Last month, things went off the rails a bit. In this issue, we get a whole lot of exposition to help explain some stuff. Is it good?
The X-Files: Season 10 #14 (IDW Publishing)
Mulder has been taken over by the black oil, which Scully discovers at a very inopportune time. This leads to Not Mulder giving her (and the reader) quite a bit more background on the alien substance than we’ve ever gotten before… including a name for the ‘organism’ inhabiting Mulder, which is Sheltem.
“I may be from a different planet, but I still have a human male’s desires…”
After telling her a good deal about his species’ history, he then teases Scully (and the reader) with some long sought after answers about her importance to the aliens and more information on her son, William. Unfortunately, they get pulled over by the world’s most inattentive traffic cop, leading to Sheltem’s escape to yet another classic X-Files locale.
Meanwhile, Skinner is about to go all Reservoir Dogs on Kyrchek when once again, the infamous ‘bright lights’ completely take the plot in a new and confounding direction. We also see that the Cigarette Smoking Man is no longer the biggest (or scariest) douche bag working behind the scenes.
Is It Good?
While this issue was much better than the last one, it still left much to be desired. The use of random lights making characters disappear into a new plot point is getting old. I also have a hard time believing that Sheltem/Mulder could just waltz out of the car with a police officer standing right there.
On the plus side, the exposition-heavy issue did add quite a bit of interesting back story to the mythology. The scene with the Cigarette Smoking Man was also very well done, showing how high the stakes have been raised while putting him in a very different role than he had in the television show. A big part of that scene’s effectiveness can be attributed to artist Matthew Smith, who I’ve been critical of for most of this arc. In this issue, however, his pencils are a great fit with the moody and atmospheric tone of Joe Harris’ script.
…and everything is better with dinosaurs.
I know I’m in the minority on not enjoying this story right now, but there are just too many random plot points being thrown out without any explanation. It’s the same thing that made things start to unravel on the television show.
Fortunately, this issue also gives us a bit more information along with some excellent scenes between different sets of characters. Hopefully it is a sign of good things to come.