Original release date: May 7, 2021
In 1929, Sheldon Sampson and his brother Walter are working for their father’s steel company and are living a privileged life. Things take a turn when the stock market crashs and their father commits suicide. In the present day, Brandon and Chloe, the children of Sheldon, now known as an aging superhero called The Utopian, struggle to live in the shadow of their father’s legacy. Brandon pushes himself to prove he’s a worthy successor to his father while Chloe cares less about her life. Heroes old and new fight to bring down an old threat that has broken out of the correction prison Supermax, or has he.
* * *
[boy 1] You can’t beat me.
[boy 2] I’m gonna get you.
[girl] You’re too slow.
[boy 1] I’ll get you now.
[girl] I’m more powerful than you.
[boy 1] Stop. You can’t escape the Union.
[boy 2] Oh, yeah? You have to catch me first, Utopian.
[girl] I’ll get you, Mr. Snow!
[boy 2] Not if I get you first, Lady Liberty.
Ha! You missed!
No, I didn’t.
Yes, you did.
No, I didn’t!
[dramatic music playing]
I didn’t miss.
[Chloe] Brandon, he lied.
[Brandon] It’s okay. It’s okay.
[Chloe] I got him.
[Brandon] I know.
[Chloe] You saw.
[Brandon] It’s okay.
We were playing, and Chloe…
Yeah, I heard.
You used your powers, Chloe.
He was the bad guy. We’re supposed to get the bad guy.
We have these powers for a reason.
And with great power comes…
Well, yeah. [chuckles]
Look, you have to care. You have to care about people.
You have to care about everything. You have to know that…
Look, it’s easier to hurt people, to get angry, to even kill people.
But the bad guys…
The bad guys are people too.
So what do we do? We stop them, and we lock them up, but we do not let our anger get the best of us.
Service, compassion, mercy, those are the words we live by.
That is our Code, and it’s the most important thing in the world.
Do you understand?
Who wants ice cream?
[Dad] Let’s get some ice cream.
[distant, indistinct screaming]
I have to go.
But you said…
I know. I know.
There’s some people in trouble, and they need me.
[dejectedly] It’s okay.
[uplifting music plays]
[newscaster] Our breaking stories at the top of the hour.
The Dow Jones lost 8% in what many experts are warning is an alarming market trend not seen since 1929’s Black Monday.
Unemployment rose for the tenth month in a row, as economic stimulus is still being debated in Congress.
And in Portland, six officers were injured during a protest over the North American Accord.
In other news, the trial for the criminal known as Blackstar…
Hey. Warm you up?
Uh, no, thanks.
[newscaster] …Blackstar has been recently captured, arrested, and indicted…
[server] Oh, yeah, that guy.
Bad friggin’ news.
[newscaster] O nce a respected scientist, Blackstar, real name William Henry Bendal…
[distant gunfire and screaming]
You sure I can’t get you anything?
[tense music plays]
[dramatic music playing]
[people clamoring and screaming]
[robber 1] Move it! Move it! Go! Go! Go!
Come on, boys! Let’s blow this shit!
[robber 2] Come on! Come on!
[robber 1] Yo, Blondie, get the hell out of the street.
We’re robbing this bitch.
I’m robbing this bitch.
[robber 1] Oh shit!
Get on the ground and lock your fingers behind your head.
I’m not asking twice.
[woman] Wow. You must be lost or something, ’cause you’re way out of your league here, champ.
Look, um, it’s Paragon, right?
Trust me on this one, kid. Just fly away.
Last thing you need is to be trending on social media after I whoop your ass.
Not a good look.
Oh, and what would daddy think?
[fighting on video game]
Come on. Come on, baby.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yes! Oh!
[security guard] Wait a minute. Hold up.
[woman] Come on.
You’re not the Utopian or Brainwave.
You’re not even your mom.
So stay down.
[Paragon groans, coughs]
[woman] Or not.
Oh shit! [grunts]
[panting] I… I had it under control.
Yeah, I see that.
What are you doing? You know the rules. You call for backup.
You need to be safe, and you need to be smart.
Do better next time.
You’re paying for this by the way.
You’re a dick.
[dramatic music playing]
[soft, instrumental music playing]
[newscaster 1] …no reports of injuries, but a three-block area has been evacuated.
And in business, the stock market fell through the floor today.
No one seems to have predicted this, so it’s hard to know where it’s heading.
Full report coming up later.
[newscaster 2] There’s been a new development involving the trail of Dr. Bendal.
Dr. Bendal, also known as Blackstar, had his motion to dismiss denied today.
This ongoing court battle shows no signs of stopping months after his apprehension by the Utopian.
You think you can keep me locked up forever, Sheldon?
I’m gonna rip your f*cking heart out!
[newscaster 2] Dr. Bendal will remain in custody at the Supermax awaiting his verdict and sentencing.
[uplifting music playing]
[“I’d Love It” by Freetime Old Dixie Jazz Band playing]
[Sheldon] Honey, have you seen the garlic press?
[woman] It’s in the drawer.
I know. I checked the drawer.
You looked in that drawer?
Did you check this drawer?
You know, for a guy who can spot a dime on the surface of the moon…
Don’t you sass me when I’m cooking, woman.
Do you want a beer?
I wouldn’t say no.
What are you listening to?
It’s music, Grace.
Where’s your phone?
By the potatoes.
How do you know my code?
We’ve been married for 60 years. You don’t get to have secrets.
Oh, that’s disturbing.
[“Loving You” by Elvis Presley playing]
Ah, the King.
You remember when we bumped into him in the woods in Germany back in ’58?
Oh, God! We scared the crap out of him.
He thought we were a UFO. [laughs]
Yeah, he was a good kid.
Until the drugs got to him.
She’s gonna be all right.
Maybe I should sit her down.
Oof. Maybe you shouldn’t.
She needs to hear it, Grace.
Honey, she’s not gonna hear it.
Your heart is in the right place. It’s just not her place, you know?
At least, not right now.
Well, that’s up to her.
Give me some insight into the mind of a 20-year-old.
I have no idea how to deal with this one.
That’s all I got.
She’s like an alien to me.
Hey, how’s the kid that still listens to us?
Fitz gave him a clean bill.
Well, that’s not what I meant.
It should’ve been an easy takedown. He let it get out of hand.
All right, it’s not like that hasn’t happened to us.
Yeah, with guys like Hobbs and Blackstar, guys that could back it up.
What if Brandon had brought some of those other kids with him, huh?
He could’ve gotten them killed.
Yeah, but he didn’t, so…
He’s just… he’s not getting it, Grace.
He’s still learning, Sheldon.
Yeah, well, if he plans on taking this over someday, he’s gotta do more than learn. He’s gotta become.
[sighs] Okay, relax, Yoda. You’re not going anywhere. He’s got time.
Time is not the problem.
The kid is…
He’s way too emotional.
He’s not even close to being ready.
[echoing] Maybe he never will be.
[man] Aperitifs on the roof. How civilized!
Hey, Uncle Walt.
What are you doing up here? [grunts]
Oh, you know, thinking and drinking.
[sighs] I heard about what happened.
Yeah. Who hasn’t?
You wanna talk?
What is it?
[Sheldon echoing] He’s not even close to being ready.
Maybe he never will be.
He’s not even close to being ready.
Let’s go eat.
What was Dad like when he was younger?
Before he got his powers, I mean.
[sighs] Shel, he was…
You know, he didn’t have a care in the world.
Nothing ever rattled the bastard. [chuckles]
Good morning, boys.
How you doing, Clyde?
Hot as hell!
You got that right. Roscoe, what’s the good word?
Wedding bells! That’s the rumor.
[chuckles] That’s not a rumor.
I’m walking down that aisle, pal. What about you two?
She finally pinned you down, huh?
[chuckles] I couldn’t be happier to kiss the floor, Willie.
You do right by her.
You keep it zipped up tight, you never have to fight.
Sorry about that, Mr. Sampson.
No! And what did I tell you about calling me “Mr. Sampson”?
Come on, Fitz. That ain’t me. That’s my old man.
Ah, never mind him. [chuckles]
Hey, appreciate that. Thank you.
Have you seen my dad?
With your brother, I last saw.
All right. Have a good day, boys.
[Fitz] You too.
[man] What are you talking about? Fisher says it’s a permanent plateau.
[Sheldon] Good morning, boys.
Shel, get him to listen.
Dad, you listen to Walt.
What are we talking about?
Your brother wants to sink the deal.
You asked me to kick the tires. I did. The tread’s wearing thin.
Every Joe Lunchbox with a spare nickel is buying on margin with as little as 10% down.
The market has been gaining 20% annually since 1922. Fisher says…
I don’t give a fat, flying shit what Irving Fisher says!
Fisher could be wrong.
He went to Yale.
[Mr. Sampson] Yeah.
Your little guys are overextended.
Agriculture is in a slump.
The Federal Reserve just hiked interest rates a full point.
Hoover knows what he’s doing.
So, everyone knows what they’re doing except me.
Come on, Walter. That’s not what we’re saying.
Walt, we get it. You’re the glass-half-empty guy.
Every company needs one of those to keep feet nailed to the ground.
But sometimes you gotta have faith.
You’ve gotta step off that ledge if you’re ever gonna soar.
That’s right, Pops.
Okay. Let’s just…
Hold off for a few months.
The board is ready to back the play now, Walt.
We’re about to break ground on three new mills.
Do you have any idea how much a delay like that could run us?
I got numbers on that.
Yeah, of course he’s got numbers on that.
Walt, it’s not about the money. It’s not about the numbers.
It’s about what we do, and what we do is build, not just with steel, but with people.
Yes. And for some of these guys, the more we expand, the more good jobs that we can give good men.
A chance to grab that American Dream, Walter.
Walt, it’s not about the board, or the Fed, or Irving Fisher.
It’s about people, Walt. It’s about family.
[Grace] Okay, come on. Everyone, sit down.
Mmm. That smells amazing.
I mean, can my man cook, or can my man cook?
Looks great, Dad.
Come on. It’s Sunday dinner It’s not the Last Supper.
Let’s lower our expectations.
Tell your old man it’s okay to take a bow once in a while.
I don’t think he’ll listen.
I’ll drink to that.
Well, at least we’re all on the same page. Walt, are you forgetting something?
[gasps] I’m sorry. Would you like a glass?
You didn’t have to bring anything. We have plenty of wine.
It’s just a little Pinot I picked up in Côte de Beaune on my way over.
I’m not talking about the wine. We say grace before we eat in this house.
Technically, I’m drinking, so…
[Sheldon] Come on.
Join hands and close our mouths.
We waiting for Chloe?
I think we’ve all eaten enough cold Sunday dinners to learn not to.
Lord, thank you for your generosity.
Thank you for the blessings of the meal we eat today.
Look who showed up.
[Chloe laughing in distance]
[Grace] Come in.
Sorry. My agent called just right when I was leaving, and I…
[Grace] It’s okay.
[Chloe laughs] Uncle Walt!
[chuckles] Hey, kiddo. Oh!
It’s so good to see you. Are you okay?
Uh, not if you squeeze me like that.
Sorry. Sorry. [laughs]
Oh, is that Pinot?
Honey, your dad was just saying grace.
Oh. Sorry. Sorry. You were saying grace.
All right, let’s join hands.
Chloe, come on.
Thank you for our health. Bless those who are in need.
Please open our hearts to your love.
We ask your blessing through Christ, your Son.
Here you go.
Mom, this looks so good.
Don’t thank me. Thank your dad. He’s the one that made it all.
Uh… [chuckles] Did Jesus help?
Only with the bread, honey.
Come on, Chloe.
That was a good one.
If you made fish, you could’ve had a runner.
I saw your magazine cover, Chloe.
You looked beautiful.
Thanks, Uncle Walt.
Uh, photographer was a real asshole.
He… he was a real anus.
Hey, was that the one that you did for InStyle?
No, it was Marie Claire.
You saw it?
I did see it.
It was… it was a beautiful photo, honey.
I mean, you could’ve probably worn a little more.
I could wear a lot less.
If you wanna be naked.
You wanna cover up your body with a rubber suit and shiny boots, that’s your kink.
Your brother uses his gifts to help the world be a better place, not to grab attention or endorsements.
I don’t need powers to get attention or a job, so shove your shit back up your ass.
Don’t you ever talk like that in my house.
“My house, my rules, my Code.”
I didn’t ask to be your daughter, and I sure as shit didn’t ask for your gifts.
Those gifts are not for you, Chloe.
Those gifts are meant for people who are less fortunate than you.
Everyone’s more fortunate than me ’cause they don’t have you as their dad.
Apologize to your father.
What? He started it!
Thanks for dinner.
It’s the last one I’m ever coming to.
[door opens, closes]
She took the wine.
Don’t. Just don’t.
You don’t know what I’m gonna say yet.
You’re not that complicated.
I used to like that about you. [sighs]
Why do you talk to him like that?
Are you seriously sticking up for him?
Of course you are. You are his perfect little shadow.
Don’t act like I forgot what it was like to have him as a father.
I didn’t get treated any differently.
Then why stay here?
Why subject yourself to this every day?
Dad can’t keep this up forever. Somebody has to be the next Utopian.
[Brandon] Because, Chloe, the Utopian stands for something. He’s a symbol. He’s…
He’s a myth.
[chuckles] He’s a myth.
Dad knows that he should have been there for us when we were younger but won’t admit it, because it’s not the ideal.
Someone still has to stand for something.
No one can live up to the great Utopian, Brandon…
Not even Dad.
You know what?
You’re just jealous that he picked me instead of you.
I am not jealous, Brandon.
I am sorry…
That you think you have to carry 120 years of his bullshit so Daddy will love you again.
[whispers] You don’t.
[Walter] You know they invented this thing called a dishwasher?
I like washing the dishes.
It occupies the hands, lets the mind wander.
You know, drying is not as exciting. Would you like to take over?
I will be in not the kitchen if you need me, so, uh, let’s not need me.
[Walter] Good night.
She hasn’t changed since the day I met her.
Yeah, thank God some things stay the same.
Where did Brandon get to?
He and Tectonic went out.
I guess hanging out with the old man isn’t as fun as it used to be.
That boy idolizes you.
He’s stubborn and thick-headed.
Apple fell right next to you, didn’t it?
Yeah, I guess so.
He’s a good kid, Shel.
Kid has a lot of potential.
Anyone can see that.
[sighs] The world’s filled with kids with potential who didn’t make it.
They didn’t have you.
Yeah, well, tell that to Chloe.
Rest of these can soak. Let’s you and me go for a ride.
You’re out of beer.
There’s half a case in the fridge.
You’re out of good beer. Come on, dry your hands.
[“What’s on Your Mind (UnoMas remix)” playing]
Do you mind?
It’s not every day Paragon’s out on the town.
Why don’t you show ’em some love?
Come on, man.
You know we can’t be into self-endorsement.
Not the example we should be setting.
Didn’t know your dad would be joining us tonight.
[bouncer] Back up. Back up.
You know what? I think I might head home.
Some of us have training in the morning.
Whoa. Chill out, okay? I haven’t seen you in months.
Have a shot for me. Please. Hmm?
Look, I know how much you wanna be the next Utopian and the sacrifices you’re willing to make, but you and I both know what kind of a ball-breaker your dad is.
Nothing is ever good enough for the man. Everything falls short of his standards.
You think I don’t know?
I swear, your pop and the original members of the Union resent us ’cause they had to go through the worst shit imaginable to get their powers.
I’ve heard this story a thousand times.
I mean, you’re right. Not our fault we were born into this.
Yeah. Then why accept the punishment?
I’m not giving up, Barry.
[Barry] I’m not suggesting that.
I’m just saying look at everything you’ve missed out on trying to impress your dad.
And what’s it gotten you?
In the meantime, you’re not living your life.
You’re definitely not enjoying the moment.
Barry! Hi! Love you!
I don’t know. I think my sister does that enough for both of us.
Look how that’s working out for her.
I’m only saying all this because I care.
I want you to be the next Utopian.
But you can’t put your life on hold.
[“What’s on Your Mind (UnoMas remix)” continues]
All right, Jane.
Tell Walt and your father I said hello.
If they’re lucky.
Hey, hey. Could you not whistle so loud?
You damn near split my skull half a block back.
[laughs] George! Oh man! Where the hell have you been?
[sighs] Rinsdale twins.
Flew back east, took the yacht up the coast.
Mmm. Nova Scotia, before she caught fire and sank.
Caught fire? What happened?
Mary thought I was paying too much attention to Margaret.
Or was it the other way around? I don’t know.
Okay, what is going?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s going on?
The stock market went tits up!
You got money in the bank, get it out, quick!
[ominous music playing]
It’s down another two and a quarter!
Get Greenwald on the line at National First.
He’s not picking up.
Well, get somebody on that damn blower!
Where have you been?
We just heard.
How bad is it?
How bad does it look? Wall Street just melted down and burned a hole to the center of the earth.
Down another three quarters!
I told you it wasn’t time to expand.
And here we are, Shel, jammed so far up the ass you can taste it.
What are you doing up here?
Just look at this city.
Sampson Steel runs through all of it.
Okay, Dad, come on. We gotta go.
[Mr. Sampson] We built something here. We made something.
The Prendergast building. You remember him?
He had a dream. He came to us.
So we gave him the steel to put his first plant up.
“I want to make boxes,” he said. “Everything needs a box. Every…”
All your life, you try to build something.
Try to build it bigger, better, faster.
Build a legacy.
Then, one day, it turns out you’ve been building your own box, and you’re the one inside of it.
Everything ends up in a box, Shel.
Come on. We gotta go. They need you down there.
[Mr. Sampson] Yeah.
You tell them I’ll be right down.
No! Don’t, Dad! Don’t!
[dramatic music playing]
Dad! Dad! [screams]
When was the last time we all sat around this table, the team from the beginning?
Right before George…
Before Skyfox turned on us.
[Sheldon] You ever thought about why he did it?
[Walter] I know why he did it.
He was a good man.
[Walter] He’s a terrorist, Sheldon. He took the vice president hostage.
[Sheldon] He thought he was doing the right thing.
[Walter] Yeah, so did Charles Manson.
The Union of Justice.
All these trophies, all the battles we’ve fought…
Hell of a thing.
[chuckles] From thinking you had a screw loose back in ’29 to this.
[sighs] Ninety years.
Ninety years of fighting wizards and robots, and what do we have to show for it?
We’ve made a difference, Shel.
The country’s never been more divided, Walt.
Congress is at a standstill.
No one’s willing to meet in the middle anymore.
The gap between rich and poor just keeps getting wider.
Kids learning active-shooter drills before they even learn their ABCs.
Nazis smashing up the streets, Walt.
Not what they call themselves these days.
Oh, they’re Nazis. I don’t care what the hell they call themselves.
[sighs] It’s all sinking into the ground after all these years, after everything we’ve sacrificed.
Doesn’t have to be that way.
If we played a more active role…
…In helping the administration shape policy, then…
Like George? Is that it?
It is against the Code.
We don’t kill. We don’t lead. We inspire.
The people of this country need to make their own choices.
Yeah, how’s that working out?
To this day, I still regret not doing more in World War II.
You talk about Nazis.
We had the chance to end the war a lot sooner, save countless lives in Dachau and Auschwitz, take any discussion of the atomic bomb completely off the table.
And then what?
Get involved with Korea? Vietnam? The Middle East?
Start dictating social and economic policy?
And where does that end, huh?
And more importantly, who is gonna stop us?
It’d be the end of free will.
Well, some would say free will
is what’s bringing the world to its knees.
The days of making a difference by stopping supervillains are over, Sheldon, now just memorabilia, nostalgia.
The real evil today is less black and white.
Not bootleggers or gangsters.
It’s corrupt corporations, politicians, the quiet guy at work no one talked to who just bought an automatic rifle.
So you’re saying the Code doesn’t apply anymore. Is that it?
No, I’m not saying that.
I’m just saying isn’t all this starting to feel a little repetitive?
And do you really think just putting away bank robbers
is gonna make the world a safer, better place?
We’ve got a situation in Nebraska. It’s Blackstar. He escaped the Supermax.
[ominous music playing]
[distant explosions rumbling]
What’s going on?
The Union’s fighting Blackstar over the ridge.
Blackstar? How did he get out of the ‘Max?
[man] I guess he broke out. What do I know?
Why aren’t you over there, helping?
You kidding me? I got flaming fists.
Blackstar’s got an antimatter heart.
I’m hanging back. Let the big guns soften him up, and I’ll get there at the end for the photo op.
[loud explosion rumbles]
Okay. That’s a pretty good plan.
Hell yeah, it is.
So who’s all over there?
Uh, Utopian, Lady Liberty, Brainwave.
I know, right?
Flare, Phase Out, Ectoplex, Paragon…
I heard you two were a thing.
We split up a couple weeks back.
What are you doing later?
Shit! Briggs, look out!
Lady Liberty? Mrs. Sampson!
Mrs. Sampson, you gotta get up. You gotta get up.
I’m going after Dad.
No! Stick to the mission.
[all grunting and yelling]
Barry, hit him!
Walt! Get in his head and shut him down!
There. That’s better.
I’ve just separated your mind from your physical body, trapping you in a psychic painting.
It’s one of my favorites, actually.
Say hi to Blackstar, darling.
[Walter] Relax. This shouldn’t take long.
I thought it might be nice to go somewhere quiet while my brother and the rest of the team kick the living shit out of you.
Would you like some cake while we’re waiting?
Oh, not in here, my friend.
In here, I am God…
…and you are fu… [choking]
[dramatic music playing]
He’s going nuclear!
[Sheldon] He’s not even close to being ready.
Maybe he never will be.
What is wrong with you?
We don’t kill, ever!
He was gonna detonate, Dad.
He was gonna take you out and half the state.
Then you disable his systems. You… you send him into space.
There’s a million things you could have done.
You took the easy way out.
Did that look easy to you?
Go. Wait for me at the Union.
Walt, contact the Supermax. I wanna know how Blackstar got out.
Our son took a life.
After everything we’ve taught him, he broke the Code.
We have a problem.
What the hell is this?
It appears to be you.
[dramatic music playing]