Written by Mark Millar
Drawn by Frank Quitely
Published by Image Comics
Previously: Jupiter’s Legacy #3
This issue jumps ahead to 2022, where Hutch and Chloe have been living in secret ever since Walter and Brandon murdered Chloe’s parents. They live with their nine-year old son Jason, who has inherited superpowers like his mother and grandparents, but has been taught to keep them secret and never to appear to be anything other than a average little boy. To that end we see Jason purposely lose a soccer game, and pretend to allow bullies to beat him up, and not make any progress in school, all of which makes his parents very happy. The one thing Jason loves the most is hearing stories of his grandparents and their superhero adventures. Through a flashback we get some more details into the origin of this series, as we see how Sheldon Sampson, his brother, and their friends finally found the island that Sheldon dreamt of back in issue #1
It turns out that the island was actually a spaceship, and there were two alien beings there, waiting for them. We still don’t get full details of what happened, but we know it’s the aliens who gave that select group their superpowers, and then apparently they just left and have never been heard from again. We also learn a bit more about Hutch, apparently he doesn’t have an actual powers, his teleportation abilities are thanks to a power rod that he carries around with him, which was created by Hutch’s supervillain father. And we learn that Jason isn’t quit so content to pretend to be human, as during a fire at a chemical planet Jason sneaks off at superspeed, switches into a homemade costume and averts the tragedy, before slipping back into his street clothes before Hutch even noticed that he was gone.
In the nine years that Brandon and Walter have been in power in America they’ve apparently just made things worse, with the economy still a mess and riots in the streets. It’s spread to the rest of the world, as well. Walter remains strangely confident (or is that arrogance?) that they will fix things. And when he hears of reports of possible super-activity in Australia, he send his Head of Security down there to investigate. We aren’t told his name or powers (if any), but he looks sinister…
Best issue of the series, so far. The best showcase for Quitely’s artwork, from the alien spaceship with it’s jungle scenery, to little Jason in action as a superhero. Look closely as the panels when Jason changes into costume, handing an ice cream cone to a nearby little girl, and then snatching it back after he saves the chemical plant and changes back into his civilian clothes. The look on the little girl’s face is priceless. That’s the kind of background detail that Quitely thrives on. And I also enjoyed the glimpses back into the past, and can’t wait to learn more about those aliens, but also loved the dialog between Hutch and Jason, they felt like a real father and son. Millar’s on a roll here.