
4 Disturbing Use Of Their Powers
Naturally, this would not be a gritty, cynical look at Superheroes if there were not a bunch of scenes showing the heroes making disturbing, definitely-not-kid-friendly use of their powers. For instance, Walter uses his mental powers to make the wife of his friend ditch her husband and fall in love with him. The Union of Justice delivers a horrific beatdown on a comatose villain who they claim 'took out half of Missouri' during his last rampage. And let's just say Walter's final battle has one of the most disturbingly gross use of the power of teleportation in any comic.
3 The Kids Take Over
Once you get past the themes and motifs and critical commentary that the series indulges in, you are left with the basic premise of the series. The three children of the original World's Greatest Superheroes, named Chloe, Hutch, and Jason, must band together to take on a former superhero turned supervillain.
In order to do so, the children must make use of their own powers, and also take the help of unexpected allies, like regular humans and even a set of supervillains.
2 It Gets Dark But Ends On A Hopeful Note
With all the criticism of the Golden Age of Superheroes that the series indulges in, you might think the depiction of older, more hopeful superheroes are being held up for mocking. But that is not the case. The children of the heroes are shown to be more cynical and world-weary, but that is not shown to be the solution to the problems facing humanity either.
Basically, the series is about the younger heroes being shaken out of their feeling of indifference and deciding to strive to make the world a better place. In the series finale, the young heroes vow to strive to hold up the ideals their parents taught them, albeit in a less naive and more practical manner.
1 There Is A Prequel Series
Jupiter's Circle is a comic series created by the same team of Millar and Quitely. It tells the story of The Union Of Justice in their youth before they had grown superhero children running around. This series takes place in the fifties and sixties and takes a look at the personal problems plaguing the superhero community while they deal with real-world historical problems plaguing the rest of America at that time, like the Vietnam war.