The reviews for Jupiter’s Legacy are in, and it’s a mixed bag, with some outlets liking the new superhero show, and other’s calling it “a derivative bore.”
The first collaboration between Netflix and comic book writer Mark Millar, the show revolves around a superhero family who became superheroes at the tail-end of the 1920s, and has been saving the world ever since. And it plays out over two timelines, showing how one generation gained their powers during the Great Depression, and how their children are coping with that legacy in the present day.
IGN - 7/10
IGN gives the show 7/10 in their review, praising plot and characters, and saying this about the action:
"Jupiter's Legacy doesn't quite reach the theatrical-quality heights of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but it does do an adequate job of capturing the spectacle of demigods trying to tear each other apart."
Most of the action takes place in the present-day story, with a particular thrilling battle in the premiere that serves as a great showcase for the variety of superpowers these heroes possess with the help of some solid visual effects."
Digital Spy - 2/5
When focussing on the cast, Digital Spy in their Jupiter's Legacy review was impressed by one of the younger actors, writing:
“Elena Kampouris is a clear standout in the role of Sheldon's daughter, Chloe, who is left adrift and overwhelmed by all the pressure that comes with being part of the Sampson family. And it doesn't help that she ends up dating Hutch Hutchence (Ian Quinlan), the son of the world's greatest supervillain."
Their relationship adds a neat wrinkle to this enduring notion of legacy and how it's often intertwined with pain. Hutch also stars in some of the show's very best scenes, including one unforgettable moment that involves shark-infested waters.”
The Radio Times - 2/5
In their review, The Radio Times states that the question at the heart of the show – about whether superheroes should ever kill their villainous counterparts – has been done before, and done better:
“It’s a debate any superhero fan will have heard several times before and the iteration pitched here falls well short of the pack (in fact, Netflix’s own Daredevil did a better version in its second season). Rather than develop the argument or add any fresh perspective, Jupiter’s Legacy simply hammers the same points over and over again until the whole discussion becomes a tedious chore – an issue exacerbated by the characters having it.”
Empire - 3/5
Empire's reviewer believes the tone is all over the place, largely due to the competing timelines:
"Exploring the disconnect between ageing Boomer heroes and their errant Gen Z offspring might sound like the setup for high comedy but Jupiter’s Legacy is far from jovial. Cloaking its conceit with self-important sobriety, the show eschews cross-generational hijinks in favour of musings on capitalism, the preservation of democracy, and the fragility of the American Dream."
"It’s a tone that doesn’t instantly gel with the show’s outlandish wardrobe or the abundance of stick-on beards. Thanks to a dual-timeline narrative, the primary cast spend the majority of their roles in grey wigs and geriatric make-up, lending early episodes a layer of absurdity and the look of what might happen if you ran an Alex Ross painting through FaceApp."
The Guardian - 3/5
In their review, The Guardian also believes the show’s lack of humour is an issue, stating:
"The problem is that it comes perilously close to taking itself too seriously. Any opportunity for fun is shut down by perpetually morose teens, action set-pieces we have seen many times before and clunky speeches about the state of the world ('The country has never been more divided,' laments Sheldon.
"The gap between rich and poor just keeps getting bigger. Kids learning active shooter drills before they even learn their ABCs”). The occasional light-hearted moment would not negate the show’s sincerity. The confidence to include some might even display its depth."
The Hollywood Reporter - No Score
But the most damning review comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, who unfavourably compares the series to other contemporary superhero shows:
"Whether Jupiter’s Legacy is found lacking as a vehicle for delving into the way grief can lay even the most powerful people low, as a mismatched superhero team-up in the vein of Umbrella Academy and The Boys and Doom Patrol, or as a commentary on superhero daddy issues like Invincible or Superman and Lois, this eight-episode drama is one of the weakest and most forgettable entries in the busy genre. It’s a derivative bore, without even visual inspiration to compensate."
Jupiter’s Legacy is now streaming on Netflix.
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