See all reviews of The X-Files (2016) (18)

Our deep dive into Dana Scully’s past continues (and concludes) this week with Part 2 of the Ishmael story arc.

Is it good?

TheX-Files #5 (IDW Publishing)

Observations

  • This dude stalking Scully just went from John Hinckley to Buffalo Bill on the creepiness scale.
  • Mulder and Skinner arguing over FBI procedures and classic literature is strangely enjoyable.
  • Even when she’s justifiably scared out of her mind, Scully is still a doctor first.
  • What’s going on? Why is the stalker guy acting like that?
  • Uh…what?

Is It Good?

The X-Files #5 gets a lot of points for its style. The antagonist is terrifying, the dialogue is great, and the narrative pacing is outstanding.

Unfortunately, the actual substance of the story is severely lacking.

I’m guessing (and hoping) that more will be revealed at some point down the road. But as it stands now, the memory of Dana’s father has been retconned to include an exceptionally tragic chapter for the sake of a plot point that never gets resolved or explained.

To writer Joe Harris’ credit, he does a phenomenal job portraying the pain and heartache Admiral Scully’s actions have caused, all while still maintaining a small shred of sympathy for the man.

But instead of giving us a good reason for what happened in the past and our current story, we’re left with one of the most frustratingly vague antagonists and conclusion you could imagine. Perhaps Harris was going for a parallel about how unfair it feels to not understand why good people do awful things to hurt each other, but it just ends up feeling like a flimsy narrative cheat.

On the art side of things, Andrew Currie is wildly inconsistent. His scenes with Scully and her stalker (and the flashbacks) are beautiful. His scenes with Mulder and Skinner….not so much. It almost looks like two completely different artists did them.

I want to like this story more than I do. The good aspects are fantastic. But I just can’t get over the hollow ending and shifting quality of art.

Call me disappointed.

The X-Files #5 Review
Fantastic atmosphere, great dialogue, exceptional pacing.
Unfortunately, it masks a story that has very little substance behind it.The art is wildly inconsistent depending on which characters are being drawn.
5.5Average
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