Warning: SPOILERS for Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1
Remember this day comic book fans, since the DC Universe will never be the same now that Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium has officially begun. But forget the title heroes... it's the unlikely woman at the center of the story who is changing history, finally pulling DC's distant future worlds into one continuous timeline. Promising a brighter tomorrow--for even the grimmest visions of Earth's destiny.
Officially, the two-part Millennium story is setting the stage for Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook's reboot of the Legion in a new ongoing series. But they aren't starting that relaunch by simply leaping forward to the 31st century. Instead, they're following a single immortal woman as she literally walks through the 1,000 years in between. Through the future of Batman Beyond. The science fiction adventures of DC's Planeteers. Even the post-apocalypse of Kamandi, the last boy on Earth.
Millennium #2 may end with the woman meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes face to face, but the first issue has already changed the history of the DC Universe forever. And made the most unlikely hero--or some might say villain--arguably the most pivotal figure in the big picture of DC Comics mythology. Now, who's ready to meet her?
The Mystery: DC's New, Immortal Historian
The fact that the identity of the leading lady is an unknown might seem strange in hindsight. After all, there are only so many immortals living in the DC Universe. But that's where Bendis brought in his twist, with the official synopsis for Millennium revealing the woman in question never actually had the chance to realize she was never aging. In case readers missed it, take a look at the plot summary before diving into the rest of the Millennium reveal:
The series focuses on a most unlikely tour guide to the 31st century, a familiar face to DC fans who finds herself suddenly immortal. As she learns to cope with her newfound immortality and the reason she was chosen for this quest, her 1,000-year odyssey will connect all of DC’s future timelines for the very first time. Along the way she encounters a host of DC heroes from the future, as drawn by some of comics’ most popular artists.
The early artwork revealed only that the woman was a redhead, with a possible preference for the color green--but the differences in art styles made identifying her impossible. As the immortal redhead killed criminals in Neo-Gotham, took in a superhero museum guarded by Booster Gold (before he traveled back in time), and crossed paths with Kamandi in the wasteland, she gave up nothing but brooding. Until now. DC's preview showed the mystery woman meeting with an older, President Supergirl in the near future... but the first image of who this villain used to be finally confirms her true, unlikely identity.
DC's Immortal Mystery Woman is Rose (and Thorn)
The above image from the first issue finally ends the mystery, showing the drifting immortal back in her glory days, doing battle with Superman in an unmistakable green bodysuit--decorated with a signature leafy green, and thorned belt. Fans of the classic split-personality villain(s) Rose & Thorn need no further evidence, but Bendis returning the somewhat obscure villain/victim to his modern Superman comics leaves no doubt. And for those who may remember that immortality or advanced healing was never part of Rose or Thor's story, Bendis explains the decision in the official in-comic interview released ahead of Millennium:
We definitely wanted to do some kind of special event that leads up to (Legion of Super-Heroes #1). Then I thought, wouldn't it be interesting if there was a character that could literally take us from today, and walk us up to the Legion's front door a thousand years from now? We started doing research and looking for characters that were already immortal, or had some kind of slow aging process. Then we thought, maybe there was someone who didn't know this was part of their powers? Who would that be? Should it be a hero? Or a villain? Is there a character that's kind of both? Who would walk us through?
That's when we focused on [REDACTED], who is a character I really, really like, who had been through a lot of mysterious, weird stuff in the DC Universe. We're going to have her walk us through every single future in the DC Universe, and connect them all together. It tells us the story of all the DC futures, and it also tells us how the icons survived, and what they changed into, and why they're so important to the Legion, and how the Legion will now reflect that back to us.
The woman seems to have been revealed, but the story still has plenty of secrets to offer up. Not least of which is the role that Superman's son will play in the Legion now that they've come to recruit him. It's a glorious day for fans of Rose and Thorn, but if readers are unfamiliar with the new immortal observer of the DC timeline, they can head to their latest comic book shop to get in on this massive shift. Check out the full solicitation details and plot synopsis below:
- LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: MILLENNIUM #1 (2019)
- Release date: September 4th, 2019
- Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
- Art by: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, Andre Araujo, Others
- Cover by: Ryan Sook
- Brought to you by some of comics' greatest talents, this epic story spans the course of 1,000 years and, for the very first time, connects all of DC's future timelines! Starring the unlikeliest of DC heroes as she learns to cope with newfound immortality and roams through the disparate societies of Batman Beyond, Kamandi and Tommy Tomorrow, wrestling with her own inner demons and desperately trying to find her purpose in an ever-changing world. Do not miss this truly unique take on tomorrow's DC Universe, all leading up to a special launch on the millennium!
Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 begins the mystery when it hits comic book stores and participating digital retailers on September 4th, 2019. Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2 completes the event October 2nd, and the full series launching with Legion of Super-Heroes #1 coming on November 6th.