Review: 'Jupiter's Legacy' explores a superhero generation gap

Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb are two aging superheroes passing on the torch to their superkids in new Netflix series

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News
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Parenting is hard. Parenting superheroes is super hard.

This is the central lesson of “Jupiter’s Legacy,” a new Netflix series that features a dizzying array of colorful super-types both good and bad. Who’s Jupiter? What’s its legacy? The show offers no clue, so just think of it as a cool-sounding superhero show name.

Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel and Ben Daniels in "Jupiter's Legacy."

Instead focus on Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) and his wife Grace (Leslie Bibb), otherwise known as The Utopian and Lady Liberty, the first couple of superheroes. Now graying — they’ve been around a century or so — they have two very different young adult superkids.

Brandon (Andrew Horton) wants to live up to his father’s high ideals, though he hasn’t yet fully grown into his powers (flying, super strength and speed, all the basics). Hot pixie Chloe (hot pixie Elena Kampouris) though is your basic rebellious mess, flying through the air with a bottle of wine as she flits from modeling gig to endorsement deal. She thinks her father’s ideals are hooey.

And she has a point. The Utopian early on decreed that superheroes should not kill anyone. Unfortunately an apparent abundance of supervillains (where do they come from?) have not agreed to this pact. As a result supervillains tend to kill the restrained young superheroes, of which there is also an inexplicable abundance. 

So that’s the moral dilemma and familial conflict. As for story, the series splits in two. One line tracks Sheldon, driven apparently mad after his own father’s stock market crash suicide in 1930, as he leads an expedition a la King Kong to a mysterious island. The other deals with the present day travails of Sheldon’s super family.

The proliferation of characters can be disorienting and super-Bibb is criminally underused, but “Jupiter’s Legacy” works for the most part if your idea of entertainment leans that way. Glittering costumes, eyes that shoot laser beams, explosions and destruction galore. That’s entertainment circa 2021.

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News. 

'Jupiter’s Legacy'

GRADE: B

On Netflix

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