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Review – Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier #3

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Critical Millennium 003 CoverScience fiction is a genre that often wraps it’s stories in metaphors for issues of our times.  Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier written by Andrew E. C. Gaska and art by Daniel Dussault keeps up that fine tradition.  The story’s main focus is Earth’s destruction from mankind’s veracious appetite and a young multimillionaire’s vision to head to the stars in an attempt to colonize a planet and save us.

One thousand years of mankind’s rise and fall in space! To avert the path all thought unavoidable, a bold group of explorers takes the first steps toward leaving Earth’s solar system. Their quest: new worlds to colonize, so that humanity may yet have yet a chance at survival. Led by philanthropist Thomm Coney, and utilizing an untried star–drive, the team is scorned by the world’s government and canonized by its citizens. In this issue: Coney, Eryc, Pandita and Angel Rei return to Earth amidst a media circus! In the aftermath of the flooding of the Ghost Sector of New Bombay, the world debates over what to do with the survivors—no one wants them. With the completed Black Star Drive Vessel transported via cargo carrier to Earth, and political tensions over its impending launch running high, young John Adams find himself entrenched deep within the new Ghost Army. The leader—a man known only as the Wraith—initiates a series of terrorist attacks designed to kill the would-be-astronauts and destroy their ship in a bid to stop the mission to the stars!

The themes covered in the series and third issue are numerous.  Race, the environment, politics, manifest destiny, terrorism and business are all covered in just this issue alone.  The buildup to the launch of the Dark Star vessel continues as we see what the crew goes through to prepare as well as all of the people circling in an attempt to stop their launch.

There’s a lot of zigs and zags with my assumptions early on being proved wrong by the end.  This is only a four issue limited series, but, it’s an absolute buy.

Plot: Gaska has put together a fantastic issue as usual.  There’s tons of original concepts as well as a storyline that just keeps you on your toes.  This is beyond entertaining and a fascinating read you need to go back over and over to catch all of the small details.  After, you’ll sit and ruminate on it all for quite a bit in an attempt to digest it all.  Rating: 10

Art: Dussault’s art is fantastic as usual with so much detail you’ll linger on pages.  At the same time, it doesn’t feel overwhelming at all.  The subtle additions to each page are amazing and there’s just a mix of so much here as far as material to work with.  Plus a smoking monkey, which rules.  Rating: 9.5

Overall: The series is fantastic.  There’s so much to rave about, from the basic story, sci-fi world.  The mix of metaphor and pretty timely topics add to it’s level of enjoyment.  Add in fantastic art and the comic (and series) lives up to the pick of the week we gave it.  Overall rating: 9.75

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 40 pages    Price: $3.95     Release: 1/19/11

Archaia Comics provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.