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Jupiter's Legacy timeline explained: unraveling the new Netflix show's twin timelines

Josh Duhamel in Jupiter's Legacy
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: Major spoilers for the Jupiter's Legacy comics and Netflix show ahead! Turn back now if you haven't watched all 8 episodes on Netflix! 

Jupiter's Legacy details the formation of superhero team the Union in flashbacks to the '20s and '30s – and whizzes back to the present to show us how the next generation of heroes are struggling to live up to their predecessor's high standards. 

The split across two timelines can make understanding what exactly is going on a little confusing, though, so we've made things simple by untangling the overall plot. There's a fair amount going on in Jupiter's Legacy – so keeping track of Brandon and Sheldon's relationship, what Chloe and Hutch are up to, and what's happening with the heroes of the past can be a lot to take in. 

We've explained what goes down in each timeline, so if you're a bit lost as to how everything fits together, we've got you covered. Then, should a season 2 happen, we've also had a look at the comics to pull together some guesses on what might happen next. Check out our guide to the Jupiter's Legacy timeline below.

Jupiter's Legacy timeline: the past

Ben Daniels in Jupiter's Legacy

(Image credit: Netflix)

Knowing how the Union forms helps us understand what's going down in the present-day storyline. It all starts when Sheldon and Walter's father dies by suicide immediately following the '29 Wall Street crash. Sheldon has a breakdown, and starts to hallucinate about his dead father – and has strange visions that seem to be trying to lead him somewhere. Walter enlists Sheldon's friend George to try and keep Sheldon on track, but George is fascinated by his erratic drawings, which end up setting Sheldon off on a path to discover what exactly is going on.

He eventually makes his way to a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. There, he finds a farmer who seems to have had similar visions to Sheldon. This mysterious man ends up dying by suicide, and downstairs, Sheldon discovers the bodies of the farmer's family. Sheldon has a hallucination of other people in the family's place, but these new people are very much alive. Some of them he recognizes, like Walter and George, as well as Fitz, a worker from his factory, and Grace, a journalist he's previously clashed with.

Sheldon sets about rounding up everyone he saw in his hallucination. It's touch and go if they will follow him, but he eventually convinces everyone to join him – minus one person, whom he hasn't located yet. They end up on a perilous journey seeking an island, which is what Sheldon's drawings have been leading him to all along. They end up in a storm and rescue the final member of the Union – Richard Conrad. 

The Union in Jupiter's Legacy

(Image credit: Netflix)

After pressing through the storm, they arrive at the strange island, and discover they cannot leave. With no other option, they keep going, and are met with a series of challenges to test if they're really up for the destiny that awaits them. After being made to put their differences aside, the Union ends up receiving their incredible powers – and costumes – from what appears to be an alien being, who takes the appearance of a different person for each member of the team and congratulates them for proving themselves worthy, 

Sheldon becomes The Utopian, Walter becomes Brainwave, George becomes Skyfox, Grace becomes Lady Liberty, Fitz becomes the Flare, and Richard becomes Blue-Bolt.

The last time we see the heroes in the '30s timeline, they're seated around the table at the Union's headquarters. Everything seems fine… for now. We know Skyfox will eventually leave under mysterious circumstances, Blue Bolt will vanish, the Flare will suffer a life-changing injury and pass the mantle on to his daughter Petra, and The Utopian and Brainwave's problems definitely aren't behind them – though Sheldon believes they are.

Jupiter's Legacy timeline: present day

Jupiter's Legacy

(Image credit: Netflix)

It's pretty obvious when the Jupiter's Legacy plot moves into the present day – for one thing, no one is in fancy period dress, and for another, the remaining members of the original Union lineup look considerably older. Everything in the present-day timeline revolves around Blackstar and Hutch's schemes to find his father Skyfox – while in the background, Walter is quietly making moves of his own.

The broad strokes of the present-day plot mainly involve the Blackstar clone. It's introduced in episode 1, and the heroes spend the entire season examining its body for clues as to who sent it, and why. The discovery of a cracked pocket watch inside the clone seemingly points to Skyfox, AKA George Hutchence, as the culprit – however, we find out in the finale that it was actually Brainwave, or The Utopian's brother Walter, who was the mastermind all along. He's been manipulating everything to destabilize the Union and seize control for himself, as his daughter Raikou discovers. She pays the ultimate price for her knowledge when Walter kills her in the finale.

Andrew Horton in Jupiter's Legacy

(Image credit: Netflix)

Alongside the Blackstar plot, Brandon struggles with living up to his father's legacy. After killing the clone, Sheldon benches him. When The Flare 2, Petra, voices her doubts over The Utopian's code – which involves never killing – Brandon defends his father's ideals. Then, in the finale, the real Blackstar escapes Supermax prison thanks to some trickery from Walter and grabs Brandon. He tells Sheldon the hero can either kill Blackstar to save his son, or Blackstar will kill Brandon. The Utopian doesn't make any obvious moves, but his eyes do light up blue before Petra rescues Brandon, and he assures his son he wouldn't have let him die. The season ends with the two seemingly reconciled.

Meanwhile, a new character is introduced in episode 3 – Hutch, who we later learn is the son of George Hutchence, AKA Skyfox. Hutch runs with a shady crowd, but it's clear he's not a bad guy. He's got a little teleportation device, too, which ends up being very important in the search for his dad.

On Chloe's side of things, she's derailing and struggling with addiction. She also has no interest whatsoever in becoming a hero like the rest of her family. After losing a sponsorship deal, she ends up meeting Hutch when his friends' van crashes into her. The two of them strike up a relationship, and at the end of the season, Hutch reveals his plans to locate his dad to Chloe – after Chloe rescues him from a particularly sticky situation in an airless room.

We don't know what's happened to Blue Bolt, who is entirely absent from the present-day timeline, nor do we know why Skyfox split from the Union. 

What might happen next?

Matt Lanter in Jupiter's Legacy

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jupiter's Legacy didn't directly adapt the events of the comic book series, so there's plenty of ground left to cover. Massive spoilers for the comics ahead.

In the present day, Walter and Brandon team up together to take on The Utopian. The two of them end up instituting their own new world order, with a resistance forming to fight them. Chloe and Hutch also have a child, who has superpowers of his own.

In the past, the relationship between Skyfox and the Union starts to break down. Things go especially bad when Walter ends up getting together with Skyfox's ex-girlfriend, and George leaves the team.

Blue Bolt, meanwhile, is being blackmailed over his sexuality by J. Edgar Hoover. However this situation plays out in a potential season 2 or beyond, we can expect it to be an influence in his absence from the present day storyline.

If you're all caught up on Jupiter's Legacy, check out the best Netflix shows to stream now.

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.