Just like this same time last year, IDW has released an over-priced X-Files Annual for our consumption. This time, however, we have the excitement (?) of the recently completed X-Files television revival. Will that momentum carry over to the book?
…and is it good?
The X-Files Annual 2016 (IDW Publishing)
- If you’re a fictional character, then photographing military movements with your smartphone in the New Mexican desert is a sure-fire way to get your ass kicked. Use a drone like everyone else.
- Mulder arguing with people on conspiracy message boards makes me happy.
- Now this is a blast from the past! Always nice to see characters from the excellent second season of the TV show.
- As paranoid as Mulder is, he sure is giving a lot of leeway to some guy who approached him while taking a piss at a urinal.
- So is Scully.
- So is everyone, it appears.
- Hey…I’ve seen that ship before…
- Really? That’s how it ends?
Is It Good?
Once again, the X-Files annual provides a story that’s enjoyable, but not necessarily worth the $7.99 price tag.
On the art side of things, Greg Scott draws fantastic landscapes/settings. He also does a masterful job with the issue’s big action scene. Unfortunately, his rendering of the characters’ various reactions and facial expressions make them occasionally look catatonic or constipated (maybe both).
The story by Andrew Aydin throws out a lot of chuckle-worthy lines that reference both X-Files mythology and real-world conspiracy theories. He also does a great job with the dialogue between Mulder and Scully. Their actions, however, are a little harder to wrap your head around, especially with regards to how they interact with the new character they meet.
By the time it reaches its abrupt conclusion, we’re left with an over-sized issue that can’t decide if it wants to be a humorous X-Files Lite tale or a serious entry into the franchise’s revived canon. It’s also overshadowed by an enticing preview for X-Files: Origins (which will likely be posted online before it’s released). The book features regular X-Files artist Matthew Dow Smith as part of the writing team (along with Jody Houser), proving that the man may be too talented for his own good.
If you’re X-Files completist and/or don’t mind over-paying for a good story with some genuinely hilarious moments and a fun action sequence, then pick this one up. Otherwise, you can save your $8 for the next two issues of the main series, which seems to have finally regained its footing.