Review: Millennium #5

Millennium05_cvrMillennium #5

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

Publisher: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 3 June 2015

Quote: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” –Matthew 26:41

Review: This concluding issue of IDW’s five-part comic book series is book-ended with perhaps the most potent imagery of its entire run. The yellow house remains a defining constant throughout the television series in one context or another, and so to once again see it in such dilapidated condition in the opening frames speaks volumes as to the disarray of Frank Black’s life and that of the remnants of his family. And, even though the way in which it features in the final panels offers a nod to the series’ distinctive and artful opening credits sequence, they do so with chilling implications that offer little or no solace.

With events centred upon the iconic location, this issue certainly offers a dramatic conclusion to the miniseries, although it is one that risks sidelining Frank and his influence over the unfolding events. Mulder also returns to the fray for the finale and to fall briefly but awkwardly under Lucy Butler’s insidious spell, but it is Jordan Black who once again takes centre stage. Whilst many will welcome such a development, for this reader at least Jordan’s arc and her deepening involvement with the Millennium Group represent some of the less successful elements of the miniseries. And, whilst such narrative choices are undoubtedly subjective, it is hard to see Frank’s own involvement as ending in anything but bitter failure.

It is a bold move, however, to end the tale with Frank Black so melancholic and his personal situation still unresolved. Indeed, this lack of resolution can only leave readers yet more eager to see the legendary profiler be offered a true conclusion to his arc—a move that is undoubtedly intentional.

In spite of the apparent challenges inherent in bringing Frank Black to the medium, the very existence of this comic book miniseries represents a triumph for fans of Millennium, and is not to be missed. Whether you already have every issue or you are just discovering its existence now, be sure to pick up not only this dramatic concluding instalment and those that precede it but also the trade paperback edition, which is released on 27 August.

Also stay tuned to Back to Frank Black for an upcoming podcast discussion that considers just what this comic book incarnation of Millennium represents, both in and of itself and for Frank Black’s enduring fandom.

Further Reading: Chris CarterFrank Spotnitz and Lance Henriksen join the rest of the cast and crew of Millennium in reflecting upon the lauded television series and 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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