If you’re a big fan of Mad Men or other period dramas you probably should be reading Jupiter’s Circle. The first volume just wrapped up and the second begins today. Essentially what we’re getting is great character writing mixed in with a premise where superheroes do exist and it’s a simpler time. Sounds good, but is it good?
Jupiter’s Circle 2 #1 (Image Comics)
If you don’t know it already this is a prequel to Jupiter’s Legacy which means every issue of this series only makes Legacy more complex. This issue focuses on the Superman-esque hero of this series. He’s similar in that he has a glasses wearing alter ego, has the same power set and is a do-gooder. He does however have a wife who is pampered to death and that’s what this issue focuses on.
Why does this book matter?
Mark Millar has been writing really good comics for awhile now. So good he has his own universe. With Huck getting the movie treatment (read our interview with the guy for that information drop) maybe this one wiill follow suit. If the character drama is any indication this series is perfect as a TV show.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Much like the first volume of this series the comic takes its time with an easy going pace that allows you to absorb the characters. By issue’s end you’ll feel like you know how the marriage works, how a lone female heroine’s loneliness is a potential issue going forward and a fantastic new villain whose ability is a bit genius. All of this flows over you slowly but surely making the read comfortable and cozy.
It’s funny reading this as you expect the marriage to be on the rocks. How often do you see a married couple truly in love and happy these days? It helps hammer home the era this series takes place in and gives the characters a delicate innocence. That is good drama because when a threat appears you immediately fear for them and their love. That’s good writing.
The art by new series regular Bill Sienkiewicz is also simple in an endearing way. It generally gives each panel a cinematic feel which makes the scenes feel even more important. Combined with the writing the art helps give everything a measured distance and pace that makes the dialogue sort of flow forward.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Thankfully there’s a threat early on to spruce up the pace a bit, but that action takes place off page. That’s the rub in this issue as there’s no action to speak of and only potential threats. In the first volume of this series the drama of the characters typically gave us the meat we needed to get excited. In this volume however there isn’t any drama. There’s a lonely hero and another who’s happily married. That’s it. There’s no conflict and while there’s a threat of one at the end that’s not enough to make this issue interesting.
Is It Good?
Measured and well written drama about a happy marriage is solid, but where is the conflict?