In this alternate universe of The X-Files, Samantha Mulder and Dana Scully look for the shadowy man behind the disappearance of Fox Mulder. I’ll give you one nicotine-filled guess who it is.

The X-Files: Deviations 2017 (IDW Publishing)

xfiles_deviations

Observations

  • Any X-Files case involving mountain wilderness and/or park rangers is guaranteed to get messy.
  • Ah, how I missed the green-blood-oozing-from-a-surprise-neck-wound reveal.
  • Poor Samantha Mulder. No matter what reality she’s in, she always manages to get cloned.
  • Sometimes it’s easy to forget how annoying and obstructive the old school version of Director Skinner could be.
  • Even if it’s in another timeline, seeing the Lone Gunman again is always a treat.
  • If you ask me, Byers is destined to crush on a member of the Mulder family no matter what gender they are.
  • Frohike: Consistently adorable and crazy.
  • X-Files Deviations: Consistently bland.

The Verdict

Just like the last time I reviewed a Deviations issue for this franchise, it feels like a great creative team has been wasted on what turns out to be a painfully generic story.

The 2017 installment of X-Files: Deviations is competently crafted in every way. Silvia Califano’s art is great, Amy Chu’s dialogue is superb, and they even managed to riff on one of my favorite early season X-Files plotlines.

But just like last year, it barely deviates from the stories and characters we know besides swapping out Fox and Samantha Mulder’s places. Every character’s behavior—and each story beat—feels like a barely altered reconstruction of what we’ve seen before. Even the “big reveal” at the end is obvious.

I’m not saying that the book needed to go full Darkest Timeline crazy, but I just don’t see the point in doing a yearly one shot like this if it doesn’t have anything new to offer. I was hoping that Samantha Mulder might do some things differently than her brother, but she reads like virtually the same character.

If the Deviations one-shots are going to continue as an annual publication, then why not go out on a limb and try something unexpected? As it stands now, the title is barely worth a place on your pull list—or the pull list of you from any alternate dimensions.

The X-Files: Deviations 2017 Review
Silvia Califano’s art is great, Amy Chu’s dialogue is superb, and they even managed to riff on one of my favorite early season X-Files plotlines.
But just like last year, it barely deviates from the stories and characters we know besides swapping out Fox and Samantha Mulder’s places. Every character’s behavior—and each story beat—feels like a barely altered reconstruction of what we’ve seen before. Even the “big reveal” at the end is obvious.
4Meh
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