Christmas comes in January for X-Philes when the series returns to television, but this month brings us IDW’s the annual X-Files X-Mas Special.
Is it good?
The X-Files X-Mas Special 2015 (IDW Publishing)
- The Lone Gunman are hiding out in their van near a shopping mall. Frohike has taken on a job as a mall Santa to earn extra cash. Things are already off to a great start.
- A strange gift is delivered to the Lone Gunmen by an unknown person. A very ‘phreaky’ gift, you might say.
- The Lone Gunmen in space. I knew this was going to be good.
- Meanwhile, back on that doomed airplane from last month…
- It’s always fun getting to see Scully play the believer to someone else’s skepticism.
- It’s never a good sign when Gibson seems nervous or scared about something.
- Now that’s one heck of a weird reunion.
Is It Good?
This was a surprisingly mythology-heavy story for a holiday special, but it totally works. That’s mostly thanks to writer Joe Harris giving Frohike some of the best dialogue in the series to date. Peppered in between all the funny moments is some badly need exposition that helps explain just what the hell is going on.
I’m normally not a big fan of issues like this. They can come across as too cute and the plot can feel like its been brought to a screeching halt. Fortunately, Harris does a great job in this one of pacing things with some meaningful action. It also helps that all the jokes land. Frohike is almost always funny, but this is easily the funniest we’ve ever seen him in the series.
As usual, Matthew Dow Smith’s art is good, particularly on the scenes in the alien spaceship. It’s hard to pull off a mix of creepy and hilarious, but he does it.
Also, props to the creative team for basing a plot off the old school hacking method known as phreaking. It’s a real thing that even non-tech savvy folks will find interesting.
So after a string of mediocre issues, Harris/Smith gift us with extra-long, extra-enjoyable issue. If that doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, then I don’t know what will.