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JUPITER’S LEGACY Episode 1 review “By Dawn’s Early Light” – Superhero Philosophy

When the impressive INVINCIBLE adaptation hit Amazon Prime, my only lament was that it was animated and not a live action version. Netflix takes another excellent comic in JUPITER’S LEGACY and gives it the full live action treatment. Jupiter’s Legacy is an Image Comics series written by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass). Like the comic, the show examines the burden of young superheroes who live in the shadow of their superhero parents’ legacy (see what I did there?).

While other modern superhero stories such as THE BOYS are cynical takes on the genre, JUPITER’S LEGACY takes a more philosophical look at the role of superheroes in society. The older generation is represented by Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel), who gives us an opportunity to imagine how Superman would raise kids, his wife Grace (Leslie Bibb), and brother Walter Sampson (Ben Daniels). These three characters are the strongest part of the pilot as they each give great performances. What set’s this series apart from other superhero shows is its family dynamic. Sheldon and Grace’s son is trying to walk in his father’s footsteps, while their daughter is more of a rebel, (She’s the least developed character thus far, being more of a caricature so far). 

Photo Credit: STEVE WILKIE/NETFLIX © 2021

After a great superhero fight featuring a cool villain, the show sends the bulk of the episode discussing things. This is a cerebral take on superheroes. Interspersed with ruminations on Sampson’s moral code are flashbacks to the 1920s that give some insight into how Sampson was shaped. Not having had time to invest in the older generation of superheroes, it was hard to place the flashbacks into context in the first episode. With that said, it is clear that the writers are setting up some things that will pay off in future episodes.

Like the INVINCIBLE pilot, JUPITER’S LEGACY’s first episode can be a bit slow at times but kicked into overdrive near the end, with a great twist thrown in. For a live action adaptation on a streaming service, the fight scene is done quite well. While not as over the top violent as INVINCIBLE, this show doesn’t hold back. I get the feeling this show will have a high body count.

JUPITER’S LEGACY accomplishes what it needed to do in the pilot – it piqued my interest and made me want to keep watching. All the episodes are released at once, so you may have to exercise some restraint and not binge the series at once. If the pilot is any indication, this series is geared towards adults. If you like THE BOYS or INVINCIBLE, there’s a great chance you will enjoy this series as well.

All episodes of the first season of JUPITER’S LEGACY are now available on Netflix.

Have you watched the series? What are your thoughts on the show? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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