Jupiter’s Legacy #3
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Frank Quitely
Colorist: Peter Doherty
Publisher: Image Comics
After a three month absence, an issue of Jupiter’s Legacy comes out, and it doesn’t disappoint. Mark Millar throws decompression to the wind and instantly delivers on the plot developments he teased in the last issue. The ideological conflict between Utopian, who wants to have a secret identity and not interfere and politics and Walter, who has a public identity and wants to reform the government, escalates quickly. Frank Quitely and Peter Doherty use subtle things like panel structure and coloring to show this conflict before cutting loose and depicting it in more visceral ways. Jupiter’s Legacy #3 has a extremely fast moving plot to complement Quitely’s art, but also takes time to explore the ideas set up in previous issues.
Jupiter’s Legacy #3 has the same effect on its plot and characters as “The Rains of Castamere” and “Ozymandias” did on Game of Thrones and Breaking
Unlike the last issue, Frank Quitely and colorist Peter Doherty do much of the storytelling in this issue and to great effect. In the opening pages, Doherty uses a light and dark color palette to contrast Utopian working at his car repair under his civilian identity and Brandon and Walter plotting his downfall. This coloring paints Utopian as a sympathetic and tragic figure. He is just a humble, old man who wants to help the world, but doesn’t want to manipulate the government. The coloring gets progressively darker as the comic continues. To also contrast Utopian and Walter, Quitely uses the same number of panels, but arranges them in opposite order. In the fight scenes between Utopian and his wife and Brandon’s band of superheroes, Quitely doesn’t hold back in his description of violence and shows how brutal a battle of this scale would be. His art and Doherty’s colors drive home the themes of the naivete of idealism and how unprepared Brandon is to lead the next generation of superheroes.
Jupiter’s Legacy #3 has a variety of characters with different ideas of how to use their superpowers. After setting up their motivations and articulating their ideas in previous issues, Millar and Quitely illustrate these heroes and their effect on the world around them in a violent and emotional comic. They also show that a comic can have a fast moving plot and still be intelligent and have strong characterization. Jupiter’s Legacy is the strongest chapter yet in Millar and Quitely’s superhero saga and a must read for fans of the genre.