In Review: The X-Files: Season 10 #1
The covers: There are eight covers for X-philes to track down. Cover A is a good teaser for this issue as Mulder and Scully are back to back, their guns drawn, surrounded by cloaked figures with glowing blue eyes. A solid job by Carlos Valunezala. Cover B is a photo cover of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in character, viewing something interesting. Outstanding! Cover RI is by Joe Corroney who puts a nice spin on the classic “I Want to Believe” poster. The Subscription cover is penciled by Dave Johnson with colors by Jordie Bellaire. This features a series of X’s with images of the Smoking Man, Flukeman, a gray, and Scully. The IDW Convention Edition is one to seek out: Chris Carter has his hand out, a giant green X is on it, and within the X is a reprint image of Carter holding his hand out, a giant green X on it, and within it…Don’t do drugs and look at this cover. Stellar idea and execution by Joe Corroney with colors by Brian Miller. The Dynamic Forces cover is another photo cover; this time our two leads are back to back. The Hastings exclusive is a black and white noir cover set in the 1940′s with Mulder as a gumshoe at his desk, Scully a moll, and the silhouette of a gray is outside their door. Fantastic! Third Eye Comics has the final cover by Charles Paul Wilson III. The image is a carnival poster of “Tooms the Amazing Snakeman”, with the character shown as a large coiled snake with a human head. Odd choice, but okay. Overall grades: A A-, B A+, RI A, Subscription A-, IDW Convention A+, Dynamic Forces A-, Hastings A+, and Third Eye Comics B
The story: This is what I wanted for a 10th season! Joe Harris with Chris Carter have come up with the story, with Harris writing it, that starts in great fashion! Scully, wounded, is being chased by cloaked figures with glowing blue eyes. She’s trying to use her phone to give a warning to someone until she’s seemingly overcome. We then shift to earlier in the day as “Dr. Blake” aka Scully is drawing blood from a child. Page 5 has a familiar face enter and on Page 6 Fox has a memorable introduction. Pages 9 and 11 address concerns I had about these characters that the newest film never answered, so I was ecstatic for this dialogue! Page 12, panel two, was unexpected but welcomed. The story kicks into overdrive on Page 13 and the scares don’t let up until the cliffhanger ending. The only thing that could have made me love this any more would have been the return of my favorite trio from the series, and the Issue #2 cover preview has me screaming! This was a joy to read! Overall grade: A+
The art: This is a sketchy job by Michael Walsh. He moves the point of view around excellently. Page 1 is a perfect example of this. The first panel is a black for the message, the second establishes a chase, the third the setting and our wounded protagonist, and the final the proximity of the antagonist to our hero, her obvious distress, and her signature cross necklace. Turn the page and an unfinished, rushed look begins: panels two and three; the phone on Page 3. It gets worse3: Page 4, panel three; the man on Page 5, the children on Page 6 (the mitt has more detail!), and Mulder’s first full appearance on Page 7. This style will not help sales of this book. Walsh knows how to lay out the book, but more details/finishing is needed. Overall grade: C+
The colors: Jordie Bellaire does what she can, but with this art there aren’t many details to color, so entire panels are monocolored, especially in the backgrounds. There are a lot of dark colors used, though this is to be expected in most X-Files episodes taking place at night. The scenes in daylight, though, come off as really faded. These colors, with this art, is not going to pick up new readers. Overall grade: C+
The letters: Good dialogue by Robbie Robbins, but many of the sound effects look amateurish. I’ve never seen Robbins use fonts like this before, so I’m guessing they were made by Walsh directly on his art. Examples include SPISH, TAK, WHAP, and DEEPT. He shouldn’t be doing this. Overall grade: B-
The final line: I’ve been dying for new X-Files stories. This issue has a great series of covers and a solid story, but the art undermines this. I’m onboard for this series all the way, but I want better. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.