A new original series recently launched on Netflix films gives viewers a new twist on the tried and tested superhero genre.
Jupiter’s Legacy is based on graphic novels by Scottish writer Mark Millar – who penned both Kick-Ass and the Kingsman films and whose work on various Marvel titles has inspired blockbuster movies like The Avengers and Captain America – and Frank Quitely.
The screen version is a visually arresting fantasy, which passes the baton to a new generation of self-doubting superheroes.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Jupiter’s Legacy about?
The narrative – which spans decades and navigates the complex dynamics of power and loyalty – begins in 1930, when six brave souls earn extraordinary powers on an enchanted island.
Sheldon Sampson, his wife Grace, older brother Walter and friends George Hutchence, Fitz Small and Richard Conrad are reborn as superheroes The Utopian, Lady Liberty, Brainwave, Skyfox, Flare, and Blue-Bolt.
For 90 years, The Union of Justice has kept mankind safe as The Union through bravery, kindness and compassion.
When the time comes for the superheroes’ offspring to continue the proud legacy, Sheldon and Grace’s children Brandon and Chloe, Fitz’s daughter Petra and George’s son Hutch feel suffocated by the old guard’s exacting standards.
Turns out is the world’s greatest hero and the storied leader of The Union, and he insists that superheroes abide by a system of checks and balances called The Code.
The heroes only use their powers in the service of others; they don’t govern, and they never kill. But, in the past 90 years, things have changed, and Sheldon doesn’t understand the world we live in anymore – or his own family, for that matter.
The two generations must bridge the divide before evil can rise and destroy The Union.
Who stars in it?
Star of the show is Josh Duhamel as Sheldon Sampson, the leader of the superhero team known as The Union.
Former model Duhamel – who made his acting debut on US soap All My Children – has admitted that previously he has never been “super-excited” to do any kind of a superhero genre, because it’s been done so many times in so many ways.
“But this felt more like a family drama saga than it did a superhero show,” continues the star, who’s also known for the Transformers films, and rom-com Safe Haven. “It’s more of a psychological take on it.”
Also on the cast is Ben Daniels (The Crown) as Sheldon's older brother Walter Sampson, and Leslie Bibb (Line of Fire) as Sheldon's wife and one of the most powerful heroes on the planet, Grace Sampson.
Sheldon and Grace’s son and daughter are played respectively by Andrew Horton (Doctors) and Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall).
Elsewhere, Mike Wade is Fitz Small, one of the most valued members of The Union, and Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) plays Sheldon's closest ally George Hutchence.
Is it any good?
According to Rotten Tomatoes, of the eight critics who have submitted reviews at the time of writing, only four of them gave the series a positive write-up, leading to an ‘approval’ rating of 50 per cent.
"Jupiter's Legacy is different enough from the mainstream cape flicks put out by Disney and Warner Bros.,” said Adam Barnhardt of ComicBook.com, “but that's largely because it's a tonal mismatch that gets pulled in three too many directions.”
WhatToWatch’s Amelia Emberwing said, “at the very least, Jupiter's Legacy is admirably acted and exceptionally costumed,” while Josh Wilding of ComicBookMovie.com said, the first series “feels like a prologue to a much better series, but there are some fresh ideas to be found here, and a great cast mostly helps to elevate a disjointed story.”
When can I watch it?
All eight episodes of the new series are available to stream on Netflix now.
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