The second part of “Hosts” is the first time we’re given some solid background to the creature that first appeared in season 2 episode “The Host”. While it was originally hinted at that the events of Chernobyl could be the reason behind the existence of the fluke worms on steroids, here it’s given a touching series of flashbacks and a touching conclusion.
When the season 2 episode was first aired, it went out less than ten years after the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. Now approaching thirty years after one of the most devastating nuclear accidents to ever rock the world, it takes a lot to recapture the fears and horrors that were experienced by those first responders to the incident before the full impact of the situation was known. Joe Harris, in bringing forward a true human victim as the source of the monster that’s led to an unsolved X-File for more than fifteen years, helps to stop this two-parter becoming just another “monster of the week”.
Meanwhile, the art by Elena Casagrande and Silvia Califano provides for some convincing flashbacks to 1986, and the colour palette used by Arianna Florean and Assurra M. Florean during the flashbacks really helps bring about that USSR atmosphere by Western standards. Everything’s just that bit duller and uniform during the flashbacks, and this works really well in this issue.
Sure this two-parter has been looking at something from the TV series, but what I’ve felt more keenly with it is how it reads like an episode from the series. From the point-of-view of coming from the first five issues and then on to these last two, it’s been a far favourable experience in terms of pacing for this two-parter. Things didn’t feel like they’d been stretched out beyond their welcome, which was something the first five issues really suffered from.
And from an events perspective, the respective roles that Mulder and Scully took on were a lot more like old times.
Worth a read?
With its respectful padding out of the mythology started in “The Host” and its gripping ending, I feel that it’s definitely worth pursuing this two-parter to its conclusion. Just, uh, don’t get any “complexes” from reading it. You’ll know what I mean if you give it a go.
Issue seven of The X-Files: Season 10 is out now and should be available from services like Comixology and in stores.