It’s time for one of my favorite (if slightly overpriced) holiday traditions: IDW’s annual X-Files X-Mas Special.

The X-Files X-Mas Special 2016 (IDW Publishing)


The Plot

  • Not sure why Mulder’s so scared about being late. Christmas pageants are usually pretty terrible.
  • Yeah, this Christmas pageant is definitely not being put on by a Baptist church.
  • Nothing ruins the Christmas spirit quite like someone pumping a few bullets into the Star of David.
  • FLASHBACK (to a few hours ago)
  • Any ghost that uses Samantha to mess with Mulder is a colossal jerk in my book.
  • Fun fact: Music directors who willingly/enthusiastically put on Christmas pageants are potentially weirder than any alien life form ever could be.
  • Even in the afterlife, The Smoking Man’s still gotta have his cancer sticks.
  • Once again, using Samantha to manipulate Mulder = Jerk Move.
  • Ghost Skinner’s looking pretty buff (and more unhinged than usual).
  • It took a Christmas special, but someone FINALLY addressed one of my biggest burning questions about the X-Files mythos!
  • Ghost kisses are gross.
  • Always fun to see Mulder and Skinner rough each other up.
  • Huh?

Is It Good?

I expect these type of issues to be light-hearted, but I’m not sure this one struck quite the right tone. On one hand, Joe Harris’ script has some genuinely laugh-out-loud worthy lines and interactions. But in between those moments is a plot that vacillates between silly escapism and targeted despair.

Maybe it’s just me, but any time Mulder’s grief over the loss of his sister is brought up, it nixes the potential for humor for most of the remaining issue/episode. I know it’s a pivotal moment in the character’s past, but watching Fox go back and forth from cracking jokes to being on the verge of tears is a little disorienting.

That said, the art by Wayne Nichols is very good, particularly in how he’s able to shift from ethereal to corporeal images between panels. Add in some of Harris’ funniest lines of the year, and this one’s still a fun read…

…but for $8? Holiday dollars are hard enough to stretch without overpriced comic books hammering your budget. That industrial strength body hair groomer I still need to buy for David Brooke isn’t going to pay for itself. Unless you’re an X-Files completist—or just really desperate for a very fun and forgettable story—then you can say BAH HUMBUG about adding this one to your pull list.

The X-Files X-Mas Special 2016 Review
A very fun and forgettable Christmas taleThe art by Wayne Nichols is very good, particularly in how he’s able to shift from ethereal to corporeal images between panels.Some of Joe Harris' funniest lines and interactions ever.
Any time Mulder’s grief over the loss of his sister is brought up, it nixes the potential for humor for most of the remaining issue/episode.$8? BAH HUMBUG!
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