While Netflix's programming slate is vast and varied enough to keep the company from pigeonholing its original content, I think we can all agree the streaming giant has some experience in the superhero genre, with projects such as Daredevil and the other Defenders series, Gerard Way's The Umbrella Academy, and Raising Dion. Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's widely acclaimed comic book series Jupiter's Legacy is one the platform's next powered-up dramas, and it looks like an emotional and action-packed journey into a superhero family's heritage (both literally and metaphorically) led by Transformers vet Josh Duhamel. Check it out above!
The first thing that comic book fans will notice is that the Jupiter's Legacy TV show definitely doesn't look like a beat-for-beat interpretation of the often NSFW comic book series, which centers on the multi-generational superhero team dubbed The Union. By opening up on that mysterious island, the Netflix series clearly isn't going to cryptically tease out the way in which the Union's central heroes came upon their powers, which is quite different from how Mark Millar's original tale handled those reveals. Which isn't to say it's a bad thing, as it certainly serves as a thrilling bite-sized introduction to the core group.
The Union is headed up by Josh Duhamel's Sheldon Sampson, a.k.a. The Utopian, who becomes the planet's most powerful, moral and well-respected hero, and yes, there are oodles of Superman parallels to recognize. Sampson's (second) wife Grace Kennedy, played by American Housewife's Leslie Bibb, handles her hero duties as the super-strong lawyer Lady Liberty, while his brother Walter (The Crown's Ben Daniels) is turned into a flying psychic who goes by the name Brainwave. As it is stated within the Jupiter's Legacy trailer, these three have been living with their island-oriented powers for 90+ years, so you can imagine that things were not innocent and hunky dory the entire time.
Keeping things familial are Sheldon and Grace's children Chloe (Elena Kampouris) and Brandon (Andrew Horton). In the comics, the telekinetic Brandon goes by the alter ego Paragon, while Chloe chose to sidestep the superhero spotlight early on, despite having her own special abilities. It's not entirely clear if that'll play out accordingly in the TV show, with Chloe meant to be "the ideal," but you can imagine how complicated teens with superpowers might be.
Also popping up in the trailer are the Union's other core original members. SEAL Team vet Mike Wade stars as Fitz Small, whose abilities as The Flare include flight, super-strength and powerful energy blasts. (Casting a Black actor as Flare is indeed one of the changes made in bringing Mark Millar's comic book to TV.) Fitz's daughter Petra, portrayed by model Tenika Davis, also shows up in costume a time or two. Sheldon's best friend George Hutchene, an egotistical engineer who can also fly and boast mega-strength as his alter ego Skyfox, was definitely the Union's most sexed-up member in the comics, though that appears to have been watered down for the show. And then there's David Julian Hirsh as Richard Conrad, whose alter ego Blue Bolt was also strong and capable of flight, and also wielded a self-crafted power rod to blast energy blasts into enemies.
In any case, the Jupiter's Legacy trailer has nearly a century of storytelling to set up, and it does so in a successful manner, at least in my book. Created by Daredevil and Spartacus' Steven S. DeKnight, who left mid-production over creative differences, Jupiter's Legacy appears to have been granted a giant budget for second showrunner Sang Kyu Kim to continue bringing this story to life. The fights look gritty, the flying heroes look graceful, and it looks like just about every shot in the trailer has some form of special effects work. (And no, I'm not just talking about how good Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb look in those costumes.)
The trailer also gives audiences our first look at A Million Little Things' Anna Akana as the heroic and sword-swinging Raikou, who looks like she'll bring some martial arts flair to the traditional superhero fare. As well, we got our first good look at the TV show's big, ugly villain Baryon, as played by actor Chase Tang, though it's not exactly clear what kinds of schemes he and/or any of the drama's other villains will be keeping themselves busy with.
Considering Mark Millar is the comic book storyteller behind such popular hits as the Kick Ass movies and the Kingsman films, fans can expect to see some subversive and off-kilter moments during Jupiter's Legacy, but also some important takes on the importance of family lineage and loyalty. If nothing else, it's proof that every big victory just leads to more threats.
Now that we finally have our first big look at Jupiter's Legacy to mull over, fans only have to wait a month to binge all the generational superhero action, as the new series' first eight episodes hit Netflix (opens in new tab) on Friday, May 7. Let us know in the poll below what you thought of the trailer!
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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