Living up to the Legacy
I remember seeing Jupiter’s Legacy in the comic shop a while back, but I had no idea what it was about. There are so many comics coming out each week that I just stuck to my usual stuff. I actually wish I had taken a look at it then. I was recently in Netflix and happened to see a live action version of it on there with a line-up of heroes in spandex and figured I’d check it out. It’s an 8 episode season so I made it through it in a few days. I actually had to keep from just sitting there and binging it in one sitting. I definitely need to check out the original comic books to get more details on the characters and to see how much is different.
I’ll leave the spoilers below the usual banner but there’s a lot of interesting details that we can look over. The series takes place both in modern time and with the stock market crash in the 1920s. This means, we’re looking at a 90-100 year gap for the characters appearing in both eras. The story jumps back and forth between the 2 eras, showing what the world is now as we also unravel the mystery of how they got their powers. You get to see things unfold in the past knowing how some of it turns out in the future. It’s also interesting seeing the characters in their 20s in one scene and then looking in their 60s or 70s (slowed aging is a wonderful thing) even though they’d be well over 110 years old. You’ve even got a younger generation of heroes growing up in a time very different than the parents did. It’s a very interesting story and definitely very violent. It’s definitely a show worth checking out if the gore and the topic of suicide don’t bother you. I’m really looking forward to season 2 assuming that it gets renewed. Let’s get down to the details now.
When we are first introduced to Sheldon and Walter, they are working for their father who is a steel magnate. This is until the stock market crashes just a little while later. This causes their father to kill himself but it’s far from the last time you see him as Sheldon has a fit at the funeral, starts having visions, and sees his father talking to him. Of course, this is after the father’s multi-floor fall to the pavement outside so he’s not looking so great and not too fun to look at throughout the story. The visions lead Sheldon on quite a trek to find out what the visions are about and he eventually finds a place he drew and gets a new vision of latitudinal coordinates and a vision of a group of people including his brother, a long time friend George, a reporter who wrote about his father’s death, and some others.
Let’s catch up on the modern stuff. Sheldon is now known as the Utopian, a Superman clone who looks like a cross between Jesus and Santa Claus. Grace (the reporter) is now is wife, goes by Lady Liberty, and looks damn good for her age even with the long grey hair. They have two children. Their son, Brandon, has powers similar to his parents and is a super-hero named the Paragon. Their daughter, Chloe, is not part of the super-hero scene though despite her being as powerful as her brother. In fact, she tends to be constantly on drugs. If the kids are the age they look (assuming no slowed aging yet), the would have been born a little before the year 2000 which makes me wonder why Lady Liberty and the Utopian waited until they were going on 100 years old before having kids. The Utopian seems to still have his ideals from the 1920s which affects both kids in different way. It keeps Chloe away from her family all together.
We also see Walter now who is a hero known as Brainwave. (The names Lady Liberty and Brainwave just make me think of the DC characters and wonder why they chose those names instead of original ones.) He still hangs out with his brother and his family. They and the other members of the Union of Justice (including one of the original members, Fitz, who is how restricted to a wheelchair) often hang out at their own headquarters too which seems to be in an upper level of a building somewhere. It also has a table which somehow knows just what hologram to project above itself in relation to what the heroes are about to talk about. I love those smart computers. [end sarcasm] At points, they show all the original Union members flying so it makes me wonder if Fitz lost the power to fly since he never leaves the wheelchair or if he doesn’t fly for some reason related to his injury. There are also junior members of the Union too who all seem to be around the same age as the Utopian’s kids. (Most of them seem to be able to fly too. It’s a very common power in this world, I guess.) Barnabas Wolfe seems to be the only super-powered character who isn’t one of the Union originals or this new generation of heroes so it makes me wonder why no one else was born with powers in all that time.
Most of the story in modern time is driven around the idea of the Code which is no killing and other such rules. This really comes out when the Paragon kills a villain, Blackstar, that they are fighting to stop him from setting off an anti-matter blast that would have killed everyone around. (This isn’t counting all the younger heroes who were already massacred in the battle. Sheldon didn’t even know the non-hero names of the ones that Brandon grew up with and that they had a funeral for which shows his priorities.) The Utopian admonishes him for killing someone despite the fact that it was probably the only way to save everyone for quite a distance. He felt that he should have found a better way (even though Brandon only had about a second or two to react and even the Utopian couldn’t do anything to stop him) but all the citizens are glad to be alive which they feel is more important than the Code. I have to say that I agree with them. The Utopian is stuck in a mindset that can’t always work anymore in that world but it’s all black and white to him and everything he says falls under the “white” side and needs to be followed from his point of view. Even Superman isn’t this bad and he’s even more powerful. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the Utopian. I could be wrong but I have a feeling you’re not supposed to really like him a whole lot.
Back in the past, Sheldon gathers people, most of them with no idea why, to head out to the coordinates. On the way there, they find a doctor who had survived the destruction of his ship by an “intelligent storm” that ends up hitting the ship Sheldon was in too. This ends up being the first of what is obviously trials. (One of them required them to walk along a high and narrow mountain ledge. No way! Forget that!!!) While they go through them, they talk about who they would want to see again like how Sheldon sees his father. Richard, the doctor, mentions another doctor that was on his boat. From the way he talked, I was waiting for him to talk about him as a love interest but he doesn’t. I actually came across online that the character is gay. I guess they decided not to address that but hopefully they will if there is a season 2. The special effects when they reach the point where they get their powers is one of the coolest looking parts of the whole show and you have to wait until the final episode for that even though there are some quick views during some of Sheldon’s fits. When the energy is released and they get their powers, it washes over the people in the boat too and you see symbols show up on them briefly. I’m not sure if this is how others outside the families get powers in the future or what came of that because they didn’t show anything more related to it. (Again, this was the last episode so we’ll see what the future holds.)
Back in the future, we get all sorts of details. George, who went by Skyfox, became a bad guy whose location has been unknown for a while. His son Hutch has no powers, unlike the other kids, but he does have a staff that he can use to teleport anywhere just by saying where he wants to go. He uses it to commit crimes with some friends of his. Oddly enough, we see at the very end that Robert had been given that staff slong with his powers so it makes me wonder how Hutch got it any why it supposedly just works for him. Also, at one point Hutch calls it to him when the Utopian is holding it and that somehow keeps it from going to Hutch. It seemed to try to fly to him instead of teleport for some reason. We also find out that the bad guy they found is not the actual one and is a clone or something. It has Sheldon’s father’s watch stuck inside him but Sheldon still has his father’s watch. I thought it was going to be some time travel thing but it appears I was wrong. They suspected Skyfox had something to do with it so they find a way to “activate” the corpse so that Brainwave and his daughter (a telepath like her father but also an assassin which is pretty cool) could get in there and see what’s up. Walter finds George in there and has a battle with him in the corpse’s mind as the mind starts to degrade. Due to complications, Grace has to get sent in to save him but they get let go as explained by Walter. As we reach the end, we find out that George wasn’t actually behind it but that Walter had created the clone and everything else as some sort of plan to divide his brother and nephew. The whole scene with George doesn’t make sense then unless he was just putting it up for his daughter to see if she was watching telepathically. There are too many questions about this for it to make a whole lot of sense anyway, especially since he kills his daughter afterward. Now there’s an especially bad breaking of the Code!
I liked how the 1920s part went for the most part. I really want to see more about Richard’s character since you never see him in the modern day. There are too many questions on the modern day side like lack of middle-aged heroes and a lot going on around why Walter did a lot of things he did around the whole Blackstar thing. There seemed to be a lot of stuff that he did if he wasn’t the bad guy but that I wouldn’t see him doing if he was. Plus, if Brandon hadn’t stopped the clone, Walter would be dead too. The little reveal at the tail end of the last episodes left a lot of questions but not in a good way. It’s definitely a good show and I recommend watching it for all the actions and anything I haven’t mentioned. I just think that the ending could have been better.