I love unusual superheroics and had a great time this past weekend watching Netflix's new series, an adaptation of one of Mark Millar's longest-running comics, "Jupiter's Legacy" and it looks like the streaming giant and screenwriter Steven S. DeKnight (the bloody "Spartacus," "Daredevil" and the beloved "Dollhouse") has turned out a great show that deconstructs comics on a new quality level.
The Sempson family are true superheroes. They are incredibly strong, can fly, shoot lasers out of their eyes and in general are great guys with a strict code of conduct, in addition to a dozen rules prohibiting murder, interference in politics and international conflicts. The head of the family Sheldon, known as Utopian (Josh Duhamel), understands that time will not beat him and he himself is far from young - makes every effort to ensure that his high ideals and aspirations are shared by his superchildren Brandon (Andrew Horton) and Chloe (Elena Kampouris).
However, times have seriously changed. The world is a far cry from the 1930s, when he gained his power. The code, it shows, is morally obsolete. Supervillains are literally exterminating new generations of superheroes, and many situations require serious violations of the rules established by the heroes, which in Utopian's opinion is unacceptable even in the name of the highest good...
It's worth saying that I'm not familiar with the original comic, but I've heard that it's been out since 2013, and in that time it has accumulated a huge number of characters, plot arcs, and jumps through different time periods, which creates really complex multifaceted conflicts and gives its authors a huge scope to operate with genre clichés or themes that in most superhero comics remain "off limits".
For example, by taking the generational clash (Fathers and Children) popular in literature as their foundation, Millar and his co-writers don't try to artificially reconcile them, avoid a happy reunion and make the relationship between the characters truly tense. Short, wry dialogue, an emphasis on morality and ethics, and long flashbacks that maximize the characters' motivations and personalities make "Jupiter's Legacy" a truly hardcore show. Not as entertaining as the bloody "Boys," but truly serious and, to a certain extent, much more realistic and closer to the genre of psychological drama than superhero comic book adaptations.
To put it simply - while The Boys focuses on blood and violence, Jupiter first and foremost questions the characters about how appropriate it is to use their powers and whether "great power really implies great responsibility."
This serious and dark tone, with a bias towards philosophy, was not to the liking of many, and despite the flawless adventure storyline with the 30's of the 20th century, reminiscent of "Indiana Jones", the series is still getting average ratings from viewers and critics, but I think that such a show has been missing on the screens for a long time and should have been paid close attention to what is going on in the heads of superheroes long ago.