Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Jupiter's Circle #1 Review (Mark Millar, Wilfredo Torres)


Mark Millar said that Jupiter’s Legacy was inspired, at least in part, by Carrie Fisher’s memoirs of growing up in the shadow of two famous parents; I’m guessing that for Jupiter’s Circle, a spinoff and prequel to Legacy, he read Full Service by Scotty Bowers, a memoir of a man described as a “sex fixer” to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. 

Bowers was a gas station attendant as well as a gigolo who catered to stars who had to be discreet about their liaisons, like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, who were rumoured to be in a sham marriage to throw people off of their true, homosexual natures. (Hepburn makes a cameo in this comic as the host of a Hollywood sex party)

A similar character appears in Jupiter’s Circle, which is set in the late 1950s and takes a look at the cast back when they were young. A superhero called Blue-Bolt saves the world alongside his fellow heroes by day and embraces his gay sexuality by night. Also in this issue is an alien squid which attacks a North American city out of the blue. Doesn’t all of this sound like a less interesting and shallow re-tread of parts of Watchmen? 

The first volume of Jupiter’s Legacy may not have been a great book but it was still Millar’s foremost work in recent years and the best part, besides Frank Quitely’s contributions, was seeing the characters first get their superpowers and what happened next, which was left blank - that area had enormous potential. And instead Millar’s squandered it on some gossipy nonsense about a superhero trapped in the closet. 

Who is Blue-Bolt anyway? Of the superheroes we saw in Legacy, I don’t remember him and he doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for a prequel. Why not focus on Walter, or Sheldon, or Grace - characters who we actually know a bit about and would be a more logical choice to star in a prequel? 

Speaking of Quitely, he provides the cover to the issue but nothing else besides. Artist of Dynamite’s The Shadow, Wilfredo Torres, draws the interior art though, while not bad, it unfortunately isn’t nearly as breathtaking as Quitely’s work in Legacy. It’s a much more generic look that matches Millar’s lacklustre script. 

Jupiter’s Circle #1 describes itself as an “epic” prequel though, going by this first issue, it’s anything but. Underwhelming, pedestrian superhero comics - don’t bother.

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