There’s a new comic adaptation hitting TV screens today, as Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s superhero epic Jupiter’s Legacy comes to Netflix. As the first production born out of Netflix’s history-making purchase of comic book company Millarworld, a lot is riding on Jupiter’s Legacy, at least reputationally.

Unfortunately, whether you’re coming to the series fresh, or are familiar with the source material, Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy is a largely underwhelming experience.

The series set-up

Drawing barely-veiled inspiration from material such as Golden Age comics and pulp adventures like Doc Savage, Jupiter’s Legacy is essentially Millar and Quitely’s take on DC’s landmark Kingdom Come series from the mid-90s. As per the comic, the TV series is a tale of inter-generational conflict between superheroes and is set in our reality.

Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy follows two timelines simultaneously. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, disgraced steel magnate Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) is plagued by visions of a mysterious island. Finally, he embarks on an expedition to find it. After numerous trials, Sheldon and his band of companions prove worthy of incredible, world-changing gifts. They return to the United States with super powers, nifty costumes and new names to match.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jupiters-Legacy-Season1-13.jpg

Sheldon is the Superman-esque Utopian; his brother Walt (Ben Daniels) becomes Brainwave, a Martian Manhunter-styled hero; and playboy best friend George (Matt Lanter) is Batman stand-in Skyfox. Meanwhile, journalist Grace (Leslie Bibb) transforms into Wonder Woman equivalent Lady Liberty; ex-Sampson employee Fitz (Mike Wade) becomes Flash-like The Flare; and doctor Richard (David Julian Hirsh) is Blue Bolt, in a nod to Green Lantern.

Immediately, this Union of heroes pledges to live by the “Code.” The first generation of super-powered beings exists to serve and inspire humanity. They will not lead, and they will not kill.

Jump forward almost a century to present day, and the new generation of superheroes has a very different set of priorities. They’re all about prestige, parties and that sweet influencer life. That applies especially to Sheldon and Grace’s daughter Chloe (Elena Kampouris). Even the new-gen heroes who continue to uphold the Code, like Chloe’s brother Brandon (Andrew Horton), feel disillusioned. The “no kill” rule is getting them massacred as villains increasingly use deadly force.

Change is coming to this character-stuffed universe. And referencing Game of Thrones is suitable, as Jupiter’s Legacy peppers its CW-grade superhero action and domestic drama with graphic violence, sex, and plot twists.

Coming into the series fresh – Tracy

Without the background of the comics, watching Jupiter’s Legacy is confusing at the best of times. As mentioned, the storytelling of the show jumps between modern-day happenings and flashbacks to the original six, with little context to go on. Usually this isn’t a problem; with Netflix adaptations it’s generally a case of wait a few episodes and things start falling into place. With Jupiter’s Legacy, however, I had to restrain myself from reaching for the Wikipedia page of the books after every episode.

The story feels jumbled and disjointed. Plot hooks seem to be dangled, then whisked away never to be seen again. The flashbacks to the rise, fall, and rise again of Sheldon and crew are the most coherent parts, focusing on the build-up to how their great powers were granted. With a limited complement of characters and more straight-forward narrative, I would have happily watched a series based solely on this older time period.

Jumping forward to the present though, the Golden Age is over and the younger members of the Union chafe at the rules that hold them back. The problem is that none of these younglings are in any way likeable. I know it’s got to be tough trying to live up to the legacy of their parents and predecessors, but most of the new generation come across as entitled, whiney brats (not helped by some truly cringe-worthy acting), while Sheldon, Walter, and, to a lesser extent, Grace, are a parody of “back in my day” old-timers.

I can see the outline of what Jupiter’s Legacy is trying to do. It’s bold and relevant. Unfortunately, it only ever remains an outline. The inter-generational conflicts are shouted loud, without a hint of subtlety. We’re moved briskly between action setpieces and personal conflicts without much thought as to the why of it all. Season 1 is starkly black and white, and could have done with more subtle shading and colouring in.

Paradoxically, while wanting more shading, Jupiter’s Legacy somehow still feels overly long. The first season is only eight episodes, some of which are as short as 31 minutes, and yet somehow it’s still tedious to get through it all. The show spends a lot of time unnecessarily spinning its wheels, revisiting the same concepts and repeating similar dialogue over and over without going anywhere.

As I mentioned, Jupiter’s Legacy is a confusing experience at best. It could have been both shorter and longer, more dynamic as well as more reflective, more detailed but also less complicated. Half the story had me interested while the other half irritated beyond belief. And it was a slog to get to the point where those two stories met.

As a comic adaptation – Noelle

Let’s be honest. As a comic book series, Jupiter’s Legacy (and prequel Jupiter’s Circle) has always been more thought-provoking than a meaty exploration of, well, anything. The story and characters are thinly sketched, which is fine for the medium as readers are used to filling in the gaps with throwaway lines and educated guesses.

However, with Jupiter’s Legacy being transplanted to TV, it felt like the perfect opportunity to flesh out characters and answer some of the biggest questions about the show’s universe – like where do the other superheroes and villains, unrelated to the original six, come from? What is the real relevance of the title? This kind of deepening of the comic book experience is something that Netflix’s Umbrella Academy adaptation has done so well.

The first season of Jupiter’s Legacy does expand on some key characters and issues glossed over in the comics. However, for the most part it functions like a prequel to the first Jupiter’s Legacy comic arc. If a live-action version of issues 1-5 (now bundled in the Volume 3 “Netflix Edition” paperback) is what you’re here for, note that Season 1 of the show is just a setup.

As a result, watching Jupiter’s Legacy can feel like a trial at times, with the Utopian berating his offspring at least twice per episode, and a season-long build-up to the island expedition. You really just want the adaptation to get on with things, knowing what’s to come.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t already pleasures for fans. The casting is largely spot-on, with special mention going to Kampouris as hot mess Chloe, who comes across as a twitchy combination of Winona Ryder and Judy Garland. Then there’s Daniels’s Walt, who has had his voice of reason, and multiple sacrifices, overlooked for decades because of his morally rigid, golden boy brother.

Other familiar faces from later issues of the comic make an appearance as well, while the adaptation includes easter eggs for readers, like Lady Liberty using her signature suplex wrestling move on villains.

What changes have been made to the comic characters are welcome, and feel natural. Much like Shadow and Bone, on-screen tweaks offset the lack of representation in the source material. Where Sheldon and his league of heroes are all white, ultra-privileged Ivy League buddies on the comic page, in the Netflix series, Fitz/The Flare is a black man doubly disadvantaged during the Depression. Meanwhile, Skyfox’s canonically biracial son, who was lily-white in the comics, is played by an actor (Ian Quinlan) of obvious mixed ethnicity.

It’s just that the onscreen Jupiter’s Legacy doesn’t ever seem confident about what it wants to be. Gore, sex and shirtless dude shots have been dialled up, but the razor-sharp cynicism and shocking darkness present in the comic are diluted. You have to wonder if the series was impacted by the mid-production departure of showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, creator of Starz’s Spartacus, and helmer of Daredevil S1.

As it stands, Season 1 is Jupiter’s Legacy in first gear. It sets the stage to accelerate into bigger and better things, but now we wait to see if we even reach that point. All eight episodes of Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 are streaming on Netflix from today, 7 May.

Last Updated: May 7, 2021

Jupiter's Legacy
Much like its cast in their superhero costumes, Jupiter’s Legacy seems uncomfortable in its current form, coming across like a cheesy CW superhero drama that’s been stitched together with R-rated Game of Thrones intensity and intrigue. The end of Season 1 sets the stage for a promising future, but it’s a slog to reach that point; not helped by the general lack of likeable characters, and tedious retreading of the same plot points.
6.0
/10

60 Comments

  1. Lu

    May 7, 2021 at 03:16

    Big sad. Was really hoping for this to be good.

    Reply

    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      May 19, 2021 at 03:58

      It is good. Give it a watch.

      Reply

      • Lu

        May 19, 2021 at 04:43

        I binged it the weekend with the missus, and dayum I was actually pleasantly surprised.
        I’ll always give a show a chance regardless of the reviews (taste is relevant after all).
        Overall a great show and I’m keen on Season 2.

        Reply

        • Mandalorian Jim

          May 19, 2021 at 04:44

          It’s actually a fantastic show, and I can’t wait for the second season.

          Reply

  2. Kapitan Balalaika

    May 7, 2021 at 04:36

    Well, lemme remove it from my watch list.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      May 17, 2021 at 05:06

      It’s actually a good show, not sure what the reviewer was on, but this review is so far removed from reality, it’s almost like they reviewed something else completely. Or maybe they were expecting the Boys, or Umbrella Academy.

      Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      May 17, 2021 at 05:06

      It’s actually a good show, not sure what the reviewer was on, but this review is so far removed from reality, it’s almost like they reviewed something else completely. Or maybe they were expecting the Boys, or Umbrella Academy.

      Reply

  3. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    May 8, 2021 at 04:46

    “but most of the new generation come across as entitled, whiney brats”

    Sounds pretty true-to-life

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      May 17, 2021 at 05:08

      Yeah, I think it’s a pretty decent commentary on the world at large, with a large proportion of entitled youth thinking they’re owed something by society at large, or their parents. I was actually expecting the usual from netflix, but this was actually a pretty smart little series. Not completely flawless, but interesting and entertaining.

      Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        May 18, 2021 at 04:16

        You are on the button, banana-sir

        At first the whole “Code” thing was rather obtuse, but they added layers to it that I did not expect and made you think a bit about the B/W of it.

        Also the villain was not expected!

        Reply

        • Mandalorian Jim

          May 18, 2021 at 07:33

          Yeah, I definitely agree. Sadly, Darryn has decided to ban me. The funny thing is, I literally have nearly 1000 Mandalorian or Banana Jim accounts, and they can ban the but each time more will crop up.

          https://media3.giphy.com/media/xUOxeVDxKi7UQVS9ck/giphy.gif

          Reply

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 18, 2021 at 07:35

            But I’ve decided since the website is practically dead, the comment section only has one or two people posting these days. What’s the point? Gavin, Darryn… you guys did it. You killed the site. Good job lads.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 03:54

            Dang. The fuck did I miss while I was in prison?

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 03:54

            Dang. The fuck did I miss while I was in prison?

          • Hammersteyn

            May 18, 2021 at 07:55

            We’ll always have the t-shirts from lagz and each other on social media at least to discuss games, shows, and movies. Agreeing or disagreeing whether things suck or not. Doing and saying what we want without being banned.

            It was fun here but nothing lasts forever.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 18, 2021 at 08:02

            A sad state of affairs, and yep a lesson for all – “Nothing lasts forever”. The weird thing is, Darryn or Gavin banned me for no apparent reason (I thought I was being fairly nice with them). But clearly, “someone” has serious power issues, and I guess the failing website is getting to them…

            Press F for Criticalhit!

            I’ll probably be back every once in a while just to mock the site’s ever dropping numbers, and the comment section that’s so dead, it’s making NAG look like it’s back out of life support.

            PS: Guys, I’m not joking about the multiple Banana Jim accounts.

          • Hammersteyn

            May 18, 2021 at 08:10

            Don’t torture yourself like you did watching TLOU2. They’re doing what they feel is best and seemingly it’s not for the old regulars I guess. So leave them be would be my advice. Rather come tell us about how cool your PS5 is 😉

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 18, 2021 at 08:12

            lol, the only think I can say about the PS5 is that it’s one sexy beast… and so quiet… https://media4.giphy.com/media/vGtrVt7hZrEdy/giphy.gif

          • Ant Visagie

            May 18, 2021 at 11:25

            I’m still waiting to get my hands on one in Sydney. It’s easy to find one of the xbox series consoles but the PS5 is like a unicorn. Did you order online or something?

          • Ant Visagie

            May 19, 2021 at 03:51

            I saw your reply before it was deleted about ordering online. I’ve tried that but stock has been very limited and whenever it there’s an allocation its sold out within seconds. But enjoy the PS5. I’ll remain envious.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 19, 2021 at 04:35

            As I replied to you last night, I actually got lucky, one of the retailers had stock, and my payment went though – actually it was the wife. She bought a mixer and saw the PS5 was on sale and just bought it as well.

          • The D

            May 18, 2021 at 09:21

            I don’t like indulging you, but fuckit I don’t care. Yeah, you were banned. You were starting your grief again and I don’t care for it anymore.

            You “acting nice” all of a sudden doesn’t make up for years of you also being a toxic presence. So I’m going to say it nicely: You’re not welcome here. You’ve tried picking verbal fights in the past, and frankly I don’t know why you’re here if that’s all that you want to do.

            You want to keep posting with your other accounts? Fine go ahead, we’ll ban those as well. Join a Discord, chat on Whatsapp about how we’re snowflakes, just please go away.

            Go wax lyrical about how you wish for the good old days when you had daily boobie pictures or whatever, or carry on about how the site is dying because apparently you can log into our internal Google analytics.

            We’ve all ahd enough of you, and I reallise this is probably futile because you’re desperate to have the last word in anything. Whatever, we’re done. There’s thousands of other people we write for, even if they don’t comment.

          • Ant Visagie

            May 18, 2021 at 11:09

            So, your current strategy is to ban everyone? https://media4.giphy.com/media/dBf0OpOH96MTM6hYqr/giphy.gif

          • The D

            May 18, 2021 at 11:28

            Yes.If you want to be toxic, go elsewhere. There’s a bunch of guys here who have valid criticism and you can debate with in a civil manner. And there are people who are just being negtaively contrarian for teh lolz or because they’re consumed by bitterness. And I just don’t feel like dealing with them anymore. End of story.

          • Ant Visagie

            May 18, 2021 at 11:32

            I’ve read his comments.

            When you say he was toxic do you mean he disagreed with you or because he didn’t share your optimism on every single article? So, that’s what you think is toxic? So you want a cult like in Far Cry 5 where we all post happy things?

          • The D

            May 18, 2021 at 11:45

            Honestly after the last year and some change, a cult of positivity would be brilliant.

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 19, 2021 at 01:07

            Jim’s had many comments deleted and has been extremely toxic since he went right wing looney. He literally now just makes random garbage up and regurgitates whatever his version of Fox news tells him to.

            I’ve not been part of the discussion to ban him this time but he definitely deserves it. I just hope the man can find some happiness somewhere that doesn’t revolve around him being nasty.

            Love and peace man

          • Ant Visagie

            May 19, 2021 at 03:39

            It’s a pity you deleted all of his latest comments because I wanted to reply to a few of them.

            As I said yesterday to the D, you guys definitely don’t come out of this looking like the good guys. I’ve read his posts over the years. They were witty, funny and his critiques were usually 100% on point. I don’t care too much about his politics, because I’m in Oz, and we have our own issues here. Does he deserve to be banned? I don’t know but it certainly seems like there was personal beef between you guys,

            But, I still think you’re merely hiding behind calling those that you’re personally targeting as “toxic” much in the same way that others would dismiss you as a bunch of “snowflakes”. This site is one of those rare ones that isn’t blocked at work, but I don’t think I’ll bother posting here much any more.

            Love and peace man.

            https://media3.giphy.com/media/hFcaXnbuqf6R6sDxbl/giphy.gif

          • Ant Visagie

            May 19, 2021 at 03:46

            To be fair, I haven’t been posting here for a while ever since the last banning incident, but this kind of seals it for me. Pity, this was one of the few Saffer gaming sites I visited. I guess I’ll stick with the aussie or kiwi ones now.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 04:14

            Links?

          • The G

            May 19, 2021 at 11:47

            So let me get this straight they banned one of their most popular posters? That’s balsy or just incredibly stupid.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 19, 2021 at 05:02

            lol, you really love to project, aye Gav… You keep on forgetting, I learnt about QANON from your weird rants! You knew all the talking points from Fox News, which means YOU were invested in all of that. It was you all along, bud. As much as you like to gaslight, it’s just not going to happen. You’re the one who left SA and emigrating so quickly, that the dust barely settled at OR Tambo. Not me, I’m not ranting about South Africa from a far.

            I’m still working at a local NGO dealing with real issues that face people. lol, And I’m the right wing loon. P-R-O-J-E-C-T-I-O-N!

            https://media1.giphy.com/media/0HrlXFQOq898Nc5REc/giphy.gif

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 19, 2021 at 05:43

            erm dude, I never rant about South Africa. Not to mention I have always been British, I was literally born in the town most people struggle to pronounce (Worcester)

            You truly lost the plot and it was sad to see but I’m glad it’s over. Cheers man, enjoy your life

            A last comment… boasting about your ignorance isn’t the lib own you think it is. Think more, type less, smile more. Win

          • Ant Visagie

            May 18, 2021 at 11:35

            Just from my point of view, it seems like you’re acting like a petulant child. Banning people because they don’t agree with you? I hope you realise you don’t come off as the good guys here, right?

          • The D

            May 18, 2021 at 11:45

            Nope, I’m banning someone who has been a regular pain, at one point last year expressed how much he wanted this website to crash and burn, regularly picks fights, and only comments when he knows he can get a negative reaction.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 03:56

            Darryn, you’ve finally become the Batman! Lived long enough to see yourself become the villain.

            Dreams do come true!

          • Ant Visagie

            May 19, 2021 at 04:06

            Was your comment deleted? The one about “coming out of prison” and wanting to know what was happening?

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 04:17

            Looks like lmao

            I only typed: “Dang, the fuck did I miss while I was in prison?”

            Do you see anything offensive there?

            Also, prison was a metaphor for toxic relationship, back in my day lol

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 19, 2021 at 04:43

            It clearly was very toxic….

          • Ant Visagie

            May 19, 2021 at 03:59

            It’s almost like when the revolutionary leader overthrows the dictatorship and then unwittingly becomes the dictator himself.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 18, 2021 at 08:10

            Honestly, I chucked mine a while back, same with the critical hit fridge magnets. I think Nick had a couple made for rAge?

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 03:47

            You are literally a virus lol

          • Mandalorian Jim

            May 19, 2021 at 04:49

            A viral infection has such negative connotations. I’d like to think I’m more like a healthy mushroom farm. Growing delicious black tumpet mushrooms for all to consume.

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 19, 2021 at 05:40

            viral infection is accurate…

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 06:31

            But that’s not toxic enough

  4. Jawaka99

    May 11, 2021 at 10:25


    The problem is that none of these younglings are in any way likeable. I
    know it’s got to be tough trying to live up to the legacy of their
    parents and predecessors, but most of the new generation come across as
    entitled, whiney brats (not helped by some truly cringe-worthy acting),
    while Sheldon, Walter, and, to a lesser extent, Grace, are a parody of
    “back in my day” old-timers.”

    So its kinds based on reality then?

    Reply

  5. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    May 17, 2021 at 04:05

    I decided to watch the 1st episode and see what’s what. I finished the season. Pleasantly surprised. I think you were a bit harsh on it.

    Reply

  6. Mandalorian Jim

    May 17, 2021 at 05:05

    Yeah, not sure what the reviewer was watching, but it’s actually not a bad show. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

    Reply

    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      May 19, 2021 at 03:57

      A bit harsh I thought

      Reply

      • Ant Visagie

        May 19, 2021 at 04:10

        Last comment, until I ride off into the sunset. I thought it was a good show too, but that’s reviewing for you. It’s all subjective and based on the mood of the reviewer. Maybe their blood sugar was low, maybe they had a bad phone call before hand, or maybe they had a bunch of expectations, or didn’t quite understand what they were watching. It’s just part of the game.

        Cheers fellow commentators. Ant’s out!

        https://media1.giphy.com/media/xUOwGg2TUacoHRCVKU/giphy-downsized-medium.gif

        Reply

        • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

          May 19, 2021 at 04:11

          Be safe ma man

          Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 19, 2021 at 05:34

          Sorry I wasn’t around more

          Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          May 19, 2021 at 05:39

          I didn’t really enjoy it, it was okay at best and I like popcorn garbage

          Reply

        • Mandalorian Jim

          May 19, 2021 at 04:46

          Go with Christ, buddy. I’m also going to go and take that relaxing pleasure cruise away from Port Criticalhit. I could keep on posting, but as I said, there’s no real point. I might as well go to SA gamer or Nag. Or maybe give us some links for the aussie sites?

          Reply

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            May 19, 2021 at 05:16

            Yea I’m also waiting

        • The G

          May 19, 2021 at 11:48

          You’re leaving 2? ?

          Reply

  7. HvR

    May 17, 2021 at 06:51

    Good show with very good action sequences to keep you entertained.

    No idea whoever wrote this had trouble following the dual storylines ….. it was very straight forward to follow with the characters non superhuman names being used and the flashback storyline set in the late 1920’s. Will go as far as to say it was much easier to follow than other series that used the same storytelling mechanic.

    Would say 7 or even 8 would have been a much closer review score and about 100 times better than CW shows.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      May 18, 2021 at 07:33

      I’d probably give it a 8 to be honest. It was a pretty decent show.

      Reply

  8. Yozzie

    May 18, 2021 at 09:52

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