Review: Jupiter’s Legacy #4 – (Just barely) Drops of Jupiter

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It’s been nigh three months since the last issue of Jupiter’s Legacy and we have now returned to the New World Order.

After the shocking events that closed out the last issue, the world of 2022 is now a police state, with Brandon and Walter have been in power for nine years. With all their power and “vision”, it seems things are a lot harder to control than they thought. Meanwhile Chloe, Hutch and their son Jason are hiding in Australia trying to lead normal, untraceable lives.

After the months of waiting and the way the last issue ended, this seems a puttering return. I understand the importance of establishing the status quo after the near decade time shift, and I do not need to see superhuman fights every single panel, but perhaps the delay had me expecting more than what I got here. Mark Millar is using the series as a commentary/deconstruction of the genre and I get that issues like this one are needed to express the lay of the land after issue #3’s bombshell. I just can’t help the feeling after waiting so long of  “Is That It?” after closing the last page.jupiterslegacy4-pg6

That said what we do have here contains some fine moments. Chloe and Hutch teaching Jason to hide his abilities are shown in excellent examples of parental pride in him “failing”. Of course he could destroy at soccer, so when he takes a dive THAT is when Hutch gets his “That’s my son!” moment. It may be derivative, but it is handled well here. Still, the moments of Jason’s rebellion, being the only traditional action in the book as it were, seem natural given how hard he tries to make his parents happy by failing.

Frank Quietly is one of the best artists working in comics today. I have marveled at his work before and taken time to study his pages and designs. It seems even for Mr. Quietly this issue is a fill-in. The art is serviceable, and the visual language he uses is comprehensive, but I can tell he half-assed it on many of the panels due to whatever circumstance that required him to. I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t wowed like I have been before with his work. His broad scope panels and pages, such as the mysterious alien college and Jason’s heroics, are the exception as I could tell he was finally given something interesting to draw and put his usual effort into it. It seems to me however, with three months to work on it, every panel could have been his best.

I like what this comic is trying to say. In a world where beings can have godlike powers mixed with human arrogance and petty jealousy, of course the line between “hero” and “villain” would be more like a smudgy fingerprint. I want to explore this theme and how it plays out with the act of ruling being extremely more difficult than the act of conquering. Of course I want to see the protagonists fight the good fight against impossible odds and and a near unbeatable cadre of enemies, that incidentally, used to be family. I just don’t want to wait many months between issues to do it. When the next issue arrives, I would at least like for the creators to bring their A game.

I understand transitional issues to establish the new direction of the story. I just wish this particular transition gave us a little more than establishing shots of how the world is. I was hoping for more sweeping examples of how the world changed. Yes, the little moments with Chloe, Hutch, and Jason were wonderful, but they didn’t satisfy the promise delivered by the closing pages of the previous issue.  If Frank Quietly and Mark Millar are just filling in the spaces, giving us what seems to be a rushed issue to get to the next thing, what incentive is there for us to be invested? The look and pacing feel as if they forgot about this title in light of their heavy workloads. Those who follow this title are likely to forget about it if we are constantly treated like an afterthought.

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Bottom Line

While there is touching characterization for the protagonists as well as some nice splash visuals from Frank Quietly, this issue doesn't live up to the promise of the last issue's final page. After such a long wait, the result is a disappointing thud instead of a thrilling boom.

Editor Rating
 
Total Score
5.0