Jupiter’s Circle #4 needs to come with Reading Instructions. To wit: This is a “masterpiece issue”. Millar’s collaboration with Davide and Francesco obviously happened quickly, and it’s my bet there was more-than-usual conversation about who was thinking and feeling what in each panel. So, each panel needs to be viewed and read, then carefully considered. There is a ton of information condensed into each facial expression, the posture of each person, the absolute density of dialogue.
One needs to have Legacy and the previous Circles at hand to keep track of the characters sometimes. Maybe shrink the inside cover credits and do a Kingdom Come - like shot saying who is who. (I know, Mark! But it’s a big cast over two generations!) I had instant empathy with Fitz Jr. that was proven out as events unfolded. It all looks so simple! Yet the subtexts go on echoing forever! Walter may be manipulative as Rasputin, but fascinates me. (I have a horrid thought that I would turn out similar to Walter should some aliens empower me, but I’m just not that evil; it’s the power set that’s attractive, not what he does with it.)
Nothing is simple. Fitz had April figured out from the get-go, but dealt with it from a ceaselessly narcissistic point of view. Being clever, he understood and knew what he needed to do to get lifelong care. Fitz Jr. had never bought this, and the situation merely removed any lingering doubt. Everyone with powers and those around them are pulled in opposite directions. Does one indulge their own urges and desires? Or does one acknowledge the greater needs to limit behavior for the sake of continuing society? This seems, to me, the essence of Good versus Evil. Does one indulge their own desires, not caring if it hurts others? Evil. Does one help others improve themselves while getting one’s own needs met? Good.
Go ahead; think of this as “just another comic” and read through it in a big hurry. You will be confused, somewhat upset - with some anger, perhaps - and wondering “What happened?” That, friend, is information overload. There is so much happening the reader does themselves a disservice to read quickly. I read it digitally, in Guided View, which may be a good method for this issue, as it allows each panel to be contemplated upon. Each facial expression speaks volumes of history and depth.
Superior artistic creations, to me, reveal an essence. The critical factor to an artists skill is deciding what to leave out. Jupiter’s Circle #4 is absolutely devoid of fat. Every word counts. Every posture and facial expression is a far-too-long Miqque-Post.
Much love and respect to Wilfredo Torres for all the other issues, produced under extreme circumstances! However, Mark, it seems clear you’re going to have to do more with Davide and Francesco in the future! They came off the bench and hit a bases-clearing home run in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, bases loaded and two out!