REview: Jupiter’s Legacy (2021) | Burdened with (Occasional) Inglorious Overplottedless

The Kids Are Alright

When Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy is firing on all cylinders there’s a joy of superhero action to behold.

Though like a car that takes way too long to warm up, by the time it’s ready to go we’re approaching the end of our patience (and the run of the eight episode first season).

Jupiter’s Legacy was created for television by Steven DeKnight (based on the MillarWorld comic of the same name) who left midway through production due to creative differences.

Which is important to mention because it reminds me more than a little bit of Marvel’s Daredevil – which was also showrun by DeKnight – in that it too tried to cram either too much or too little storyline in the allotted time.

It’s the former for Jupiter’s Legacy (and the latter for Daredevil), which led to me wondering why the entire first Volume wasn’t placed in the 1920’s.

That way we would have witnessed the trials and tribulations that led to the Union of Justice from the ground up – we do with the current series in an abbreviated form – instead of bouncing back and forth between eras.

And I can’t speak for anyone else, but if flashbacks end up taking up a lot of your first season it implies that maybe there’s enough story to stay and develop those ideas and themes.

For instance I recall a scene where Utopian/Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) – have any of his enemies even tried cutting his hair? It might be a bit on the nose, but I’d think it’s at least worth investigating – is discussing with the other members of the Union of Justice why they weren’t entering World War II.

I would have really liked to have seen that debate played out. It would have also potentially given more depth to Brainwave (Ben Daniels, with some exceptional old-age makeup), which if you’ve seen the series through to completion would have really been a good thing.

The way they actually proceeded made the past and present feel as if they were competing with each other, as opposed to existing synergistically.

Then there were the costumes, which look pretty cool though they’re not terribly identifiable.

By which I mean, if I showed someone who had never heard of Spider-Man a picture of the wall crawler, they would likely call him Spider-something, because his costume is very much evocative of a spider.

A paragon is defined as a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence. It’s a cool name, but it’s also an ideal, not an actual thing, which makes depicting what a person who’s called that a crapshoot, at best.

Paragon (Ben Johnson)

Lady Liberty’s costume works slightly better. As I said, the costumes look great but beyond the color scheme, what about it says ‘Lady Liberty?

Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb)

By way of comparison, you could take an image of Wonder Woman, remove every bit of color and knowledge of who she is and you’ll still have some understanding of what she’s about.

Wonder Woman by Alex Ross

And I’m not saying that they should copy characters like Spider-Man or Wonder Woman though what I am saying is that there should be more characters who’s names are evocative of their looks than there happened to be in the first season.

And while these may sound like minor details, they’re important because if done better it would help viewers connect to the the world of Jupiter’s Legacy, instead of being distracted by various elements of the production.

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