Review: Jupiter’s Legacy Premiere Episode Exposes The Downside Of Being A Righteous Superhero
Netflix’s newest original series is the adaptation of a Mark Millar comic book series, Jupiter’s Legacy. The new show is based upon the premise of why good guys are good, and the cost it takes to be righteous in a world that is anything but. The latest series debuted all its episodes on Netflix today. But I’ll be taking a look at how the Jupiter’s Legacy premiere episode sets up the rest of the season. So check out my Spoiler-free review of the first episode of Jupiter’s Legacy.
Jupiter’s Legacy Premiere Episode Sets Up Some Relatable Family Drama
Brothers, having ‘the talk’. The other one. | Image via Netflix.
The opening of the Jupiter’s Legacy premiere episode introduces us to a world of superheroes and supervillains. A brief introductory superhero fight sees a young hero named Paragon (Andrew Horton) struggle to take down a super snarky villain. He’s saved by his dad, the premiere superhero of this world, The Utopian. Cue trumpets. Paragon gets dressed down by daddy dearest in a way that’s very much a dad nagging at his son from bringing home a B-minus on his math quiz.
After the opening credits, we’re treated to the very normal life of The Utopian (Josh Duhamel) and Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb) cooking in their kitchen. Their interaction reveals interesting bits about their (superhero) lives. The most intriguing is about how old they truly are. Discussing their troubles with an estranged daughter, and their disappointment with the son, the scene felt very familiar. It’s elements that we’re seeing unfolding in The CW’s Superman And Lois series premiere too, but with older and fully formed superhero (ish) kids. So a brooding but eager to please son, a dysfunctional and bitter daughter, and the weight of the world is what Utopian’s arc seems to be in the show. But, then there are the flashbacks.
The Format of the Jupiter’s Legacy Premiere Episode Draws You In
Young Sheldon | Image via Netflix.
The format of the first episode of Jupiter’s Legacy seems to be going back and forth from this present-day drama, to just how the world’s best superhero got his powers. Or, at least that’s where the story seems to be going. A sequence in the 1920s sees a much younger Utopian, or rather, Sheldon Sampson, as a well-do son of a construction magnate. And the story seems to take place right during one of American history’s biggest events, the Stock Market crash of the ‘20s. And how that story plays out is shockingly heartbreaking.
It looks like Jupiter’s Legacy is going to be one of those shows, similar to This Is Us, that goes between the present and past, contextualizing the characters and the story as it goes. I don’t think it’s an accident that we’re seeing young Sheldon as a privileged Daddy’s boy who gets a rude awakening in the past. And then seeing how his own relationship with his kids is strained in the present day. To say the least. That dynamic and how it all plays it will be extremely interesting to see unfold.
The Hook of Jupiter’s Legacy Is The World and the Characters
When super-daddy has to clean up your mess. | Image via Netflix.
Jupiter’s Legacy premiere episode is very much all introduction and set up. And as far as that goes, it’s definitely interesting. How Sheldon and the others get their powers looks to be the biggest mystery of the show. How a fun-loving young man becomes the head of the biggest superhero organization, with all the burdens that come with it, is the hook.
There’s a great scene in this first episode between Utopian and his brother Brainwave (Ben Daniels). It’s a scene that, for once, establishes a huge superhero concept that we all take for granted; the Code. The brothers discuss how the world might be a better place if superheroes took a more active role, in government and leadership. Utopian’s argument is rather that they need to do good and inspire people to do better, rather than tell them how to do it. It’s something that, at least for me, articulates a huge superhero idea, very succinctly.
The fact that superheroes, with unlimited power, starting to make policy and influencing the world, can end in disaster. So the Utopian, through his Code, forces all superheroes under him to be better than the villains. To care about people and not just kill bad guys. Actually, never kill, no matter what the circumstances. Something easier said than done, as we find out near the episode’s third act.
Jupiter’s Legacy Can Be Pivotal In the Genre
Going to the Dark Seid. Typo? | Image via Netflix.
This new Netflix original is intriguing for many reasons. The show features some incredible action sequences, a generational team of superheroes, and a large world with rich history. But more so, its exploration of established superhero edicts and ideals is fascinating. Not to mention the shows analysis of the practical applications of these ideals, separates it from others. And deconstructing the superhero genre seems to be becoming a genre of its own these days.
Jupiter’s Legacy is a must-watch and looks to be a great addition to the landscape of all the superhero content out there. And it definitely staves off any sort of superhero fatigue that we keep hearing rumors about.
Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy is now streaming on Netflix.
Did the Jupiter’s Legacy premiere episode sell you on the series? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.