It’s no secret that I have a big case of the I-want-to-believes, and as such, I want to believe that X-Files Season 10 is going to blow me away. And yes, I say this in spite of knowing just how bad an X-Files episode can be. But then again, I also know just how good they can be too.
With this first issue, appropriately released 15 years to the day after the X-Files film Fight the Future was released (June 19th), I’m not sure if I’m so struck by the I-want-to-believes that I can have a truly unbiased opinion on the matter. But let’s be fair about my X-Files opinions. The most fangirl they get is “OMG Season One 4ever XD”, and there are nine seasons. I’m not a big fan of the Mulder/Scully relationship that felt foisted on us because enough fans were vocal about it, and I’m certainly unhappy with the extended episode that became I Want to Believe. But still, I love everything The X-Files tried to achieve (sometimes with success, and sometimes with failure) so I’d like to think that my opinion about this comic isn’t so much fangirl, but objective fan.
It starts off with an unnecessary in media res of Scully running away from hooded figures while trying to get her phone to patch her through to someone who can help. I think this is supposed to hook us, but it’s somewhat jarring as The X-Files very rarely (if ever) did future flashes as a hook before the intro. Nevertheless, we flip the page and we find Scully no longer running, but tending patients under the name Dr. Blake. I think though, the mystery of figuring out what she’s doing in the Doctor’s office, why Skinner has mysteriously shown up to visit her, and his message that someone has been looking into the X-Files is drama enough.
All in all, despite the sort of pacing hiccup in the beginning, I was surprised how easily and quickly I was engrossed in the story, despite not knowing what the story actually is. All I know is someone is investigating and hacking into the X-Files, and there are hooded figures intent on killing Skinner, Mulder, and Scully. Frankly, that’s enough to get me hooked. We’ll just have to see where it goes from there.
Character-wise, I’m not entirely sold. Mulder’s sense of humor seems too jokey, and this jokiness permeates in everything he says. Yes, Mulder had some great one-liners in the series, in almost every episode, but he didn’t spout them off as if they were the only language he knew. Scully cries about wanting to find William again, which also seems oddly out of character. I do not doubt that Scully still has profound feelings about her son, but it’s distinctly un-Scully-like for her to actually cry instead of looking deeply troubled with slightly glistening eyes. As for Skinner, I felt he was pretty spot on.
Now, let’s get to the art. Initially, my reaction to the art was pretty poor. I hate being critical of art style, but in this case, it looks more like a 50s Sunday comic then what I imagine X-Files Season 10 should look like. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Buffy Season 8, and comics like Revival. I sort of expect to see everything look like that. Unfortunately, the first issue of Season 10 does not have the new sleek styles of comics I think we have all come to expect. Instead, the inking is grainy, and the coloring is flat. As I read further, though, I realized that the style works for the darker half of the story, where greys and blacks are the dominate color themes instead of yellows and greens. That being said, when I analyzed it more closely, I realized that frame-by-frame, the art is actually quite pleasing to look at. Somehow, combining all the frames on one page makes it seem childish and unfinished, though alone it’s a fresh take on a comic style I can really appreciate. Yet, for the darker scenes, such as a terrifying scene where Skinner is hanging by the neck from a towel in his bathroom, the only light reflecting his in his famous glasses, the art style is perfect. Thus, I must conclude that it needs some time to really come into its own.
For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of The X-Files. All it needed to be was set-up, and it delivered that with a nice little cliffhanger nicely.
‘The X-Files Season 10’ #1
Story by Joe Harris with Chris Carter
Written by Joe Harris
Art by Michael Walsh