This is going to be one of those posts where the writer starts off with a bunch of "but first, we just want to say…" stuff before taking a 180-degree deep-dive into a topic that's not nearly as pleasant as it started out being. So with that in mind, we're here to talk about writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely's comic book series Jupiter's Legacy– or more specifically, the Netflix series adaptation that's ready to hit streaming screens this May. But first, we just want to say… we're big fans of the comics books, we're looking forward to the next chapter later this year, we're looking forward to the series, and we're wishing Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, and the rest of the cast nothing but a huge success.
Now with that said, we would like to humbly offer Millar and the folks at Millarworld some friendly advice and perspective. And by "perspective," what we mean is that in the 1,025 days that will have passed between the series adaptation first being announced in July 2018 and its May debut, a lot's happened in the world of "adult-themed deconstructed takes on the concept of the superhero and their place in a realistic world." From a series standpoint, we've had two seasons of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy and Amazon Prime's The Boys (with production on the third seasons of both currently underway and a The Boys spinoff in development), two seasons of HBO Max's Doom Patrol (with filming on the third season underway), and an award-winning season of HBO's Watchmen. Oh, and then there's WandaVision, Raising Dion, Stargirl, Superman & Lois, and a few more we know we forgot.
In other mediums, it appears a project can be talked up and bragged about, come out well past its expected arrival, and still have rose petals thrown at its feet by the fans. As you can see from the list above, television is righteously different because viewers don't wait around forever for an unproven commodity. For every show that isn't there, there are four looking to jump into the streaming breach. And once they have their line-up of favorites locked in, you need to be something really special to help break through- you need to offer something that none of the half-dozen or more shows don't. But until screeners start going out to reviewers or even until an extended trailer or sneak preview is released, you need to focus on selling what it is you're offering. That's why we're not sure the "cocky/passive-aggressive" approach is a smart one, based on tweets over the past week.
Like the one above, kicking off with that shady "folk like us" (that's its own deep-dive) and then commenting about a lack of "great, big superhero material" for over a year. Now I don't know who does or doesn't have a calendar, but over a year calls out quite a number of the series we listed earlier. Again, not sure what the point is of going in that direction. Look, we get being confident in your work and wanting to do anything and everything you can to see it succeed- but why do it with back-handed nonsense and on the backs of others?
And then we have "I think it's the most ambitious superhero thing out there. It just feels different" (more than Doom Patrol?). To dash a little extra salt on the sass, there's the "very grand and grown up." Again, compared to what? Raising Dion and Superman & Lois addressing superhero parents and the complications that come with kids? Superheroes being shown to be flawed characters? We're sure you can rattle off six shows before we could finish typing them- just look at the heart-crushing grief cycle Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) went through in WandaVision. And then there's the one below- which is either a bit of humorous bravado or a tweet that speaks for itself.
So to Millar and the rest of the folks behind Jupiter's Legacy, best of luck as we look forward to seeing what the series has to offer before it leaps tall streaming screens in a single bound this May. But between now and then? Focus less on flexing on other shows and focus more on making sure viewers can see for themselves what makes Jupiter's Legacy stand out. If your show's good enough, it'll speak for itself.