July brings us an X-Files miniseries detailing the organization’s early years. Is it good?
The X-Files: Year Zero #1 (IDW Publishing)
The story begins with Mulder and Scully working a case about missing cats… or people who turn into cats… it really depends on which one of them you ask. As if that wasn’t strange enough, a fortunate and timely bit of information leads them on a chase for a mysterious ‘Mr. Zero’ who was part of the very first official X-File.
“Scully…I think we found who’s been leaving hairballs at all the crime scenes…”
We then flash back to 1946, where a loose cannon FBI agent and a dame with more moxie than most men (sound familiar?) end up having to work together to solve a string of murder cases. This isn’t just an interesting historic diversion, though. It turns out that the ‘Mr. Zero’ from Mulder and Scully’s case was part of theirs, as well.
Is It Good?
To put it simply, this issue is X-Files at its best. The dialogue between Mulder and Scully is pitch perfect and hilarious (and it gets points for including the mother of all ‘Sopranos’ references).
The case they are working on begins as something a degree shy of absurd before quickly evolving into something much more interesting and nefarious. The flashback sequences are also very well-handled. Karl Kesel creates a pair of agents who are similar to Mulder and Scully, but different enough that they’re still interesting.
The artwork by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra is great, but also represents my one issue with the book so far. The dark and moody atmosphere it sets often contrasts a bit too sharply with the great bits of humor that Kesel liberally sprinkles throughout the script.
Otherwise, this is a great opening chapter to what should be a fun ride for early season X-Files fans.