Writer: Mark Millar / Pencil and Ink Artists: David Gianfelice & Francesco Mortarino / Image Comics
“Superheroes were the summit of American aspiration and so our children grew up to remind mankind of everything we could ever hope to be.”
Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Circle takes a very big turn in issue #4. This is our first look at this world from a very different perspective. A young perspective.
We kick things off in Malibu with a bunch of super powered young gunz having some fun with their mere mortal friends and fans. By having fun with them I mean flying them up hundreds of feet above the ocean, dropping them and holding out for suspense before catching them as close to the water as possible. But let’s not jump to judgement, I did some dumb shit as a kid too.
Fitz is having the Teen Scene (really Mark Millar?) over to the beach side clubhouse and is actually asking some good questions about this perilous game and being somewhat responsible. Ya know, for an adulterous, pot indulging, high flying, speedster. Then he goes and drops the naive bomb that he hopes his girlfriend April will be allowed to join The Union, now that they’re engaged.
Meanwhile, Lady Liberty and the team are over at Fitz crib trying to console his wife Joyce, and the family. The Utopian and Skyfox are outside talking to Fitz oldest boy about his developing powers and how he’s lucky to have them. Heredity isn’t guaranteed, as evident by some high school boys without even a hint of powers. It’s like speaking to a brick wall though. The kid’s got nothing to say but vengeance filled venomous hate for his dad.
Flare and April are back in Cali at quite the intriguing LA party. April is busy being star struck by Liberace who, as Fitz describes is “Kind of different from how he seems on TV”. I only remember tales of the flamboyant Liberace from when I was a kid, and this Lucifer loving character ain’t him. But I’m gonna take Millar’s word on this one. The J. Edgar Hoover story-line was pretty spot on, so who knows, Liberace might have been the smoothest believer in the anti-Christ in Hollywood history. Any who, Flare gets drunk (remember what I said about these heroes getting drunk and their decisions that follow) then gets mad jelly that Mr. Showmanship has April swooning all over the place, grabs her hand and bounces as the party chuckles at his insecurities.
April consoles him when they get back to her apt and hit the sheets. She tells him that she’s in it for the long haul. He eats it up.
Fitz gets the bat signal and has to unexpectedly help the team, despite being in the dog house. He arrives on the scene and it’s mayhem all around. It’s another alien invasion. This time evil versions of our heroes have invaded and are putting the beats on the squad. Walter fills Flare in and then alerts him of the bad guy’s mothership barreling towards the Earth and many impending civilian deaths. Flare speeds into action but The Utopian tells him to get his bench press game up or wait for help. I hope you didn’t think he was going to begin listening to advice after these past two issues! He obviously does the opposite of what his leader wants and goes solo/dolo to redirect the massive ship to safety. A horrific crash ensues and we pick up in the hospital with the team onlooking the bandaged, broken, and paralyzed body of Fitz. The team tells him that April gave 0 fucks about his new predicament and didn’t stick around for more than 24 hours once she discovered he would likely never walk or fly again. He begins to sob and vent about losing everything, until The Utopian tells him that he almost lost everything…
Real ass issue right here. Sad and touching perspective on life and how even a superhero can make mistakes, lose his or her way and everything they’ve worked so hard for. Not even close to my favorite drawn and illustrated piece of Millar’s work, but hey what can you expect when you change the illustrator midway through the series. I did however feel that the writing and morals in this issue greatly outweighed the inconsistent artwork and made for a good read. Check out issues 1-3 here.
Score: 7.5 out of 10