Millennium #7 (1988)

Millennium #7 (February, 1988)
Story – Steve Englehart
Pencils – Joe Staton
Inks – Ian Gibson
Letters – Bob Lappan
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Andy Helfer
Cover Price: $0.75

Having been online for… wow, over twenty years, I’ve done my share of reading the writings of other folks.  One thing that has always stood out to me was how proud people seem to be when they can use words like “penultimate”, or structure their sentences so they might refer to things in terms of “former” and “latter”… though, I’ll concede, I might just be projecting.

That said… welcome to the, ahem, penultimate chapter of Millennium!

We open with the space-bound heroes… along with Harbinger and that strange vegetable-man Green Lantern… celebrating their victory?  Wait, what?  This is the second assault on a Manhunter HQ that they’ve left out of the main event series!  Why would they do that?  That’s just about the only interesting part of this entire event?  Anyhoo, the new Dr. Fate doesn’t have the power to zap them back home… so they’re gonna be stuck for a bit.  Harbinger ain’t got time for that, and so she teleports to Earth all by her lonesome.

We shift scene to Earth… un-duh the sea, where the heroes are in an underwater craft which resembles a bomb.  On board, the gang catches us up on their (most recent) plan.

They submerge all the way to the bottom of the ocean, and come across a rift… which they enter.  They’re suddenly in dry air… and plummet to the ground with a CRUMP.  Wherever they are, this ain’t Skartaris.  There’s a flash of light… and with it comes, Harbinger!  Well, that’s convenient.

Back… sigh… at the Citadel, the Guardian and Zamoran appear to be choreographing a synchronized dance troop with the members of the chosen.  Okay, okay… they’re doing Tai Chi… for reasons.  We take a look at the ZamorOans and find that they have rapidly aged… and look quite haggard.

The dance-off is interrupted by Tegra Kalamaku… who ain’t too keen on her husband Tom taking on a “cosmic consciousness” (whatever that is).  She (understandably) tells him off, and (understandably) stomps away in a huff.

Back underground, the heroes arrive at the Manhunter HQ.  Wow, are they actually gonna show us a confrontation in the main series?  Only took’em seven issues!  Anyhoo… inside, we see the traitorous Booster Gold along with Wonder Woman’s Manhunter, Pan conferring with some bots and the Grandmaster.

From here a battle breaks out… the next several pages are dedicated to a giant fight scene.  Of note, Wonder Woman nabs Pan with her lasso, and cuts him in half!  Turns out, he’s an android…

And so, more fighting.  The battle wraps up when Booster Gold shows his true colors, and starts blasting away at the Manhunters.

As the smoke clears, Booster’s all “Hey, I’m back… pretty neat plan I had pretending to be a bad guy, right?  Right?”  Nobody’s buying it though.  Seems they think the opportunistic Booster may have just seen the writing on the wall and switched sides only to protect his own hide.  Stands to reason, right?

We wrap up with ALL of the heroes returning to the Citadel.  One of the chosen notice a black car has pulled up at the bottom of the hill.  Before she can investigate, however… Booster Gold apparently turns heel again, grabbing Xiang and flying off in order to show her “how rotten this world really is”.  C’mon… is Vince Russo writing this?!

Don’t look now, but I think some stuff actually happened.  Granted most of it occurs in the tie-ins, but at this point we beggars have learned that when it comes to Millennium, being “choosers” is a luxury we’ve long since forfeited.

I think I can safely say that I enjoyed didn’t hate this issue as much as the previous few, if for only the fact that it felt like the story progressed.  Gone were the pages of Guardian-Chosen “Are you sure?  Are you sure-sure?” garbage, and instead we actually got to witness an assault on a Manhunter base.  Of course, what we got was a pretty boring boilerplate fight scene… but, again… beggars, choosers.

Booster Gold’s portrayal here kinda works.  I mean, if you weren’t following his solo book (which if I’m not mistaken, was drawing to its conclusion around now), you’d think he was just an opportunistic jerk who went wherever he felt his bread was buttered.  I’d figure if you were following the solo, however… this would feel a bit like the character that he grew out of.  Toward the end of his first series, he’d matured quite a lot… but his fellow heroes might not know that.

I think the Kalamaku drama is probably the only interesting part of the “chosen”.  If we look at all of the members, Tom is the only one with a family.  Seems a jerk move for the Guardians to try to include him, right?  They rest of the folks are outsiders, more or less.  They didn’t have all that much to say goodbye to… at least inasmuch as family.  I think Tegra is acting the way any spouse would if they were about to lose their other half.

Overall… a step up from the past few chapters… but that don’t make it “good”.  The art is still devolving, resulting in some really ugly panels… though, at this point we’re seven weeks in to an eight week event, I can’t fault the fatigue.  Plus, just look at the story he’s gotta draw… I doubt I’d be turning in my best work either.  I still cannot recommend anyone pick this up… unless someone hands them all over for free, and even then… think twice before cracking them open.  I’d hate to think anyone paid actual paper-or-coin money for this on my word.

What say we wrap this bastitch up tomorrow?

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