I’d previously read Jupiter’s Legacy‘s prequel title Jupiter’s Circle. I wasn’t overly impressed by that one, but how about this original?
On the one hand, this is Mark Millar doing what Mark Millar always does. He brings in a bunch of superheroes, often thinly disguised versions of more recognizable heroes, and then has them act like, at best, hedonistic assholes who can engage in greater quantities of illicit substances because they have superpowers than normal people would want to without dying. He’s got a niche, and quite frankly, he’s not bad at it.
Anyone looking for Millar to do something new with the hero genre would be advised to look elsewhere. Once again, we have moralizing superhumans doing things that violate all the laws of physics and biology in a manner that says they aren’t even decent people. I don’t mind that, really, but it isn’t new.
It helps that the artwork comes from Millar’s old Authority collaborator Frank Quietly. Quietly knows his way around a sketchpad.
So, what happened here? Well, sometime in the 1930s, a group of six friends–five men and a woman–went to a mysterious island and became the world’s first superheroes. They formed a Justice League style-team, and the mightiest of the bunch, the Utopian, eventually married the woman and they had a pair of kids. Their son is named Brandon, and their daughter is Chloe. Both of the kids have problems living up to their parents’ reputation and expectations. Egging Brandon on on the sidelines is the Utopian’s psychic brother Walter. Walter thinks the world needs a more firm guiding hand–namely his own– to save the day from worse realities (America apparently has a 50% unemployment rate in this world). Chloe, meanwhile, learns she is pregnant after waking up from a drug overdose. The father? The bad boy, non-powered son of a former member of the original team, long missing and now considered the greatest villain on the planet.
The series takes some (predictably) dark turns before ending with a potential ray of hope sometime in the future. One of the kids will step up, while the other looks to be the villainous patsy of someone else. It’s nothing new for Millar, but if you don’t mind that, this should be an OK read. Eight out of ten quick flights to the moon. Quietly’s artwork elevates the rest of the book on its own.