Joe Harris brings a one and done adventure to the “X-Files Season 10” this month. The effect is a fast paced issue that is steeped in mystery and rushes toward a conclusion. Michael Walsh’s return is welcomed, as his artistic style feels incredibly at home in this world. The tight script and fun art make for one of the best chapters of this book yet.
This month begins with one of the most chilling sequences the series has ever churned out. It gets under your skin, and dashes the story with the perfect amount of mystery before abruptly shooting us back into the present.
See, Harris knows that any good mystery is steeped in the past. By unraveling threads that once made sense the present can come apart at the seams. Seeing Mulder return to his older home, only to receive a cryptic message that unnerves him shows that everything is fractured. It makes the mystery all the more interesting.
Theoretically I was always a fan of approaching this series as a more frenzied affair. I was excited to see what a one and done issue would be like. It begins with a frantic and dangerous pace. The entire thing has a sense of danger, urgency, and deep mystery. Everything falls apart in the final pages. In an effort to resolve the plot, the script falls into a question and answer period between Mulder and Scully. We’re treated to the all too conventional “you’re not going to believe this revelation” and cliffhanger. It feels forced.
Michael Walsh’s work here is actually staggering. Although I enjoyed different artists take on the characters, it’s clear that Walsh “gets” the mannerisms of Mulder and Scully. Not to mention, his art in the opening sequence manages to be completely chilling. His use of a birds eye view paneling to set the stage of the massacre will get inside your head. While his panel of Mulder with his feet up, pencils in the ceiling, and sound asleep at his desk will have you laughing. It’s the great range that this book needs, and it somehow Walsh can flip between these styles within a page.
This issue feels like another great chapter in the series. While the ending does feel forced and a little to inorganic to service the conclusion of the story, the first 80% of the issue is absolutely top notch. The opening sequence is worth the cover price alone.
The X-Files has always been in this state of near progress. We’re always treated to startling truths about the past that don’t really change anything. For this series to truly succeed some forward momentum needs to be introduced that challenges and changes these characters. Far too often things are hastily dealt with and taken care of in tried and true methods. Harris, I dare you to give me a failure, show me what happens when nothing goes right. Put The X-Files program in danger again give me some real stakes.
Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls.