In Review: Millennium #2

Once you open this book you won't be able to stop. Recommended.

The covers: A pair to work their way into your head. The Regular cover is by menton3, showing Frank Black stopping to speak with someone at a distance, unaware that behind him lurks a towering presence of evil. The entity has three clawed fingers on each hand, jester-like hair, a while face, and piercing red eyes. The Millennium snake logo lies upon the creature’s hands. Creepy, but not enough Frank. The Subscription cover is of Lance Henriksen as Frank Black, silently telling readers to continue at their own risk. Outstanding. Overall grades: Regular B+ and Subscription A+

The story: Recently paroled Monte Propps has been found by Frank Black and Fox Mulder drowned in a bathtub. Frank sees that the man wasn’t pushed under the water. He further sees that the woman from Propp’s hearing was there. “She did something…She let something free.” Nothing further can be learned from his visions. A young boy appears in the hall, sees the men, and runs outside. He stops to sit upon a dumpster. At the lad’s feet is a dead woman–the one that did something to Propps. Writer Joe Harris then has Frank speak with a very deadly character on Page 6, while Fox deals with the police. This conversation goes for three pages and it is disturbing. Frank is going down a road darker than anywhere Fox Mulder has gone. His dialogue with this individual spurs him to another location on 10. The silence he encounters as he moves through the house is broken by a recording on Page 13 that leads to a frightening visual and eerie confrontation. The final page is a nightmare revisited that gives me such an uncomfortable feeling of joy and horror as Frank continues his path. Wow. Overall grade: A+

The art: Colin Lorimer balances the perfect mix of reality and nightmare that only Frank can see, and that’s a necessary requisite in illustrating this book. In Frank’s visions the images must be murky, because if they’re too clear then the mystery of what’s occurring will be solved too quickly by readers. Wonderful hints of terror rear their heads on pages 1 and 2 and become chilling on 6 – 8. This trio of terror excellently shows Frank’s reactions (panel four, Page 6; panel four, Page 7; and every image on 8). The final panel on 9 makes the interaction even creepier. Lorimer is doing a superior job on the settings, with Pages 11 – 18 making the action that plays out coldly real. There’s an action that happens on silent Page 12 that establishes a strong character trait about Frank, and when revisited on 15 creates the exact opposite feeling. The tension and scares created by Lorimer’s art will burrow into you. Overall grade: A

The colors: Joana Lafuente’s work on this book emphasizes the dark world Frank inhabits, using bright colors to spotlight a moment of emotional intensity. Frank’s visions have the glowing red-orange radiance they had on the series. Squad car lights illuminate a conversation. Pay close attention to the following three page sequence with how red and blue battle for intensity. Entering the dark structure on Page 11, the lack of brights reinforces its current state of habitation. Color only appears in sounds or blood. A perfect dramatic enhancer. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, a classical quote, sounds, and the most ominous computer font are created by Chris Mowry. I wanted the voice of the individual on Page 6 and the computer on 10 to be a different font from the dialogue, rather than differentiated by the shape of their dialogue balloons, but what Mowry is doing is fine. Overall grade: A-

The final line: You’re not late to the party if you start here because it’s been going for 5,527 days. Once you open this book you won’t be able to stop. Recommended. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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