With creator Daredevil at the helm, this comic adaptation of Mark Millar has everything to seduce us. Will this series succeed in convincing us? Critical.
Superheroes have invested heavily in the audiovisual landscape in recent years. So much so that it’s really hard to name a single platform that hasn’t given up on comic sirens. Whether on the small or big screen, heroes in cloaks and tights are everywhere. Netflix isn’t his first attempt. We remember his excellent Marvel series, which has convinced us all, with a few exceptions.
However, the platform can no longer rely on the heroes of the House of Ideas, who all joined the opposing camp at the launch of Disney+. Regardless, Reed Hastings’ company has more than one trick up its sleeve and recruited the creators of Daredevil for its new production. The Legacy of Jupiter the Baptized, this series adapted from Mark Millar’s comics aims to see heroic characters by deconstructing myth and breaking free from the writings of the founders. It follows the adventures of the Sampson family, made up of creatures with great power and therefore with great responsibilities. While the father leads his army with an iron fist, his children try to break away from this decades-old model. Two generations clash as a new threat emerges.
Like the comics, Jupiter’s Legacy will be less interested in large-scale battles, compared to the almost tragic drama played out between the different characters. The plot’s purpose is assumed, to be drawn to the intimacy of superheroes and the links that unite each member of this family, to say the least, out of the ordinary. Built on a dual narrative, constantly oscillating between past and present, Jupiter’s Legacy places the question of filiation at the heart of its plot. If mayonnaise picks up when one is interested in the origins of utopian power, it is more complicated for contemporary narrative frameworks. Multiplying genre cliches, on the endless questions of legacy, Jupiter Legacy struggles to find its rhythm in the first episode. Talking too much, he prefers to get his message across to the audience, rather than letting them draw certain conclusions on their own. But as the noose tightens around our hero, we end up getting caught up in the game and we’re happy to forgive the early mistakes (at least a little).
The series that appears to have been created in response to Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys doesn’t compare to Eric Kripke. This screenwriter’s black humor and prominent taste for zany and trash will allow Jupiter’s Legacy to be on an equal footing.
If Josh Duhamel shows us his talent in his utopian incarnation, he doesn’t always face an actor of his caliber. The main cast does it honorably, but not very convincingly on the side of the supporting characters. On the other hand, we will applaud the performances of Ben Daniels and Matt Lanter, who embody Brainwave and Skyfox, respectively.
Who said superhero, said special effects and that’s where the shoe stuck. If the action scenes aren’t as numerous as one might think, they still have the annoying tendency to take us out of the story. Poor quality visual effects glitch and one that sometimes borders on ridiculous. If the retro and outdated aspects of the costumes can be forgiven, especially when you know it was the maker’s decision, it’s much harder to explain the choices Netflix and Steven D. Knight made to bring some of the power to life. While the creators of Daredevil did admirably behind the camera, to the point of offering up some incredibly beautiful sequences, these selfless digital effects didn’t allow it to rise up the ranks of the demon-centered series from Hell’s Kitchen. Nevertheless, we found the director’s claws during the clinch scene.
After a rather uneven entry into the matter, Jupiter’s Inheritance manages to get its head out of the water in its final episode. Too much talk and sometimes caricature, the series based on Mark Millar’s comics should focus on what it does best: exploring the fate of its characters. However, it doesn’t suffer compared to other genre productions, such as Daredevil and especially The Boys.