I’m indifferent to this issue and I don’t want to be. The mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man (CMS) who works for a sinister shadow government intent on stalling Mulder’s efforts is one of the most enduring images from ‘The X-Files’, and this issue is completely dedicated to him. I should be excited.

And then some of us fans –namely me– sit here and think, but wait… isn’t he dead? And didn’t he have a pretty awesome death scene that one wouldn’t want cheapened by his resurrection?

Yes, he sort of came back in an issue a few months back (which was the time to complain about that), but we were quickly whisked away to take care of the Flukeman once again, and deal with cockroach gods. If we remember that CMS showed up at all over five issues back, it’s a miracle.

So far, Joe Harris, the writer, has kept me engaged, but his jumping from episodic to bizarre serial arcs that seem unrelated to one another is finally starting to get on my nerves. I don’t know why I need to care about CMS’ past of being a government tool. What I do care about is that Agent Doggett is still missing, what the Acolytes are, and where in hell is William?

There is nothing to really tie the CMS’ flashback in with the rest of the story, so it just sits there like a standalone saying “here’s some more information”, which I’m usually all for, but I can’t figure out which story arc it’s in service with.

The art, however, unlike any issue before, is beautiful. While I enjoyed the stylings of the previous artists, I hope they keep Menton3 on for a bit longer. Menton3’s surreal style fits the ‘X-files’ aesthetic very well and it did nothing but favors for this issue.

So, as such, for a pointless story and some damn good art, it gets a


Story by Joe Harris
Art by Menton3