Jupiter’s Circle by Mark Millar is a prequel to the awesome comic book set, Jupiter’s Legacy. It is set in the early 1950s and in effect is drawn very much like a silver age comic, its subject matter however, is very far from what you would find in a silver age comic.
It begins with a panel of a graveyard and the gravestones of the eras superheroes:
“…This is the resting place of the world’s greatest heroes. These are their adventures…”
The main theme of this first book in the series surrounds Richard, one of the costumed heroes and his battle in the 1950s of keeping not only his identity secret, but his sexual orientation as well. Richard goes far beyond having a dual identity. As he narrowly escapes being arrested in a park soliciting sex from other men. But his luck runs out and soon enough, he is photographed with another man, and the photograph falls into the hands of a sinister group who wants to take control of the super hero group. The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America under the Directorship of J. Edgar Hoover.
The use of homosexuality here is very upfront and very much a part of the story. Don’t expect Millar to shy away from it one bit and if that is something you are uncomfortable with, then Jupiter’s Circle is going to make you very uncomfortable. But it is not the sexuality that is point here, but the use of it to take control of someone. That is what Millar’s story is about. Using the secret to bend a powerful superhero to you whims.
I will admit to being new to the Jupiter series, having missed the first go around with Jupiter’s Legacy. I put up two of the books from that series and based on those ordered the who series. It looks that good. Millar has been doing these just out of the mainstream books for awhile and they seem to become mainstream based on merit and great writing. Kick-Ass. Wanted. Kingsman. All of which have been made into movies without the tag of Marvel or DC.
Jupiter’s Circle is well written and the artwork is intentionally done in the manner of a silver age comic; kudos to Wilfredo Torres on that. Millar has another underground hit on his hands here.