Some might say Mark Millar’s work is overly violent. Others might say his stories are crass, but I just think they’re real. Millar tends to capture the core of what makes his characters human, even when they’re flying through the sky or lifting buildings. That’s what makes his writing interesting and keeps me coming back for more, even when certain issues in this very series are subpar. How’s issue #5 though, is it good?
Jupiter’s Circle #5 (Image Comics)
This issue focuses on the superhero Skyfox and continues the series set in the 1950s. So far we’ve witnessed the backstory of a character who cheated on his wife, another who was gay and now in this issue a character with a severe drinking problem. We witness his laissez faire relationship to booze and how the friends around him take it with a grain of salt. It’s very true that back in the 50s a drinking problem was something many folks had and something you just didn’t talk about. That’s explored here, as well as the very real nature of alcoholics being immature at heart.
Mark Millar writes a strong issue here, paced very well with compelling character work in play. Skyfox is very much a boy at heart, and drinks like one too, though he continues his superhero lifestyle, warts and all with no complaints. The character is basically a Bruce Wayne type when not suited up: rich and incredibly powerful, but his playboy nature is no ruse. He’s supposedly slept with 1,000 women, but this issue focuses on him meeting a certain woman he falls head over heels for. We watch as he courts her, still getting drunk on the job and loving it, and what that means for their relationship. It’s a very adult and humbling story for the character and one that is assuredly going to blow up next issue with the cliffhanger Millar drops on us.
That’s one way to beat a villain.
The characters are very strong, which is why this script works so well. That said, the story and premise are very been there and done that. It’s the only failing point to the issue, but really this series is all about character so it’s a minor gripe.
The art by Davide Gianfelice continues the strong stylings of Wilfredo Torres before him. The panels are mostly cinematic, going from one edge of the page to the other, which slows down the pace and allows you to soak in the character work. It’s as if Millar is instructing the artists to draw this way to hammer home the idea that this is a movie version of a soap opera and every line, however small it is, is important and deserves its own panel. Gianfelice does a great job with a foreplay scene too and it’s just the right amount of hot and heavy, will they or won’t they, that makes this book so fun to read.
Maybe you could get away with this in the 50s?
Is It Good?
This is an incredibly strong issue due to great character work and a humbling story of a hero with a problem nobody thought anything of in the 50s.