Rating: 4/5 – Read Jupiter’s Legacy Before You Dive Into the Circle.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Amy Okamoto.
Jupiter’s Circle is the prequel series to Millar’s previous superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy. This book takes us back to 1959 when the elder superpowers were young. With only a brief introduction to the Jupiter universe, new readers may find this book difficult to decipher as it is targeted towards readers of the original series.
Millar takes an interesting approach to the young superheroes. Rather than have them identified by their costumed secret identities, the storyline revolves around them in their everyday personas. In fact, only one character is ever referred to by his superhero name. The rest of the cast are known only by their given first names. The assumption here is that readers already know who these characters are, but this device lets Millar put the focus on their human traits and shortcomings rather than their super abilities. Other than a brief fight with an alien, much of the book’s drama revolves around daily life.
The 50s atmosphere is well done, conveying the attitudes of hope and conservatism associated with the era, including the paranoia and condemnation of anything that can be seen as being outside the “norm” of a tidy American life. A period of both glamor and secrets, the politics of the 50s forced many people to live a double life or else risk a scandal that could ruin them. Millar explores one character’s struggle to fit in to these high ideal standards. His choices lead up to a potential crisis beyond a personal nature. Katherine Hepburn and J. Edgar Hoover make appearances in the book, cementing the feel of the 50s era and in the case of Hoover, making the fear of persecution and scandal tangible.
Wilfredo Torres does a fine job of depicting the stylized 50s. He illustrates attractive characters, but at times it was difficult to distinguish between some of the male characters. Beyond that, he did good work of bringing them to the forefront of our attention while not losing the atmosphere of the background.
Jupiter’s Circle #1 is less of a superhero story and more of a humanistic tale. It examines the humanity behind the masks, showing that these seemingly super beings are just as fragile as the rest of us. Fans of Jupiter’s Legacy will undoubtedly enjoy seeing the characters in their prime and the foreshadowing of what will come to be.
Reviewed by: Amy Okamoto
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