Joe Harris begins his second arc in the “X-Files Season 10” by taking a step back to immerse the characters in their own history. The newest chapter of the revived series is filled with nods to the past that will remind readers they’re in the hands of a master x-phile. While new artist Elena Casagrande steps in to revive one of the series most beloved creatures. Her art is horrifying and dark in all the right ways. Which is to say that the second arc of the series has kicked off with a resounding success.
Nostalgia is a double-edged sword. It seems welcoming and comforting, but often times the actual experience can be more polarizing than the thought that inspired it. However, such is not the case with “The X-Files Season 10.” Instead of having the nostalgia of the series betray the reader Harris uses it to comfort them before completely throwing our beloved characters into danger yet again.
When the second arc was announced to be revolving around “Flukemen” I’m sure many fans rolled their eyes as I did. This was a new series built to tread new ground! Not rehash old memories. Yet, in a tight script Harris ensures to do both. He only gives us dashes of the past to warm the reader into a comfortable place.
Peppering in moments from the last time we saw the Flukeman allows Scully to dissect the beast to learn more about it. Just when she thinks shes got it all figured out, Harris makes sure to turn it on Mulder. This allows the Flukemen to take on new life and become a creature that is unpredictable yet again.
It’s fantastic writing that pays tribute to the past but also builds on it. Bringing this tight script to life is Elena Casgrande’s wonderful pencils. She goes for a more photorealistic approach than that of the previous arc, and it works. The Flukemen are depicted as disgusting, vile creatures.
Casagrande’s strengths really shine when the in the lab with Scully. There is nothing more horrifying than the lower half of a creature reanimating itself and lumbering around a lab.
The final panel of the book is ominous and doesn’t bode well for Mulder’s future. The dark and heavy shadows of Casagrande’s pencils breathe new life into the sewer setting and regenerate it into something eerie and full of danger.
I could read this book for ages. The stakes are not remarkably high but the book is just tons of fun. The dialogue is on character and never ceases to amuse. The overarching mythology has fallen into the background. All the same the book provides a fun romp through the nineties science fiction television scene that so many others and I miss deeply.
With a little more attention to overarching plot and finding a way to create a deeper sense of danger this book could propel itself into must read territory, but as fans of the series will attest the only danger in these pages are for the supporting characters of the arc, which isn’t enough for me.
Let’s shed some blood.
Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls