Stop. If you haven’t read the previous issues of the comic, don’t read this review.
The fourth issue sees us mentally dashing around, hoping that Scully and Mulder will be reunited. Meanwhile, we’re presented with further evidence of what the pipeline could all be about, but a lot still has gone unanswered.
It’s clear that William is the key to everything and that Mulder and Scully are pawns in the game that’s being set-up by the alien hybrids – I have relearned to mistrust the alien hybrids over the course of the comics so far. Perhaps this pawn status of Mulder and Scully could have been served up by Harris a bit sooner, though at the same time, having Scully told it to her face seems a bit pathetic, because very little happens in this issue and showing this would have worked better.
I understand that the characters involved are kind of in the dark, but it seems so ridiculous to have kept them fumbling around in it for so long. We don’t know who’s alive or dead. We still don’t know where William is and what everyone really wants – other than Scully, who obviously wants her son to be safe.
You can tell that this is the issue where things are bubbling to come-to-a-head in the following issue (or at least I bloody well hope so). On the other hand: the suspense regarding the fate of several mainstay characters and their roles in all of this seems to be mostly ignored for the sake of shifting this story along at an incredibly slow pace. I know I’ve previously said that the pacing is bad, but this wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the comics were taking in the perspectives of a few more characters in each issue with this one being no different.
Where things are left at the end is incredibly evil – after everything going along so slowly, the sudden, real action at the end makes me feel like I’ve been cheated. There’s been so much build-up that to end where it does just takes the damn biscuit. There’s using cliffhangers and then there’s abusing them.
At one point in this issue, Scully makes it to a small shop out in the middle of nowhere in Yellowstone National Park. The shop owner is a little old lady who by the looks of things has essentially lost her mind, but she doesn’t appear to have been hanging out with alien hybrids recently. The woman hands Scully a phone receiver when Scully asks if she can use her phone. The receiver isn’t attached to anything else.
I fail to see why the scene had to play out this way. The old lady doesn’t seem to realise that the phone won’t work, and barring the earlier encounter with the #1 member of the Morley Brotherhood, this little old lady is the only person over 60 we’ve seen in the comics. Rather than the woman being “all there” she’s not, and seems like she might be going senile. This just seemed like a tasteless minor plot point – I don’t think it’s funny or serves any real dramatic purpose for an old lady to be disconnected from the world and her mind while in her shop in the middle of nowhere.
This is perhaps my least favourite moment in the entire issue.
If by this point you are like me and you just want to know what the hell is going on, then yes you will want to read this. However, the art style of Walsh is still something that I’m struggling with and you’ve really, really got to keep an eye for some of its awkward finer details in order to really know what is going on. Still, if only these pacing issues could be sorted out…
Issue four of The X-Files: Season 10 is out now and should be available from services like Comixology and in stores. Remember: if you’re searching for it on Comixology, search “season 10″ (without the quotes) or else you’ll end-up with loads of X-Men comics.