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Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy review: Subversive superhero series takes unflinching look at how violent it really would be to save the world

The superheroes have a legacy to uphold in the Netflix series (Picture: Steve Wilkie/Netflix)

New Netflix superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy blasts onto the scene in spectacular fashion, shining a brutal spotlight on just how violent saving the world would really be – blood, guts and all.

There’s undeniably no shortage of superhero stories out there at the moment, with caped crusaders, web-slingers and vigilantes reigning supreme across TV and cinema. But while some would say that there are too many, others would argue that as long as the content is of a high quality, then the more the better.

For those who are all for expanding the land of superheroes far and wide, Jupiter’s Legacy definitely won’t disappoint.

Despite its array of tight costume-clad characters, this show feels like anything but a traditional hero-saves-the-day kind of tale. It subverts norms of the genre and doesn’t shy away from putting the ugly side of superhero work on full display, all the while raising some big life questions that will leave viewers examining their own moral integrity.

Based on the comic book series of the same name by Mark Millar, the narrative follows a group of superheroes who gained their powers in the 1930s. 90 years later, the aged (but still active) heroic bunch are raising a new generation to protect the world… but these up-and-coming superheroes may choose to eschew the old, strait-laced ways of their seniors.

In the Netflix show, the original group who obtained special abilities decades ago include leader Sheldon Sampson, otherwise known as The Utopian (Josh Duhamel); his wife Grace Sampson, aka Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb); his brother Walter Sampson, also known as Brainwave (Ben Daniels); and his best friend George Hutchence, who also goes by Skyfox (Matt Lanter).

Viewers are transported back to the past to see where it all began (Picture: Steve Wilkie/Netflix)

But things aren’t all hunky-dory just because they now have the ability to move mountains. Over the years people fall out, relationships become fragmented and big egos go head-to-head in moments that see the series flit from superhero blockbuster to family drama.

Jupiter’s Legacy comes from the same writer who penned Kick-Ass, Wanted and Kingsman: The Secret Service, not to mention the Marvel Civil War comic book series that provided inspiration for the explosive 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.

If anyone knows how best to depict squabbling superheroes, it’s Mark, with the Scottish comic book writer imbuing Jupiter’s Legacy with his signature gritty style.

Brandon Sampson (Andrew Horton) strives to live up to his parents (Picture: Courtesy of Netflix)

The Netflix show places just as much emphasis on the characters’ psyches as it does on their powers, which serves as a powerful reminder of their humanity. The inner demons that they’re fighting are as equally as important as their real-life foes, and this turmoil feeds into the dysfunctional family dynamic of the Sheldon clan.

Mark’s original story is brought to life by the captivating performances from the cast, who each manage to have their own standout moments despite being a part of a vast ensemble.

Chloe Sampson (Elena Kampouris) has a rebellious streak (Picture: Steve Wilkie/Netflix)

In the cases of some characters, future seasons will provide the opportunity for more thorough character development. But fortunately, it feels likely that Jupiter’s Legacy won’t just be a one-season hit, with much more content from the comics available for the actors to delve into.

Jupiter’s Legacy verdict

At first glance, it seemed as though Jupiter’s Legacy was just going to be a grown-up version of Sky High. But from the very start, it’s apparent that this series is not one to pigeon-hole. It’s refreshing, engrossing and packs one mean punch – what more could you want?

Fans of the comics will be delighted to see how faithfully the characters’ superhero costumes have been adapted on screen. Some elements of the story have been altered slightly, such as introducing a certain character at an earlier stage than in the source material, but this helps to move the plot forward and set up future instalments.

While it’s a treat to have eight episodes exploring the lives of these characters, if anything it felt as though the season could have gone on longer. Nonetheless, if your viewers are left wanting more, then you’ve definitely hit the jackpot.

Despite being chock-a-block full of cracking action sequences and absorbing exchanges, the first season of Jupiter’s Legacy has only just scratched the surface of this tale. Stay tuned.

Jupiter’s Legacy is available to watch on Netflix.

Credit: Source

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