After a severely underwhelming first chapter, the second part of the Dia De Muertos story arc has a whole lot of ground to make up. Is it good?
The X-Files #3 (IDW Publishing)
- Fictional gangsters who are cruel to kids never come to a good end. Wish it worked that way in the real world.
- Dear Mulder: When breaking into a facility, please don’t ask “Who’s there?” if you hear something.
- Hard to believe Scully has never seen anything like this before, but I’ll go with it.
- Mulder has some Charlie Brown-type luck sometimes…
- …which always inevitably flips to Parker Lewis levels of good fortune (shout out to my fellow 90’s kids who get that reference).
- Nice to see creepy(ish) kids using their powers for good. Sort of.
Is It Good?
Well, at least we got an actual story this time around. It was fairly predictable and extremely formulaic, but Joe Harris’ knack for good dialogue and Matthew Dow Smith’s excellent pencils still managed to make it enjoyable.
Honestly, this is one of those stories that may have played out better as a TV episode. Loath as I am to take away anything from the storytelling potential of comics vs. television, the narrative in this issue lacked much of tension it appeared to be banking on. Maybe it was due to the lack of a clearly viewed monster combined with a heavy reliance on sound effects. I get what Harris was going for (and it wasn’t half bad), but the atmosphere never quite reaches the chilling level it aspires to.
Also, Mulder and Scully don’t really feel that important in this one. Oh sure, they’re still the main characters, but they both feel strangely coincidental to the plot.
That being said, this isn’t a bad issue at all. While I’ll always prefer a story that surprises me, Harris can always make the familiar X-Files plot riffs sound good.