Relive Comics' Earlier Secret Invasion

It's an eight-issue crossover comic book series where a ton of superheroes discover that their friends, family - and even some of the heroes themselves - have been replaced by alien invaders with a sinister agenda. Marvel's upcoming Secret Invasion? Nope - DC's 1988 crossover series Millennium. This series not only did the alien conspiracy plot twenty years before Skrulls took over Marvel, but also introduced arguably the lamest super-heroes ever. Find out what happened to the next step of human evolution under the jump.

A spin-off of a Green Lantern subplot, Millennium wasn't exactly the paranoiac's delight that Secret Invasion threatens to be, in that there was an upside to the story, as well. Representatives of the well-named Guardians of The Universe had come to Earth to select ten humans that would help usher in the greatest evolutionary step in a thousand years (hence the title), and the alien Manhunters - themselves created by the Guardians - went undercover to try and make sure that no-one helped that happen. The result was a line-wide story that switched between hippie lessons about the nature of life as the chosen few expanded their cosmic consciousness and revelations that many familiar faces - including a hypnotized Lana Lang, replaced Commisioner Gordon and the DC-Universe Nancy Reagan - were actually working with the bad guys to stall the process.

Relive Comics' Earlier Secret Invasion

The series is a wonderful example of the schizophrenia of late-80s superhero comics, where political themes are attempted (The Iraqi woman chosen by the Guardians is stoned to death, for example, while the English chosen doesn't see the point of helping a humanity that helped put Margaret Thatcher in power) but everything devolves into a punchfest nonetheless. Once they achieve cosmic consciousness, the chosen turn into... more superheroes. Sadly never reprinted, there are two things that this series should be remembered for - the creation of the first openly gay superhero for either DC or Marvel (Admittedly, he called himself Extrano, but that's because he was a Mexican rip-off of Marvel's Doctor Strange as much as any queer joke), and the fact that The New Guardians, the spin-off comic starring the chosen cosmic avatars, not only featured HIV+ vampire assassins and bad guys fuelled by magic cocaine in its desire to be socially relevant. Ah, those more innocent days before it was all evil aliens trying to take over the world...

Millennium