Jupiter’s Legacy is Mark Millar’s longest-running comic book series. First published in 2013, the epic superhero saga that he created with Frank Quitely now numbers 22 issues, with a further 12 arriving this summer. And from May 7, the story will also be streaming on Netflix, as part of a long-term deal Millar signed with the service in 2017.
The forthcoming show revolves around Sheldon Sampson/Utopian (Josh Duhamel), the stoic, principled patriarch of a superhero family that includes wife Grace/Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), brother Walter/Brainwave (Ben Daniels), son Brandon (Andrew Horton) and daughter Chloe (Elena Kampouris).
The official synopsis for the show is as follows: “After nearly a century of keeping mankind safe, the world’s first generation of superheroes must look to their children to continue the legacy. But tensions rise as the young superheroes – hungry to prove their worth – struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary public reputations and exacting personal standards.”
With Jupiter’s Legacy dropping in just over a week, the following are four reasons why we can’t wait to watch…
Mark Millar’s Pedigree
Mark Millar is one of the most important and influential writers working in comics today. His early Marvel work includes Civil War, Old Man Logan, and The Ultimates while he wrote fan-favorite Superman: Red Son while at DC.
Millar then launched his own label – Millarworld – where he produced the likes of Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman, all of which were turned into hugely successful films. Netflix then purchased the publisher, with Jupiter’s Legacy the first of many Millar adaptations the streaming service has planned.
Steven DeKnight’s History
Steven DeKnight’s success in television mirrors Millar’s in comics. The all-rounder worked as a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then wrote, produced and directed episodes of spin-off Angel. He also contributed to the likes of Smallville and Dollhouse before creating his own show in the shape of Spartacus.
DeKnight then progressed to showrunner on the Netflix-Marvel collaboration Daredevil, one of the very best TV adaptations of a superhero story. DeKnight wrote, produced and directed, and over the course of the first season’s 13 episodes, managed to combine incredible action with humor, pathos, and at times heartbreaking drama.
A Generational Divide
Jupiter’s Legacy focusses on troubles within the Sampson family, as children Brandon and Chloe struggle to escape from the shadow of their superhero parents. As Millar recently told The Guardian “Superman is the best guy you could possibly have, but imagine if he was your Dad. That’s the idea with The Utopian, who the whole world loves. But what does that mean for your children? Because the pressures are incredible.”
That tension results in a story that isn’t just about saving the world – or great responsibility coming with great power – but also a much more relatable tale concerning what Millar calls the “boomer versus millennial argument.”
An Epic Origin Story
There are two timelines in Jupiter’s Legacy, the aforementioned contemporary tale, and an origin story that takes place in the 1930s. The Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression are the inciting incidents, but the fun stuff happens on a mysterious island where the Sampsons acquire their superhuman powers.
That results in the birth of the Union of Justice, a body designed to protect mankind while staying out of geopolitical affairs. But that collaboration comes at a cost, leading to cross and double-cross, which forms the central storyline of this epic period piece.
Jupiter’s Legacy premieres on 7th May on Netflix.