Review: Millennium #3

Millenium03_cvr-659x1000Millennium #3

Writer: Joe Harris
Art: Colin Lorimer
Colors: Joana Lafeuente
Cover: menton3

Publisher: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 1 April 2015

Quote: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” –Frederick Douglass

Review: As issues of IDW’s Millennium had been delayed by the publisher, this eagerly anticipated storyline is now unfolding at a rapid fire pace. It seems appropriate given that we’ve reached the midpoint of this enigmatic comic book miniseries and, for Frank Black, the clock is ticking.

Readers at all levels of engagement will find themselves being drawn into a dark universe both startling and familiar. This is the first issue of the miniseries in which we witness Frank Black setting out on his own—a man driven, as ever, to undercut corruption and face evil. Nevertheless, a brief scene involving Fox Mulder and the Lone Gunmen reminds us that the unfolding saga takes place within the greater Ten-Thirteen universe. In the years since the turn of the millennium, the forces of evil have gained in strength and power, but it is reassuring to know that the many heroes created by Chris Carter have been fighting for us all the while.

While the use of a traditional Ten-Thirteen medias res teaser sequence captures the attention and lets this chapter hit the ground running, other moments in the narrative highlight one of the difficulties inherent in translating Millennium from screen to comic book: that of losing the nuances of Lance Henriksen’s masterful performance, which could convey so much in a single glance or expression. Without such a core element of what made Millennium so powerful the transition is that much more of a challenge, and it is to the credit of the creative team that a familiar sense of the show’s storytelling is retained.

For those readers awaiting stunning plot twists and dramatic revelations, however, issue three delivers. From the first installment of the series, we have known that Frank and Jordan Black are estranged, that father and daughter have been torn apart by the darkness and chaos of the world in spite of the fact that they share an exceptional gift. It has lent the miniseries a sense of loss and unease. For longtime fans, their reunion means everything. That fateful reunion takes place within these pages, and the remaining issues promise to further explore what is unquestionably the most significant and rewarding relationship in all of Millennium.

The visuals presenting these dramatic beats are evocative. From the opening foot chase through a graveyard to the final confrontation in a Millennium Group high-rise safe house, the issue presents one potent image after another. The artwork by Colin Lorimer and colors by Joana Lafeuente continue to capture the mood and nuance of Millennium. Narratively, the writing and artwork of the miniseries continues to fulfill the promise of what has proven to be a gift to fans of The X-Files and Millennium alike. During that tense final scene, when Lance Henriksen’s chiseled visage is captured in a window that overlooks the bleak, gray skyline of Seattle, we know that we’ve come home.

Further Reading: Chris Carter and Lance Henriksen join the cast and crew of Millennium in reflecting on the making of the television series as well as discussing the need for its return in Back to Frank Black, available in hardcover, paperback, and electronic editions from Fourth Horseman Press.

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