Episode 1 is a satisfactory opening chapter, bringing many superhero tropes that we are accustomed to, however, there is something well-scripted about the story.
This recap of Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy season 1, episode 1, “By Dawn’s Early Light,” contains major spoilers.
Streaming services are really throwing everything on new superhero series in 2021 — if you’ve just managed to cool off from Invincible, you may want to feast your eyes on Jupiter’s Legacy.
To begin the superhero series, episode 1 begins with the young superheroes playing around as children – Chloe Sampson takes it too far and hurts one of her siblings. Their superhero (Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian) father flies down and warns Chloe Sampson about using her powers — he reminds her of their responsibilities. Suddenly, their father has to go as there is trouble in the city. Chloe is downbeat because she was about to spend time with her father.
Daddy issues, folks — that’s one of the story arcs that we are all too familiar with in the superhero world.
Paragon wants to take on an attempted bank robbery on his own
In the present day, Brandon Sampson sees on the news that supervillain Blackstar is in court. The scene then flits to a couple of robbers trying to take over a bank — a supervillain appears and uses her powers to stop them — she opens up a van full of cash, but before she can take it, Brandon (Paragon) arrives to try and fight her; however, he struggles to fight her, so she mocks him, referencing his father. Brandon’s father (The Utopian) arrives and helps out — he tells him that he needs to call for backup next time.
It seems that Brandon does not have the experience yet of dealing with these situations alone.
Husband and wife discuss kids
Jupiter’s Legacy season 1, episode 1 gives insight into Sheldon’s life with his wife, Grace Sampson (Lady Liberty). They appear to have a solid marriage — they talk about the time they bumped into Elvis Pressley. Sheldon is worried about his daughter Chloe, but his wife tells him to calm down and advises that he finds the right time to talk to her. The conversation turns to Brandon, and Sheldon tells Grace that their son is “not getting it” and probably never will. Grace tells him to give his son time, but Sheldon believes Brandon is too emotional and distracted.
Interestingly, Brandon uses his powers to hear his father’s conversation — you can tell he is upset. The story brings a world of expectations for young adults, with the older generation trying to maintain standards.
1929 — disagreements over the steel mills
“By Dawn’s Early Light” flashes back to 1929 in Chicago with Sheldon heading into work. He meets his father and brother in the factory offices. Walter is frustrated by the company’s decision to expand for more steel mills. Sheldon and their father talk about growing the American dream — they claim it is about people and family.
Present-day — a tense family meal
In the present day, Sheldon, Walter, Grace, and Brandon begin their evening dinner. A drunk Chloe storms through the door as her father, Sheldon, says grace. There’s a clear tension between Chloe and her father. Chloe talks about her latest photoshoot in a magazine — Sheldon disapproves of the attention she brings herself and states that Brandon tries to use his gift to better the world. The conversation turns into an argument, and Chloe states she regrets having Sheldon as her father. Her mother, Grace, demands that she apologizes. Chloe does apologize but states that this will be the last dinner she will be coming to before storming out.
Brandon tries to speak to his sister Chloe to try and reason with her — he tells her someone else has to be the next Utopian. Chloe argues that they needed their father when they were younger and she is “sorry” that Brandon has to pick up 120 years of their dad’s bullshit.
As you can see, this is not a simple family — it’s coated in dysfunctionality and history.
1929 — the stock market crashes
Back in 1929, and Sheldon meets up with George — suddenly, there’s a commotion; the stock market has crashed. At work, the family business is panicking. Walter tells Sheldon that he told them they shouldn’t have expanded, and now they are suffering from the consequences. Their father is up on the roof, and when Sheldon joins him, he tells them how their steel is laced throughout the city. He wanted to build a legacy, but he claims it all ended up in a box. Sheldon’s father then jumps off the roof, and Sheldon is in anguish.
Present-day — questioning the Code and ideals
In the present day, Sheldon and Walter reminisce about the past and discuss how George turned on them and became a terrorist. Sheldon muses that they’ve had 90 years of fighting wizards and robots, and they have nothing to show for it — he states the world is more divisive than ever. He believes it’s all sinking into the ground after everything they’ve sacrificed. Walter states about bringing an administrative shape policy and a more active role. Sheldon becomes frustrated about the suggestion of going against the Code and inspiring the people, not hurting them, or killing them. Walter states he regrets not ending World War Two sooner, especially with all the atrocities. But Sheldon asks “when would it end” if they got involved with everything, and it would end free will. Walter argues free will is bringing down the world.
This was a fascinating chat that seals the first chapter of the series as a successful one — battling principles, morals, and ideals between both of these characters became a well-scripted event.
However, Sheldon does not have much time left to have the in-depth discussion as Blackstar is causing problems, and they need to stop him. While the Union fights him, Briggs and Ruby Red watch from a distance, waiting for their perfect photo-op. However, they did not need it as the action comes to them, with The Utopian and Blackstar fighting in their space. Blackstar throws Sheldon aside, leaving Ruby and Briggs in trouble. Brandon and Walter arrive with more superheroes to fight Blackstar.
Barry and others are killed; Brandon gets emotional and tries to fight Blackstar one on one. His mother arrives to help, and while Blackstar repeatedly punches The Utopian, Walter takes control of Blackstar’s mind while the others beat and restrain him. Eventually, Blackstar frees himself from mind control and fights again. Blackstar starts to go nuclear, so Brandon super punches the villain to kill him.
There’s shock amongst the heroes and Sheldon tells his son that they do not kill. Brandon argues that Blackstar was about to take out half the state, but his father feels he took the easy way out and asks him to leave. Sheldon is dismayed that his son broke the Code.
But the problems do not end there; the episode ends with the supervillain corpse on the table. Blackstar walks in, and he asks, “what the hell is this?”. The Utopian meekly replies, “It appears to be you”.
Jupiter’s Legacy season 1, episode 1 is a satisfactory opening chapter, bringing many superhero tropes that we are accustomed to, however, there is something well-scripted about the story.