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

After the conclusion to last month’s stylish, yet ultimate disappointing tale, IDW’s The X-Files embarks on a brand new story arc with the main creative team of Joe Harris (w) and Matthew Dow Smith (a).

Is it good?

The X-Files #6 (IDW Publishing)

the-x-files-6-cover

Observations

  • Yeah… the timing of this opening scene (with regard to real world events) is more than a little unfortunate.
  • Always suspect the kid who stares at everyone all weird before creeping out of the house. ALWAYS!
  • Humanitarian or not, I really don’t like the vibe this guy is giving off.
  • Geez. This creepy kid has ninja-like trespassing skills.
  • Okay, now the kid doesn’t seem so creepy anymore.
  • The woman grabbing his head sure does, though.
  • Yikes. Someone tell Mulder to change out his contact lenses.

Is It Good?

Eh…kind of.

This issue falls into a familiar routine for Joe Harris’ scripts: An intriguing set up supported by fantastic dialogue, but ultimate undercut by a lack of narrative cohesion.

Now that’s not to say Harris won’t pull it all together. He often does by the end of a story arc. As a single issue, however, The X-Files #6 feels like the place we should be after the first commercial break instead of the end of a chapter. We’re given scant information about a major thing happens to one or the main characters. We also have a frustratingly thin connection between a piece of ancient folklore and what this volume’s big supernatural twist will be. It’s interesting, but not well seeded enough to keep from feeling unfocused and random.

That being said, Harris’ dialogue (as always) helps keep things afloat. It’s also nice to see artist Matthew Dow Smith dive back into these characters again, particularly in how they react and interact with the poor family caught in the middle of everything.

Speaking of that, I appreciate Harris’ sympathetic viewpoint of the Muslim family that is featured in this issue, especially with how hostile the political/cultural climate in our country has become. But as gripping as the opening scene is, I think he’ll also lament its timing coming out this week. Hopefully, it doesn’t overshadow the larger message—the ugliness, frustration, and pain caused when we make unfair assumptions about large groups of people due the terrible acts of a few psychotic outliers.

The X-Files #6 Review
Great art from Matthew Dow Smith (as usual)Great dialogue from Joe Harris (as usual)
The story's intrigue is also very thin on seeding and explanation. It feels like we should be at the first commercial break instead of the end of the first chapter.
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