Review: Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 (2021)

Jupiter’s Legacy season 1 contains 8 episodes which are all available to watch on Netflix from 7th May 2021.

Six ordinary people were once given extraordinary powers that would impact them and the world over the next 100 years.

PLOT AND STORY

After nearly a century of keeping mankind safe, the world’s first generation of superheroes must look to their children to continue the legacy. But tensions rise as the young superheroes, hungry to prove their worth, struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary public reputations — and exacting personal standards. Based on the graphic novels by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Jupiter’s Legacy is an epic superhero drama that spans decades and navigates the complex dynamics of family, power, and loyalty.

Jupiter’s Legacy spans a century-following a family grappling with the pressures of being superheroes in the present day, while also revealing their journey in 1929 to become those superheroes. As these eight episodes progress, their stories unfold across timelines and we’re introduced to their children–the next generation of young, disillusioned heroes. What we’re left with is a shocking end that blurs the lines of good and evil.

As a fan of the comic books since the day they were published I was extremely excited, yet nervous to watch this series. I am super happy to say that all my fears faded away by the end of the first episode. Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight has done a brilliant job in taking the source material, staying true to its core principles while being creative with the story and characters enough to build something new. This is a series I can see appealing to a broad audience because it’s got an adult theme, interesting and diverse characters in a world of superheroes. Also, with the show’s duel story structure there is a 1920’s period drama which might appeal to people who would not be the regular comic book show fan.

For once this is a series I feel could have benefited from 1 or 2 more episodes. At only eight episodes we do get a fantastic story packed full of great action, family drama and romance without any ‘filler’ episodes or wasted time. However, I do believe it would have been nice to have an episode or two focusing on the younger heroes. The older, original heroes get their stories explained very well and we do get a glimpse into their conflicts with the younger heroes but it could have been beneficial to see these conflicts fleshed out a little. If the comics are anything to go on then I assume they will be the bigger focus in season 2 (fingers crossed).

PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION

When Netflix entered the world of making comic book shows with their Marvel TV series they raised the bar to a level that very few other companies have managed to achieve. Once again, here with Jupiter’s Legacy Netflix have produced a high end TV series about people flying around in capes that looks like it has had big money spent on it. The costumes, the settings, the effects and the sheer grand scale of production proves Netflix took this show very seriously. 

Developed by Steven S. DeKnight who brings huge amounts of experience in building big, popular TV shows like Daredevil, Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also directs two episodes with the remaining six episodes being directed by a talented and experienced group Christopher J. Byrne (American Gods, Star Trek Discovery) Marc Jobst (Daredevil, The Witcher) and Charlotte Brandstrom (The Witcher, Man in the High Castle).

A special mention to costume designer Lizz Wolf who creates some wonderful looking costumes for our heroes. They all play great homage to the original comics but with a modern and more detailed finish. Some designs in the comics are quite plain so the little touches added for the show make such a difference. A great example of this is the insignia on Brainwaves costume which adds a touch of class to what is quite a plain looking costume in the comic.

JUPITER’S LEGACY (L-R) MATT LANTER as GEORGE HUTCHENCE, MIKE WADE as FITZ SMALL, JOSH DUHAMEL as SHELDON SAMPSON, LESLIE BIBB as GRACE SAMPSON, and BEN DANIELS as WALTER SAMPSON in episode 6 of JUPITER’S LEGACY. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX

CAST

The figurehead of the series is Sheldon Sampson aka The Utopian played by Josh Duhamel in a much more serious and grounded performance than I am used to seeing from the former Transformers star. I think Duhamel does a great job as the Utopian with a very commanding presence. His wife Grace Sampson aka Lady Liberty is played by Leslie Bibb who is a solid rock on the arm of the Utopian and has some touching moments with on screen son Brandon Sampson. Brandon aka Paragon has a vastly different personality to the comic and spends most of the show in the shadow of his father. Brandon is played by Andrew Horton and along with some of the other younger actors I feel he could see this show propel him to a bright future. 

There are two other actors I feel really stand out in the show, the first being Elana Kampouris who plays Chloe and creates such a mesmerising presence on screen. Finally the stand out actor for me in the whole show is Ian Quinlan who plays Hutch. He joins the show with such a swagger and oozes coolness in every scene and steadily becomes more and more integral as the show progresses. A very attractive actor with a style of the musician The Weekend I’m sure Hutch will quickly become a fan favourite character.

Completing the cast is Ben Daniels who plays Sheldon’s older brother Walter aka Brainwave. Mike Wade is Fitz Small aka The Flare, Matt Lanter is George Hutchence aka Skyfox, David Julian Hirsh is Richard Conrad aka Blue Bolt and Paul Amos as Barnabas Wolfe who easily has the coolest entrance to the show. 

FINAL THOUGHTS 

I was genuinely nervous about this show because of how much I adored the comics and I can honestly say that I loved every episode. You can tell how much time and care went into making this show because of how good it looks and how well its delivered. Whether you know the comics or not I feel everyone will enjoy this and can see it occupying the number 1 spot on Netflix for some time. A serious, grown up show about family struggles, dealing with expectations and growing up in the spotlight while wrapped in the pages of a comic book show. This is a huge, self contained superhero story with comparisons to The Justice League and The Avengers and is packed full of action, drama and emotion. 

I watched this via an advance screener issued by Netflix UK and received no incentive to review this series. All images and art work are courtesy of Netflix and their respective owners.

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