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Jupiter's Legacy review roundup: here's what the critics are saying about the Netflix superhero show

Andrew Horton in Jupiter's Legacy
(Image credit: Netflix)

Jupiter's Legacy has landed on Netflix. The new superhero show introduces us to the Union, a superhero team formed in 20th Century America – and then delves into what happens when the next generation of heroes struggles to live up to their lofty standards. The series is based on the comic book series of the same name by writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely, and consists of eight episodes. Its massive cast includes Josh Duhamel as the Utopian, Andrew Horton as his son Brandon, Elena Kampouris as Brandon's sister Chloe, Ben Daniels as The Utopian's brother Brainwave, and Leslie Bibb as The Utopian's wife Lady Liberty. 

The reviews for the series are in, and they're pretty mixed. While some critics praise the show's take on the genre, others are more skeptical on whether Jupiter's Legacy is a necessary addition to the already crowded superhero landscape. 

We've rounded up what the critics are saying to give you an idea of what to expect jumping into Jupiter's Legacy. Don't worry – everything below is totally spoiler-free, so you can have a look if you've watched all eight episodes, or if you've yet to watch a single second.

IGN (opens in new tab) – David Griffin – 7/10

"Jupiter's Legacy Season 1 is filled with memorable characters with impressive powers and mysterious locations to explore. Though many of the compelling aspects that make this series work are centered around the founding members of The Union during the 1930s rather than the kids' adventures in the present day, there will hopefully be time for them to take the spotlight later: The mystery surrounding Skyfox's disappearance leaves plenty of questions that I'd love to see addressed in a potential second season."

The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) – Daniel Fienberg

"The title of Jupiter’s Legacy, adapted by Steven S. DeKnight from the comic book series by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, refers vaguely to the legacy left by a senior generation of superheroes for the new generation of heroes facing a wildly different world. The show's only actual legacy is arriving in such a superhero-glutted landscape that it's almost impossible to find a single character or plotline or thematic beat here that you won't be instantly comparing to a previous show."

Digital Spy (opens in new tab) – David Opie – 2/5

"Combine all that with some less-than-stellar special effects, and you're left with a show that feels as tired as these old heroes look. And that's a shame, because there is half an interesting story here, even if it's no longer that original in 2021. For diehard fans, Jupiter's Legacy is still worth a watch. But now that there's so much superhero content to choose from, it's disappointing that Millarworld's first show doesn't "evolve" the genre as much as we hoped and expected."

Comic Book (opens in new tab) – Adam Barnhardt – 2/5

"Jupiter's Legacy most certainly gets better as it goes along but by the time it really gets palatable, the end credits begin to roll on the final episode. It's different enough from the mainstream cape flicks put out by Disney and Warner Bros., but that's largely because it's a tonal mismatch that gets pulled in three too many directions."

Radio Times (opens in new tab) – David Craig – 2/5

"As the first fruit to grow from Netflix's merger with Millarworld, Jupiter's Legacy is a little too squidgy and discoloured to recommend eating. It's a great shame as the source material is perfectly sound, but this adaptation doesn't do it a shred of justice. The fleeting moments that work are far outweighed by an uneven cast, lame script and agonising pace, the latter of which is fast becoming a systemic problem suffered by most Netflix original series."

Metro (opens in new tab) – Sabrina Barr – 4/5

"Despite its array of tight costume-clad characters, this show feels like anything but a traditional hero-saves-the-day kind of tale. It subverts norms of the genre and doesn't shy away from putting the ugly side of superhero work on full display, all the while raising some big life questions that will leave viewers examining their own moral integrity."

CNET (opens in new tab) – Richard Trenholm 

"Still, the relationships and internal struggles are engaging, and the major characters are all well drawn. There's a reality to the characters and their troubled relationships. The Utopian's strict standards for his fellow superheroes represent an identifiable emotional challenge, and you can't help but sympathize with everyone feeling the weight of those ideals. These are big personalities with big problems, and the prospect of spending time with them draws you into their world. It's just frustrating to feel like you're wading through a season of setup waiting for the real story to kick in next year or the year after. We've seen enough of that in superhero moves shoehorning in sequel setup."

All eight episodes of Jupiter's Legacy are streaming now on Netflix, and you can also check out our guide to the best Netflix shows to find all the best the streamer has to offer. 

Molly Edwards
Molly Edwards

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after I got my BA in English.