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Jupiter’s Circle is the next chapter in Mark Millar’s rather large plan to set the groundwork for his own shared universe. Quite possibly his biggest endeavour yet, with plans that reach to around 34 issues in total, Jupiter’s Circle is where everything gets its start. It is where the seeds of the future are planted and can be reaped in the present. So, with all of this, where does it land?
Jupiter’s Circle is an anomaly of a series, given that it is riding off the back of another series that was plagued by delays and took a long time to get rolling and find its own spirit. So, why would they take that series and deem it worthy enough to get a prequel and expands its universe. Millar is his own brand by now, but even this would be a tougher sell than most. It would need to hit the ground running, and tell a story that was worth telling.
The first issue definitely does not disappoint in this regard. While Legacy took up to its fourth issue to really strike a chord with the reader, Circle immediately drops the reader into its world and lets it evolve around them. The main characters are set-up with ease, and the focus of the issue doesn’t drag as much as it lets some humanistic characteristics breathe through.
A reader familiar with the mythology vaguely hinted at in Jupiter’s Legacy will surely feel right at home, as characters such as Walter Sampson and George Hutchinson begin on the paths that we know they end up on by the time of Legacy without it being an overwrought conclusion. Other characters might not get the focus as the central character of “Blue Bolt”, but they never feel like background dressing, and fill in the roster quite well.
Wilfredo Torrres’ artwork is the perfect counterbalance to Quitely, and is able to create an experience that is at equal times both comfortingly retro and engagingly fresh. He was the perfect choice for a series like this and is yet another in Millar’s long line of artists that bring out the best in the text. Blue Bolt is made relatable through the deft line-work and the beautiful colors. It doesn’t hide what it is, and it isn’t brought down by the heavier topics.
For fans of Jupiter’s Legacy, this is definitely going to be something to really invest time into. It brings out so much more of the world than Legacy has so far, and lifts it up like a prequel should. A newcomer might be lost, as some have already noted, due to the dynamics being more explicit in the predecessor, but at least the art and the tone should be something to bite into. Millar’s new leaf hasn’t dampened yet and I await the next issue.