Continuing with its relaunch of ’90s shows, IDW tackles Millennium this week, the spin-off that captured the attention of some (but not all) X-Fans.
The official description from IDW:
Fifteen years ago, the end of the world—the anticipated “Millennium Event”—was avoided thanks to the efforts of Frank Black and FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Or was it? Frank’s psychic gifts have been showing him that evil has continued to grow unabated in the world, and he’s trying his best to ignore it. But soon the resurgence of the Millennium Group and their quest to find Frank’s daughter Jordan will pull him into the fray once again, whether he likes it or not!
The era of spin-offs has certainly died down over the last decade but the reasons for companies wanting to cash-in on the prestige of flagship shows still makes perfect sense. First, there’s a built-in fanbase; and second, the groundwork to make these spin-offs workable has already been laid. This certainly seems to be the case for Millennium, which hit the airwaves back when X-Files was still shaping television. And while Millennium never impacted pop culture the way X-Files did, it did have its ardent fans — and possibly a healthy collection of viewers who were simply curious to see how far the X-Universe could expand.
With issue #1 writer Joe Harris does a good job of following all the spin-off rules. While there’s little doubt that this title will someday exclusively belong to Frank Black, we’re eased into the plotline by Agent Mulder as he desperately tries to get a serial killer’s parole denied. Reading killers, of course, is the territory of Black, so in no time these two are swapping notes and Mulder gets the rare opportunity to be the most mainstream guy in the room. Black is still reeling from the aftermath of the Millennium Event, and Mulder is trying to tease Black back into work, and some semblance of stability. While issue #1 is simply laying the groundwork for a larger arc, one thing is clear: Harris wants this new run to be a balance between larger conspiracy narratives and simple page turning drama. So far, he balances both nicely.
The art, by Colin Lormire is, well, perfect. X-Files: Season 10 can often attract writers who seem thrown by needing to depict real life people on the page, or who interpret the fast pace of action shows as a call to draw sketchy figures who perpetually seem out of focus. Lormire not only does a great job depicting Mulder, but his panel work is crisp and imminently readable. Thumbs up all around.
So far Millennium #1 has a little bit for everyone. Go grab this thing today.
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