Jupiter’s Legacy “By Dawn’s Early Light”

Netflix bought the rights to the Millarworld comics once upon a time, and it looks like they finally got one of those comics onto their streaming platform with Jupiter’s Legacy.  I may not be the biggest fan of writer Mark Millar’s work, but I did read some of the Jupiter’s Legacy stuff and liked a lot of it.  As such, I always intended to check this show out and was just waiting for a break in my schedule to do so.

Then Netflix canceled it after one season with talk of continuing the story with movies or mini-series or something.  So, you know, checking in didn’t seem quite so vital, but hey, here we are now.

Now, given this is based on a Mark Millar comic, I had a good idea what to expect.  It would somehow combine idealistic heroes with extreme violence and perhaps creative uses of superpowers.  Much of the aforementioned extreme violence will be done in a manner that might seem “cool” to a teenage boy.  I don’t expect that level of violence on Netflix, but as far as that goes, I’ll just have to wait and see.

The story here is about a Justice League-like team where the Superman-like leader the Utopian is also one Sheldon Solomon   He has two kids with his Wonder Woman-ish wife Grace/Lady Liberty.  Sheldon has been around for over a century, but he knows he won’t be around forever.  One of his kids will have to take his place at some point.  Both have powers.  Both are, in their own way, a disappointment to Sheldon.

Son Brandon is a superhero like his father, known as the Paragon.  But he can’t quite live up to his dad’s ideals, exemplified in the Code, a set of standards that all the heroes in the Union are expected to live by.  Violence is to be no more than enough to subdue a villain.  Killing is forbidden.  All heroes owe it to those less fortunate than themselves to protect them, but at the same time, they are not to interfere with things like the economy or political stagnation.  The powers are to be in service of others, but are also to be restrained.  Brandon can’t quite get things done right.

But then there’s daughter Chloe.  She’s a model, but she tends to be something of a party girl, a drunk, and someone who doesn’t mind wearing very little in her photo shoots, all to her father’s general disapproval.

However…there’s also Sheldon’s brother Walter, AKA Brainwave.  Walter has different ideas going back to the days before the start of the Great Depression–something Walter saw coming–that the heroes can do more than they are to solve the sorts of problems superheroes never solve.  Sheldon sees that as a slippery slope to dictatorship.  But he and their father were those sort of rich guys who saw opening up more steel plants as good for the workers and the sort of rich guys that probably only really exist in fiction.

If you guess the Samson Patriarch jumps off the roof of his building as the stock market is crashing, well, you’ve heard some of this sort of stuff before.

So, there it is.  Sheldon has some ideals that no one can really live up to, Brandon is trying, Chloe doesn’t care, and Walter thinks there’s another way to do things.  How does this go wrong when it’s this messed up and it’s only the first episode?

Well, some Darkseid-lookin’ goober called Blackstar appears to break out of prison, and as he’s about to go nuclear and kill the Utopian and half the state, after already killing a couple younger members of the Union anyway, so Brandon hits him in the head a little too hard and kills the guy.  Does Sheldon appreciate that?  Not in the slightest.  Brandon broke the Code, and to Sheldon, that’s all that matters.

Oh, and Blackstar was still in prison the whole time.  So…what was that thing Brandon killed?

Not a bad start for a story that will probably never be finished.

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