With the creator of Daredevil at the helm, this adaptation of Mark Millar’s comics had everything to seduce us. Will the series succeed in convincing us? Critical.
Superheroes have widely invested the audiovisual landscape in recent years. So much so that it is very difficult to name a single platform that has not succumbed to the sirens of comics. Whether on the small or the big screen, heroes in capes and tights are everywhere. Netflix is not at its first attempt. We remember its excellent Marvel-stamped series, which had convinced us all, with a few exceptions.
However, the platform can no longer count on the heroes of the house of ideas, who all joined the opposing camp at the time of the launch of Disney+. Regardless, Reed Hastings’ firm has more than one trick up its sleeve and is recruiting the creator of Daredevil for its new production. Baptized Jupiter’s Legacy, the series adapted from Mark Millar’s comics intends to take a new look at heroic figures, by deconstructing myths and by freeing themselves from founding writings. She follows the adventures of the Sampson family, made up of beings with great powers and therefore with great responsibilities. While the father leads his troops with an iron fist, his children try to extricate themselves from this decades-old model. The two generations clash as a new threat emerges.
Like the comics, Jupiter’s Legacy will be less interested in large-scale battles than in the almost tragic dramas that play out between the different characters. The goal of the plot is assumed, to be interested in 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 double narration, which constantly oscillates between the past and the present, Jupiter’s Legacy places the question of parentage at the heart of its plot. If the mayonnaise takes when one is interested in the origins of the powers of the Utopian, it is more complicated for the contemporary narrative framework. Multiplying the clichés of the genre, on the endless questions of heritage, Jupiter’s Legacy hardly find its rhythm in the first episodes. Too talkative, she prefers to hammer out her message to the spectators, rather than leaving them to draw certain conclusions themselves. But as the noose tightens around our heroes, we end up getting caught up in the game and we gladly forgive the blunders at the beginning (at least a little).
The series which appears to have been constructed in response to The Boys Amazon Prime Video does not suffer the comparison with that of Eric Kripke. The black humor of the screenwriter and this pronounced taste for the zany and the trash would have allowed Jupiter’s Legacy to be on an equal footing. Unfortunately, the creator of Daredevil takes himself too seriously.
An unequal cast
If Josh Duhamel shows us his talents in his incarnation of the Utopian, he does not always face actors of his caliber. The main cast is doing honorably, but it’s not really as convincing on the side of the supporting characters. Leslie Bibb, for example, has a hard time convincing us in Lady Liberty, like the other young superheroes who pass in front of the camera. On the other hand, we will salute the performances of Ben Daniels and Matt Lanter, who respectively embody Brainwave and Skyfox.
Made of odds and ends
Who says superheroes, says special effects and that’s where the shoe pinches. If the action scenes are not as numerous as one might think, they nevertheless have the unfortunate tendency to take us out of the story. The fault of visual effects of poor quality and which sometimes border on the ridiculous. If the retro and obsolete aspect of the costumes is forgivable, especially when we know that it is a decision of the creator, it is much more difficult to explain the choices made by Netflix and Steven D. Knight to bring some powers to life. If the creator of Daredevil is doing admirably behind the camera, to the point of offering some very beautiful sequences, these thankless digital effects do not allow him to rise to the rank of the series centered on the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Nevertheless, we find the director’s paw during the clinch scenes.
After a fairly uneven introduction, Jupiter’s Legacy manages to get his head out of the water in his last episodes. Too talkative and sometimes caricatured, the series adapted from the comics of Mark Millar would do well to focus on what it does best: exploring the fates of its characters. On the other hand, it does not suffer from the comparison with other productions of the genre, such as Daredevil and especially The Boys.