Stop. If you haven’t read the previous issues of the comic, don’t read this review.
The fifth issue in the Believers story arc finally has Mulder and Scully reunited in time for everything to get just that bit weirder and maybe one or two ongoing plot points to be resolved. It feels like after dragging everything out over the last three issues, Joe Harris rushed to bring everything together in this one issue, setting up for the rest of Season 10 and leaving as few arcs closed as possible.
After moaning about the pacing in issues three and four, everything was suddenly cranked-up in this issue. [blackout]With Mulder left bleeding out from a gun wound at the end of previous issue, with Scully having believed him to be one of the shape-changing alien hybrids and shooting him, that cliffhanger had been the most interesting thing to happen in the entire previous issue.[/blackout] This time we’ve got everything: loads of aliens, people tied to trees, anti-alien weapons, hearings at the FBI, [blackout]Cancer Man looking all bent out of shape[/blackout] – everything.
This is perhaps the first issue of The X-Files Season 10 that’s felt like one of the old episodes and it’s because it had a lot going on. Nothing felt dragged out – it was amazing. Sure a lot of things haven’t been resolved, but that’s fine because it now feels like one of the season long plot arcs from the TV show.
One thing this issue manages to establish is that it is completely natural for Scully and Mulder to return to their “old life” by the end of all that’s happened in this arc. Even in the last film, it was made fairly obvious that the pair of them severely lacked the kind of resources necessary for them to pursue actual X-Files. Having the events of these first five comics build-up so much (though I still believe a lot of this build-up was dragged out for too long) means it makes sense that Scully filed a report of all that’s happened.
After the events in Yellowstone, seeing Scully questioned by a bunch of the top brass at the FBI was the moment that made me feel nostalgic for the kind of stuff that use to happen in the TV series. It was so reminiscent of what use to happen with Mulder and Scully that I finally felt glad that I was reading the new comics. I just wish it hadn’t taken Harris so long to bring this all together.
Setting up for the next arc in the final pages of this issue, we begin to understand the reappearance of [blackout]Cancer Man[/blackout]. Things are definitely looking interesting, with him reporting to some guy in glasses – we don’t know who or what he is, but I have my suspicions – [blackout]his glasses are the same shape as Skinner’s.[/blackout] It feels like hitherto un-revealed abilities of either the alien hybrids or CM may come into play [blackout]there was this time back in the TV series where Cancer Man was exposed to alien DNA – through Mulder – so fudge knows what that might have done to him what his dying and all at the end of season 9.[/blackout]
Basically it feels that Joe Harris has now better positioned the series to draw even more deeply on all the crazy stuff that happened on the telly in the previous nine seasons.
After a very slow start, I would say that it is worth persisting up to and including this issue. While not all loose ends are dealt with, I felt that the dramatic pacing in this issue was a big improvement on past ones, making it far more readable and enjoyable. I hope it continues in the next arc.
Issue five 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.