So who is the mysterious ‘Glasses Man’ that’s been pulling the strings (and bringing dead characters back to life)?
The second part of ‘Elders’ will provide you with an answer. Is it good?
The X-Files: Season 10 #22 (IDW Publishing)
The issue opens with a flashback to Arizona in 2001 (HINT). A young boy in glasses (HINT) is carrying groceries when he’s accosted by a police officer, who proceeds to go all 2015 on him and pulls his gun. A violent confrontation ensues. It ends with a lot of green blood and the boy surviving. He then goes to visit Mulder (HINT), who is hiding from some very bad men (HINT).
At this point, Mulder addresses the child by name. If you were a casual and/or non-viewer of the X-Files television show, it won’t mean much to you. If you are a hard core X-Phile, however, your head might explode with excitement.
*wipes brain matter off iPad*
…and green stuff from the neck.
Back in the present, Scully is trying to stick up for Mulder and not getting much help from Skinner. Unfortunately, Fox has much bigger problems to worry about—like the cell he just woke up in after being kidnapped off the street.
At this point, things get weird, but not in a confusing or nonsensical way. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say Mulder takes horrifying trip down memory lane…and at the end of it stands a long lost (and very powerful) character from X-Files lore.
Is It Good?
Joe Harris, you evil genius.
I’ve given Mr. Harris a hard time about some of his stories dealing the X-Files mythology. Like, a really hard time. His dialogue (particularly between Mulder and Scully) is always top notch and the standalone stories are usually great, but his mythology arcs never really struck a chord with me. Part of that was because I hated the ‘LOOK WHO’S BACK FROM THE DEAD THIS MONTH!’ theme running through them.
With Elders, however, Harris has turned that trope into the chilling results of a master plan being pulled off by a great ‘new’ villain. I put ‘new’ in quotations because it’s a character that any X-Files fan will probably remember. No, it’s not someone who was dead. In fact, you’ll probably smack yourself in the head for not figuring it out sooner (or maybe all of you did figure it out already and I’m just an idiot).
I won’t spoil it here, but good lord…this character is so perfect for the role Harris has created that it hurts. Not only is it someone who’s plausibly powerful enough to do amazing things, but it’s also someone who’s story on the show never really got the resolution it deserved…until now.
But Harris’ brilliant plotting isn’t the only reason this issue is great. He also gives us some of the most wonderfully effective scenes in the entire series, particularly the opening. It also helps that Matthew Dow Smith turns in what might be his very best work of the series. Aside from the segment with Scully and Skinner (which look a little rushed), his pencils are outstanding. The opening and closing segments, aided by some superb colors from Jordie Bellaire, are particularly are good.
Combined with Harris great script, Elders is starting to look like a gem of conclusion for X-Files: Season 10. There’s still a lot that could go off the rails, but as of right now, Harris is killing it.
…and Fox, don’t you dare ignore any of this stuff when the series returns later this year; it’s way too cool to be de-canoned.