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Critical Millennium #2 Comic Review - -

Story 7.0
Art 7.0
Value 7.5
Total 7.3
Publisher: Archaia Comics
Release Date: 01/9/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Troy Mayes


Critical Millennium #2

Archaia Comics Critical Millennium, now up to the second issue in this limited series, is a comic that Stephen Hawking would definitely approve of. Why exactly would the great man approve, well I’ll break it down for you. 

Stephen Hawking recently claimed that, due to human nature, we are basically going to destroy the Earth. While we’ve been at peace for sometime he can see man destroying the Earth through war or some man caused environmental disaster in the near futue (read: a couple of life times). With that in mind he is urging people to consider space travel and galactic colonization as a way of safe guarding the human race. If we destroy Earth then hey, at least we’ll still have Mars is the basic idea. 

As if reading Stephen Hawking’s mind Critical Millennium deals with such an issue. The comic, set in the future, sees humanity managing to colonise many of the planets within our own solar system. Unfortunately, these colonies rely heavily on trade with Earth as it produces resources these planets cannot. There are those, in the private sector, who see the future of the human race in the expansion towards other galaxies where an Earth-like planet can be found. While the private sector is all for this expansion the Earth government and shadowy terrorist groups are not so keen on the idea and are blind to the plight of the Earth. This sets up a tense atmosphere where the fate of mankind is literally at stake. 

The second issue sees the possibility of inter-galactic space travel emerge as an ever closer possibility. The technology to perform such a feat is ready, with only live testing required.  This revolutionary technology requires the creation of a black hole to reach the required destination. With their goal so close the two highly influential and wealthy investors in the project are beginning to have concerns over opening a black hole and what the outcome would be if it could not close. Meanwhile on Earth terrible environmental disasters plague the country with the most recent one affecting the Ghost quarter in New Bombay, an area filled with slums, the poor and street gangs. Those few who survive view the disaster as a deliberate act caused by the private sector and the Ghosts, a terrorist group of the now minority white population, begin to plot their revenge and justice. Meanwhile there is intense uncertainty as to what the first expedition outside our galaxy will find on the planets of neighbouring galaxies, further adding to the tension. 

Critical Millennium #2 manages to weave several interesting plots and political issues together in the one book. Theirs the Ghosts and the problems that face Earth, the space travel experiments which are getting closer and closer to the real deal and the personal problems of Thomm Coney. The thing with Critical Millennium is the story doesn’t feel crowded. Everything flows logically and the competing plot lines and the political messages manage to get just enough attention to satisfy your curiosity yet leave you pining for more. There was one part with Thomm that I didn’t quite understand and felt the book should have returned to or at least commented o n more but for the most part it was handled well. I did like the way it started with a bang, literally, as it was a pretty confronting way to start the issue. Unfortunately, I found Wraith and the Ghosts dialogue at the end fairly boring, stereotypical revolutionary and hopefully their actions work better than their words. Also, if life on Earth is so bad for them now they are the minority wouldn’t they like to leave? The corrupt and diabolical Prime Minister seems to want everyone to stay and seeing as they are opposed to her wouldn’t they doubly want to leave? Their motives seem confused, like they don’t know who the real ‘enemy’ is. 

The artwork throughout Critical Millennium is, for the most part, fantastic. There are a couple of pages that are stunningly beautiful, like the shot of the space ship zipping around the Sun and the scenes in New Bombay’s Ghost Quarter. The way they blend colors is amazing and especially in the Ghost panels you get the sense that it’s a dirty, downtrodden place. Unfortunately the expressions on the characters often didn’t do it for me. There were times when they seemed over animated and unnatural while the use of action words during the environmental disaster was a little excessive, almost taking over the panel and directing attention away from the brilliant artwork, which had you hoping someone, would survive. Finally the black hole panel, which was a pivotal moment, was done in a style I’ve seen before but am not a fan of. The black outlines of the panels looked rushed and unfinished and out of place compared to the rest of the art style. It gave an impression of laziness in comparison to the rest of the issue.  

Overall Critical Millennium #2 was a thoroughly enjoyable read with an engaging and soon to be relevant storyline and at times brilliant artwork. Even with a few setbacks I’m eagerly anticipating the next issue. 


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