Netflix's new blockbuster series Jupiter's Legacy is not getting kind treatment by critics — or viewers, in some cases. The show adapts a superhero comic book series by acclaimed writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely. In many cases, critics' gripes extend to the source material as well as the Netflix original series.
Jupiter's Legacy premiered on Netflix on Friday, and it was roasted pretty fast. The show centers around the world's first superheroes growing old and watching the world change as the next generation takes over. It stars Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Andrew Horton, Elena Kampouris, Mike Wade and Matt Lanter. Generally, the acting performances have been lauded as the saving grace of the series.
The original comic book, also titled Jupiter's Legacy, was first published by Image Comics in April of 2013, and it is still ongoing today. It is generally well-regarded among Millar's fans — although he can be divisive within the comic book world in general. Many of his critics complain that Jupiter's Legacy is derivative of Watchmen.
That same complaint seems to be surrounding the TV show, especially after HBO's new take on Watchmen was such a hit in 2019. Scroll down for a look at what critics are saying about Netflix's Jupiter's Legacy.
Samantha Nelson of Polygon may have gotten the closest to the heart of the issues with Jupiter's Legacy — it lacks a compelling thesis. Her joking headline reads: "Jupiter's Legacy devotes 8 sloggy episodes to asking 'Should superheroes kill people?'" She feels that the whole season pretends to present a nuanced debate about what superheroes should and shouldn't be able to do without adding any stakes to that question, and while demonstrating that things typically work out just fine the old-fashioned way.prevnext
Critic Tom Long of Detroit News wrote that Jupiter's Legacy "features a dizzying array of colorful super-types both good and bad." He felt this "proliferation of characters can be disorienting," and worried that some of the best actors in the show were overshadowed because of it.prevnext
Critic Joe Lipsett of QueerHorrorMovies.com felt that Jupiter's Legacy was simply too ambitious with "plot lines that it can't be bothered to follow through, or even explain why it's so important." He noted that he left the season feeling like he had not learned much about this fantasy world or gotten very invested in it, and even went so far as to say that he did not think it deserved a second season.prevnext
Critic Martin Carr of Flickering Myth was more kind, feeling that Jupiter's Legacy deserved some credit for cleverly crossing the genres of a family drama and a superhero epic. He wrote that the show "takes a big swing and connects with full force" on that front.prevnext
On the other hand, Lyra Hale of The Mary Sue felt that the focus on family drama detracted from the global narrative that would have suited this show better. She also felt that the series "tries to be too edgy."prevnext
Norman Wilner of NOW Toronto argued that this was a rare case where a TV adaptation was actually too faithful to its source material. He felt that the amount of the story the show set out to tell was more than eight episodes could handle, resulting in a product that was "impossibly muddled."prevnext
Finally, The Playlist critic Mike DeAngelo reiterated the common complaint that this show shares a lot in common with Watchmen, The Boys and other deconstructions of the superhero trope, without adding anything new. The series is streaming now on Netflix.prev