Jupiter’s Legacy has several heroic casualties in its first season, so let’s break down the course of each character’s life (and death).
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy, now streaming on Netflix.
One of the most prominent themes in Season 1 of Jupiter’s Legacy is whether or not to uphold “The Code,” a set of governing principles created by Sheldon to govern the behavior of his fellow superheroes. The most particular point of contention is over its first tenet, “We don’t kill.” The abstract point of whether the death sentence is an ethical punishment isn’t really in question, and the show focuses more on if lethal force is justified as a means of self-defense. Sheldon’s restriction against lethal force is a good way to prevent heroes from acting as judge, jury and executioner, but it also results in a lot of pulled punches.
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Those pulled punches lead to disaster multiple times over the course of the season, as heroes find themselves fighting villains who don’t share their compunctions. Let’s break down each superhero death in Jupiter’s Legacy in more detail, and shine a light on characters that might otherwise be forgotten.
Flaming Fist, Phase Out and Tectonic
Flaming Fist (Briggs), Phase Out (Vera) and Tectonic (Barry) are three different heroes who join in the fight against Blackstar at the beginning of the show, but they are dropped in quick order by the musclebound titan. Briggs’ introductions is very similar to his comic book appearance, as he stays out of the fight with the intention of only showing up at the end to share in the glory. But unlike the comics, his plan is ruined when the comet-like form of Blackstar slams into him and the fighting begins in earnest. Several members of the Union assault Blackstar from all angles, but he decapitates Vera and kills Barry with the same energy blast.
It’s unclear what Vera’s like outside of that fight, but a brief flashback at the trio’s funeral shows her and Barry laughing with Brandon. Barry himself is given a lot more depth, mostly because he has a scene with Brandon the night before the fight. He tries to convince Brandon to get drunk with him but clarifies that he just wants his friend to not put his life on hold for his role as the Utopian’s successor. Brandon seems to appreciate the gesture, and the two share a heartfelt moment. This leads to a somber backdrop for Brandon’s speech at the funeral, which ends with him comforting Barry’s widow.
Ghostbeam (Janna) gets a much more fleshed-out arc than her deceased teammates, as she manages to stick around for most of the season. She interacts with Chloe several times, first at a nightclub where she’s the sole Union member who refuses to partake in any intoxicants. Her other teammates give her a pretty hard time for this, referring to her as “the hall monitor” and “Sugar and Spice.” Her intentions stem from a desire to act as a role model to the rest of the world, but her pleas for others to do the same fall on deaf ears. She shows up at Chloe’s apartment later to help her stave off the aftereffects of that bender but is driven away when Chloe refuses her aid.
She’s killed in the show’s sixth episode, as the ongoing events precipitated by Brandon killing Blackstar reach a boiling point. A villain tries to kill one of her teammates, and she has to stop another hero from lashing out in retribution. She only succeeds with Grace‘s help, and the two of them discuss the merits of The Code later in the episode. Even with everything that’s happened, Janna is still in favor of The Code and reiterates that no matter how bad things get superheroes need to serve as models of good behavior. However, this comes back to bite her later in the episode when she’s killed by the villain Baryon. Her last words as she bleeds out in Grace’s arms are about how she stuck to The Code, as she dies in defense of its tenets.
Raikou is the odd woman out in terms of overall connection to the season’s themes, as her more heroic counterparts die in service to the question of whether heroes should kill. In contrast, she’s killed by her own father, Brainwave. She’s introduced when Brainwave states his intentions to unearth memories from the subconscious of the dead Blackstar clone, as Grace demands he get backup to reduce the danger. The danger itself turns out to be unwarranted, though, as everything Brainwave encounters is a fabrication of his own hand, intended to frame Skyfox and widen tensions between other members of the Union.
Her character is mostly faithful to the general idea of her comic-book predecessor — a psychic assassin whose services are available to the highest bidder. But in the comics, she dies at the hands of the copycat villain Repro, while in the show, she finds herself too close to the truth, and only manages to reveal what she’s found out to Brainwave himself as she attempts to blackmail him. While she shares his psychic powers, she soon finds out she’s nowhere near a match for them, with the entirety of their conversation being one of his mental constructs. Brainwave kills Raikou inside that construct and slits her throat in the real world as it fades away.
Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy stars Josh Duhamel as The Utopian, Ben Daniels as Brainwave, Leslie Bibb as Lady Liberty, Elena Kampouris as Chloe Sampson, Andrew Horton as Brandon Sampson, Mike Wade as The Flare, Anna Akana as Raikou and Matt Lanter as Skyfox. Season 1 is available on Netflix now.
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