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Jupiter’s Circle finishes up another two-parter, this one following the costumed hero known as Flare. While the series was able to kick off with a strong start, were Mark Millar and Davide Gianfelice able to knock it out once more? Or was the first two-parter just something special before a downturn? Let’s dig into Jupiter’s Circle #4.
As with my previous review for this series, I have to say that Flare’s story is a much more casual, more generally regarded sort of character piece. Blue Bolt’s gay superhero/celebrity challenges were a provocative and attention grabbing beginning, but Flare has more down home trials to pass. His midlife crisis and abandonment of his family is all too home-hitting. His insecurities and need for something fresh in his life do bleed through rather well to the reader.
The issue follows suit with the rest of the series so far, with the action set-pieces being put to the sidelines. Flare’s actions and their impact are given full attention here, with his rather poor decision-making – smoking pot with some very young teens to name just one – selling just how weird and forced this transition is for those involved. Flare’s family isn’t ignored, with his wife and eldest son not being hazy at all. It’s not a blow-out, but it has the heart.
Is it going to stick with me as much as the first two-part character piece? That’s actually a very hard question, because it wasn’t as instantly memorable as the first, but overall, it is a solid middle. That’s what a series has to have, honestly; it has to start strong, stay steady, and stick the landing. The first volume begins its ending with the next issue and we’re already looking at Millar quite possibly checking all three off of the list.
Davide Gianfelice is a godsend to this series in terms of fill-in artists. I was actually so pleased with his art in the previous issue that I actually forgot that Wilfredo Torres only did parts of it. Without Gianfelice I can’t see this series having worked without Torres. He perfectly grabs up the baton and runs with it, not missing a single beat or step. Torres is amazing and what I think of when I see the series, but Gianfelice keeps everything steady – an important job by itself.
This continues to be one of my favorite series of the year and I cannot stop recommending it to anyone I come across. Mark Millar, Wilfredo Torres, Davide Gianfelice, and the ever present Frank Quitely, have created something special. I can’t wait for the Skyfox/Hutch Sr. finale to the first volume, because that was a character I am intensely interested in. Either way, it’s a trip. Comments and thoughts would be appreciated below.