In Review: The X-Files: Season 10 #3
The covers: The Cigarette-Smoking Man makes his cover debut on Cover A by Carlos Valenzuela. A full ashtray before him, his hand on an important not he may or may not show and a swirl of death about him, literally. Nice. Anderson and Duchovny in a good photo cover for the B edition. Cover RI is a sweet mystical/technical cover with the Cigarette-Smoking Man. I love the composition and the coloring. Who is/are Menton3, the creator/s of this image? He/She/They’re great! The Subscription cover is by Andrew Currie with colors by Jay Fotos. This has bust shots of our heroes and behind them is a red handwritten Latin text, while below is the Cigarette-Smoking man, a skeleton and an alien. All very cool. Overall grades: A B, B A, RI A+, and Subscription A
The story: “Believers”, Part 3 of 5, story by Joe Harris with Chris Carter, with Harris writing the issue, opens in Casper, Wyoming, as Special Agent Reyes (YES!) and Hendricks go to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Van de Kamp, who are raising Mulder and Scully’s son William. The couple seem odd, which is confirmed when two rotting corpses in a closet are revealed to be the real couple. Reyes and Hendricks then find out who their hosts really are. This was a nice teaser intro with a lot of tension. There is a nice pair of scenes between Mulder and the Cigarette-Smoking Man, but Scully gets all the action this issue as she learns more about the Acolytes. Highlights include the terrific intro on Page 7, the bottom of 10, all of 11, getting wet on 17, and presidential talk on 19. I am completely taken by this story! Overall grade: A
The art: Looking at this art by Michael Walsh is slowly killing me. It’s too sketchy, too unfinished. If it wasn’t for the coloring on this book, I don’t know if I would be able to make out any forms at all. Look at the last three panels on Page 2: a sketch of a face, that’s her nose in panel five?, and the colorist had to insert a diagonal shape in the background to create depth the art lacks. Page 14–No one has eyes! They’re either black smudges that would make Robert Smith envious or closed slits. Page 18′s slap is cartoon buffoonery. Every page visually tears at my tear. Utterly disappointing. Overall grade: D-
The colors: Jordie Bellaire is trying to do his best, but he’s not given any solid forms to work with. Notice how the backgrounds get smears of color to fill in empty space as much as possible: Page 5, panel four; panels two and four, Page 6; and panels one and five on 19. The sound effects get some nice colors, but it just doesn’t matter how much lipstick you put on a pig. Overall grade: C
The letters: Scene setting and dialogue by Neil Uyetake are good, but artist Walsh is contributing a lot of his own sound effects (Pages 4 – 8, etc.) and they’re awful. Too small and inappropriate in look. I want Uyetake to create them. Overall grade: B-
The final line: Fantastic story undone by horrible art. For the hard core fan only. Overall grade: C
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 9th graders English for 19 years. He’s since gone to a high school where he taught 9th grade, but is now teaching 10th. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.