Sent out to investigate what looks like a simple jihadist terror attack on an American oil field in Saudi Arabia, Mulder and Scully don’t believe they’re going into the belly of an X-File. But as the authorities begin to stonewall Scully and Mulder, they begin to realise that they might not be dealing with a standard terrorist attack at all.
When I first learned that this issue was taking place, I was a little concerned about how persons of the kingdom would be represented. While not a particularly peachy representation of nationals from that country and its social norms, I’d say it’s fair and that the problems Scully faces are – while horrid to read as a feminist – close to reality as well.
What helps to make it more tolerable are Mulder’s self-depreciating quips that are always on the verge of getting him arrested while there. His sense of humour doesn’t relax under the gaze of the Saudi authorities, just his porno watching habits instead.
Being a fan of The X-Files, I found the reintroduction of one particular part of alien lore quite chilling and satisfying at the same time. In bringing back [blackout]the black oil[/blackout] Joe Harris has now got me keenly anticipating issue twelve and impressed me with his ability to resurrect the creepier side of The X-Files.
And I love Matthew Dow Smith’s lines and Jordie Bellaire’s colouring in this issue. Smith manages to present crisp characters and settings, nothing is samey. Meanwhile Bellaire does a great job of helping to make things look and feel hot through the colours.
If you’ve stuck with it this far: hell yes. “Pilgrims, Part 1” is also a good jumping on point for those who haven’t read previous issues, but are familiar with the main arcs of the TV series. I am seriously looking forward to what Harris will do next.
The X-Files Season 10 issue 11: Pilgrims, Part 1 is on sale now, published by IDW. The reviewer bought their own issue of the comic.