The year 2021 has witnessed a plethora of superhero titles coming out as Television Series. With a wider narrative, the creators are trying to reap meatier story arcs and multi-layered characters in the genre. Gone are the days when superheroes were only saving the world. In the modern era, they are saving themselves too against social, political, and psychological evils. The Netflix show, Jupiter’s Legacy, underlines an important question, “Whether Superheroes should kill the supervillains or just arrest them?” Like law enforcers, Superheroes too abide by a code of conduct but will it be followed by the new generation, is the question. And the most important one, “Who will make these codes of conduct?”
In April 2013, American comic book writer, Mark Millar released his first superhero comic series named Jupiter’s Legacy. Those first five issues served as a foundation for Steven S. DeKnight who created a Netflix TV series under the same name. The Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy explores the origins of these superheroes as well as the conflict between the two generations of superheroes. Let’s find out more.
‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Season 1 Summary
A superman analogue, Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) also known as The Utopian leads an association of Superheroes called the Union. Sheldon is the first generation of superheroes and the strongest in the world. Other first-generation superheroes include
- Sheldon’s wife, Grace Kennedy (Leslie Bibb) aka Lady Liberty,
- Sheldon’s older brother, Walter Sampson (Ben Daniels) aka Brainwave,
- Sheldon’s best friend, George Hutchence (Matt Lanter) aka Skyfox
- Fitz Small, also known as the Flare, and
- Richard Conrad, Blue-Bolt.
The Television series takes place in the 21st century when The Utopian has turned old and weary. The original Union has broken off with missing members like Skyfox and Blue-Bolt, and new superheroes are coming up.
The world needs a new Utopian to come up as a leader. Sheldon’s and Gracy’s son, Brandon Sampson (Andrew Horton) is the most anticipated contender but even with his dad’s superhero powers, he isn’t strong enough. Sheldon’s daughter, Chloe is a wasted drug addict who uses her superhero aura to attract brand endorsement and hence couldn’t be bothered to save people instead. The same layer creates a conflict between the father and the daughter which is an important subplot.
During a fight with a supervillain Blackstar, he mercilessly kills two superheroes who were Brandon’s friends. The union struggles to control Blackstar and when he was on the verge of killing Sheldon, Brandon couldn’t hold himself back and unleashes a super strength killing Blackstar on the spot. His actions break Utopian’s code that states, “We don’t kill. We don’t lead. We inspire.” The incident creates a rift between the father and the son, where Sheldon tries to teach Brandon the importance of the Superhero Code. However, the world celebrates Brandon’s act that compels Sheldon to retrospect his own values.
“All your life, you try to build something. Try to build it bigger, better, faster. Build a legacy. Then, one day, it turns out you have been building your own box, and you are the one inside it. Everything ends up in a box.”Sheldon’s Father
From this riveting point, Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 takes a crossroad. In a dual narrative, happening in the present and the past, the story follows the conflict between the two generations of superheroes in the present time. Sheldon tries to make peace with his son and infuriated daughter. The flashback sequences follow Sheldon’s journey from rags to becoming a superhero. He traveled to an unknown island with his team, after losing his dad and fortune in the 1929 Wall Street Crash.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Season 1 Ending Explained
For a long time, Sheldon and other members of the Union speculated that the supervillain they fought in the first episode, Blackstar was a clone sent by the world’s greatest supervillain and a former part of the Union, George Hutchence aka Skyfox. However, the ending sequences reveal that Sheldon’s older brother, Walter (Brainwave) was the mastermind behind the whole scheme.
Walter, who had always been a neglected and underappreciated child has to follow the rules set by his younger brother. His pride was too stiff to accept it. Even his political ideology differs from Sheldon and to fulfill his ambition of ruling the world and leading the Union, he designed the orchestra. Through his plan, Walter wanted to create a gap between Sheldon and his son, which he perfectly achieved. In season 2, he is going to use the gap to feed his own ambitions. He is going to make Brandon kill his father so that Walter can take his place in the Union.
In Chloe’s story, she starts dating Hutch, a superhero, without any super abilities. He uses a teleportation rod designed by his father, the world’s greatest supervillain, Skyfox. Hutch himself is a techie who lived a low life selling drugs and artifacts until he met Chloe. During one of his campaigns, Hutch finds out a device that could punch a hole through the mightiest being on the planet. The show speculates that Hutch is going to kill Sheldon who trashed his father and forced him to leave behind an 8-year-old Hutch to survive the dirt of the world on his own. But Hutch, in the end, reveals to Chloe that he is going to use it to find his missing father who is hiding somewhere in the world.
Season 2 will majorly focus on Walter’s vile scheme and the fight between Sheldon and Brandon. The only ray of hope is a mysterious man, Skyfox who once helped Sheldon to find their superpowers. He is coming to come and help his best friend again.
Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 is an origin series. It aims at setting up the premise and characters before it ponders into much more complicated depths. However, the narrative still left a lot of gaps that I will try to fill in for the curious viewers and our readers.
- From where did Superheroes in Jupiter’s Legacy get their powers? Much like Superman, all the superpowers come from an Alien Tech (Jupiter) that was hidden on a mysterious island west of Cape Verde. The island appeared in Sheldon’s dream after his father’s death. He formed a team and traveled to the distant land in order to explore the mystery behind those visuals and the voices he heard.
- Why did Walter kill his daughter and have enmity towards his brother? Much like Walter, her daughter, Raikou had the same telepathic powers. She read her father’s mind who was plotting against his own brother, Sheldon. The show underlines a number of reasons for Walter’s discord. He was the eldest son yet Sheldon took away all the limelight and love their father had to offer. It was Sheldon who became the greatest superhero and a celebrated face. Walter spent his whole life in the background and he had enough. The show also lays down that both brothers share different ideologies. Walter felt that superheroes are a new breed of humans and much more powerful. Their powers should not be used just to merely fight supervillains. They should also contribute to more social, political, and economic issues. As Walter said, superheroes could have ended World War 2 a lot before and could have ended others wars without loss of life and time. But Sheldon had a different perspective. He believes that if Superheroes will start involving in these issues, humans will lose their power of free will. In the end, there would be no one to stop these heroes, and thus it is going to make them tyrants.
- What happened to George/Skyfox? Not much has been stated in the television series, but according to the comic book, Walter and George never liked each other. While Walter’s ideology was too political and extreme, George believed in free will and leisure. Walter schemed a plan to influence the union against Skyfox that made him a fugitive. George had the powers of strength and flight but he was also an incredible engineer. He designed the secure supervillain prison, Supermax, and also the device his son, Hutch uses for teleportation. The device is identical to the one used by another superhero, Blue-Bolt. In Season 2, George is going to play a prominent role in stopping Walter from killing Sheldon.
- Why did Walter frame George/Skyfox? George always liked playing around with puzzles and mechanisms. He was an extremely techy guy and therefore through the Blackstar clone, he tries to do things like George. He even telepathically entered Blackstar’s clone mind and deceived Sheldon’s wife Grace to enter the mind to save Walter. Inside the mind, he created a scenario, his favorite trick, psychic painting. He implanted the thought inside Grace’s head that everything is designed by George. He isn’t there to defend himself and the Union already declared himself a villain. There wouldn’t have been any better bait than George.
- How did the supervillains get their powers? When Sheldon and others opened the portal on the island, it unleashed a wave that spread all over the world. In a very minute cut, it could be observed that the wave was observed by the captain who brought the team to the island and was waiting for them on the ship. Like the captain, the wave could have been similarly absorbed by others around the world creating a new era of superheroes and supervillains.
While I tried to answer most of the unanswered questions, there were more queries to attend to. However, attending all the queries would become too tiring for the readers and the one who is writing. If you have anything that worries your mind, do write to us or comment in the section. We’ll try our best to solve it.
Undoubtedly the Netflix show, Jupiter’s Legacy prospects many complex questions about superheroes and their involvement in human society. All the conflict links to the Code of Superheroes where one generation is trying to protect it while the other feels it has become obsolete. A similar layer was explored in the 2020 TV miniseries ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ when a new Captain America (John Walker) murders a villain in front of the public eye. The conflict is in demand, I feel but Batman has sorted all this a lot earlier and through these shows, we are just seeing the different versions of it.
Jupiter’s Legacy takes a lot of inspiration from Alan Moore’s Watchmen. Only it was much darker and thicker in the plot. I felt Walter’s character was hugely inspired by Watchmen’s Ozymandias who had the same thoughts regarding superheroes in human society.
Through its captivating drama and dual narrative, the show keeps you hooked and is easily binge-able. The only drawback in the entire series is its action sequences. Superheroes while taking a flight looked like stickers stamped in the sky. Their punches were floating and looked unreal. I feel Netflix has a lot to catch up on in matters of VFx and designing action sequences. Apart from those particular visuals, the entire show is highly intriguing.
With upcoming seasons, Jupiter’s Legacy is going to explore other story arcs and characters while building a world of its own. For the fans, the world would be a bit similar to X-Men where the world gets divided into two sets of superheroes, one that believes in killing and the other that believes in peace.
Jupiter’s Legacy Season 1 is a 2021 superhero Television Series created by Steven S. DeKnight. The show is streaming on Netflix.
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