“Previously on The X-Files…
For years, FBI agent Fox Mulder and Dana Scully toiled in the X-Files Unit, a one-office division of the Bureau dealing with cases deemed unsolvable and related to unexplained phenomena.
During their investigations, Mulder, the “believer,” and Scully, the “skeptic,” delved into the occult, religion, urban legends, conspiracy theories, UFOs, alien abductions, and genetic engineering.
Eventually, both agents left the FBI and began a new life together in peaceful anonymity, which endured until today…”
It’s been eleven years since The X-Files left our TV screens and five years since we last saw Mulder and Scully in I Want to Believe. Tomorrow they are back with The X-Files: Season 10, a new comic book series written by Joe Harris with series creator Chris Carter on board as executive producer.
As with Buffy and other franchises in the Whedonverse, Season 10 is an official continuation of the show (it’s considered canon) and picks up some time after the second movie. Issue one begins a five part story arc, “Believers,” that continues the mythology from the show. The arrival of Walter Skinner signals the end of Mulder and Scully’s peaceful life in the suburbs under assumed names as he brings bad news that convinces Scully she needs to act now to save her family. Soon enough the darkness that the agents sought to escape finds them once again and they find their lives, and the lives of their friends in peril yet again.
Many of the questions I had coming into this series have been answered, or at least answers have been hinted at, in issue one. Why are Mulder and Scully back in hiding again after the events of I Want to Believe? What’s happened to Skinner since the show ended? What are Mulder and Scully up to these days and how has their relationship progressed?
I was worried about the answers to these questions but issue one has set my mind at ease. The answers make sense and feel believable. In fact the only thing in the entire issue that felt a little off was when Scully and Skinner referred to each other as Dana and Walter; however since they haven’t worked together for over a decade I suppose it would be rather strange if she still called him “sir.” Of course this is The X-Files, so the story presents us with many more new questions than it answers. I’m already chomping at the bit for the next part.
One of the hardest parts of converting a TV show to any kind of written medium is getting the “voices” of the characters to sound right in the reader’s head. Here Joe Harris has succeeded admirably and the characters sound familiar, in particular Mulder’s dry wit is present by the bucketload and as usual it is often found where it’s least wanted. There are also some great little nuggets for the die-hard fans such as Mulder and Scully’s new names, a subtle nod right back to season two.
The visual style of the new season fits in well with The X-Files. It is dark and grainy, making great use of shadows and unusual light sources. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are also a perfect fit to the show. Michael Walsh has done a great job in aging up Mulder and Scully just a little and Mulder often reminded me of how David Duchovny now appears in Califiornication. It’s great to see Scully back to her classic short, red hair after the big change we saw in the second movie. This is the Mulder and Scully we know and love; they’ve just grown up a little more.
I have been incredibly excited and yet terribly nervous about these new comics since they were first announced several months ago. As a fan of the show since the mid nineties I was thrilled to know that my favourite characters were returning and that their story would be continuing, but I worried about what this change in format would do to them. Would Joe be able to make these new stories feel like they belonged in this world I love so much? Would Michael and Jordie be able to capture their spirits and the iconic look of the show on paper? Many of my fears have now been allayed and instead I’m back to worrying about the fates of my favorite characters once again.
I only wish these comics were coming out a little more often; once a month is just too long to wait!
Disclaimer: I received a PDF of this comic in advance.