Boy, oh boy, how I'd love some cookies and whoppin' big glass of milk right now.
Instead of that, let's talk about some comics!
Or, in this case, some comic, singular. That's right, I've only got one title tonight. And since Stephen King once wrote an episode of The X-Files, this is at least vaguely King-related.
What was that...?
I signed up for this comic under the assumption that it was going to suck. But I was curious, and I decided heywhatthehell, letsgiveitashot. Or something like that.
I'm not quite sure yet. I kinda want to say it sucked, and I kinda want to say it shows potential; I'm not sure which of my desires is winning out.
The story picks up an indeterminate amount of time after the events of I Want to Believe, the disappointing 2008 movie that should have relaunched the franchise and instead kicked a fresh several layers of dirt over it. Mulder and Scully are in protective custody, going by the name "Blake" for a surname.
Why? I Want to Believe included a bit in which Mulder was let off the hook for the crime of which he was convicted in the series finale. So I'm not sure there is an adequate explanation for this state of affairs. Perhaps one will be revealed. It's such an obvious headscratcher that I'm tempted to assume we're supposed to assume it's a mystery which be revealed. If so, it doesn't come across that way. Is it possible that I Want to Believe is being ignored altogether? Have I misremembered some crucial detail? Did Xzibit's character from that movie revoke Mulder's amnesty between movie and comic? Time will tell. Maybe.
Whatever the case, they're in protective custody. Skinner shows up with some news: the FBI has been hacked, and information pertaining to the X-Files may have been compromised. From there, stuff happens, some of it really rather surprising. One bit in particular had me raising a surprised eyebrow, and in the good way; if the series turns out to be capable of doing that on a regular basis, then we'll possibly be on solid ground.
The script is by Joe Harris, who I've never heard of. Series creator Chris Carter receives a "story by" credit (with Harris), as well as an executive producer credit, but I tend to assume that his input was negligible. Harris's script is decent enough; Mulder seemed like Mulder and Scully seemed like Scully and Skinner seemed like Skinner, so that's a decent place to begin from. As I said, there's one big unexpected moment which indicates Harris is perhaps inclined to go to thoroughly dark places. I support that.
The art is by Michael Walsh, with colors by Jordie Bellaire. I'd heard of neither; which is saying nothing, because I am no expert in comics, despite the fact that I write about them on occasion. I read what I read, but beyond that my knowledge is slim.
Walsh's art is somewhat rough, and I suspect many X-Philes are going to think it is awful. I'm of a more mixed mind about it; some things I like, some I don't. Let's look at a few sample panels:
|Here's Mulder's first appearance. Doesn't work for me at all. Mulder is being a smartass, but he looks like he's blind and is trying to find a can of soda he left on the counter. He looks like Mulder, though, so there's that.|
For me, the jury is out on the art. I can't honestly say that I like it very much, and if somebody had placed me in charge of the comic, I'd have gone a different route with it. Thing is...I also can't honestly say that it doesn't work. I never found myself looking at it and lamenting how shitty a job Walsh had done depicting Mulder and Scully, and that's something that I frequently find myself doing with licensed comics. I stopped reading IDW's Star Trek title because of that problem, in fact. But here, I thought the characters worked well enough that it allowed me to take the story on its own merits.
Problem with that is, I'm not 100% convinced it actually has any. But I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'll stick with this series through the first five issues (the stated length of the first arc according to the issue's title page -- "Believers," it says, with a "Part 1 of 5" after that); if it hasn't persuaded me by then, I'm out.
But I do want to believe it's going to be good...