Well, damn! This is what I’m talking about. Joe Harris delves deep into the canon of the series this month and delivers a old threat with several new twists. His incredible dialogue is back, and the intrigue of a whole new mythology arc is upon us. The “X-Files Season 10” #11 is an impeccable tribute to old fans and an incredible new chapter for new faces.
When Mulder and Scully are called in to deal with a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, it’s no surprise that they question what they’re doing there. Of course Joe Harris plays coy with the answers and weaves a crafty and socially conscious story about what this team is doing in a situation they have no real stake in. Scully seems adamant that they’re on a routine job, and Mulder, well, Mulder is being Mulder.
Political jargon doesn’t occupy most of the issue, but it’s there to remind us of the extremely high stakes within this particular situation. There is something being hidden and damned if Mulder is going to let it past him. He looks for inaccuracies everywhere and it’s no surprise he finds one here. He starts to poke and unravel, but the forces there to help seemingly only want to shut him down.
So naturally he starts to pull. Harris does a great job at crafting a tight mystery that hardly reveals itself here. The questions being posed are interesting and beg you to find out more.
Matthew Dow Smith’s art is crisp and clean. His bold uses of blacks and contrasts paints the entire issue in an air of dark oily mystery. He makes us want to poke around in those shadows and find what lies beneath. And, manages to create some stunning reveals later on with a bed-ridden patient who is as ghastly as they are intriguing. Then Smith’s final page will leave fans of the series with their jaw on the floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I finished.
As awesome as it is to have the mythology arc back and the black oil nothing compares to the last page of this issue. It’s stunning that the team kept this story tidbit a secret for so long. I can’t imagine how it will impact the arc going forward and the further reaching implications for this last page’s involvement in the scenario. It does what X-Files does best, it leaves you in a sea of questions, forcing you to reanalyze everything that came before.
I await issue 12 with white knuckles. After talking to Joe Harris at ECCC I can confirm he has big plans in store for the future of this series. This first chapter of “Pilgrims” paints the thematic paranoia of the series in a beautiful new light. It’s truly amazing stuff that can’t be missed.