There are spoilers in this review.
Called to Saudi Arabia to investigate an attack on an American owned oil field, Mulder and Scully already suspected that something wasn’t quite right by the end of the first issue of this multi-part story. But with Alex Krycek seemingly back from the dead, the Saudi Arabian authorities very much in “deny everything mode” – even if it means denying it with guns – Mulder knows he’s on to something and that something not-of-this -Earth is at work here. You can read our review of “Pilgrims, Part 1” here.
The return of Krycek
When Krycek stood over Mulder at the end of issue 11 I was pretty shocked. What’s perhaps even more mysterious is that by the end of this issue we have no idea what his role in Saudi Arabia is let alone in the events that have occurred since issue 1. It just felt like we had the hint of the plot surrounding him wafted under our noses by Joe Harris and then had Krycek snatched away. It didn’t seem right that so little was revealed other than that he probably wasn’t a hallucination that Mulder was having.
The one good thing about seeing Krycek again was that it did add to the sense of mystery overall. It’s made me keen to find out the who, what, when, why and how of his circumstances. But I think the readers deserved a bigger pay-off in this issue. There are a lot of questions that haven’t really been answered, yet and we’re on issue 12.
I <3 Mulder
It was interesting to see Mulder regain some of the fanaticism that he use to have in the TV series. Emotionally, he was brought close to his tipping point, which is always fun to watch/read. Seeing Mulder motivated and convinced that something is up, aside from the wisecracks he likes to make, is when he’s at his most compelling as a character.
I’d been feeling a bit detached from the character for the last few issues, so I’m glad that Harris has amped things up. Mulder’s got a lot of stakes to deal with at the moment and I’m hoping the wait will be worth it.
After much of what’s happened in this issue and the previous, I think her doubting of Mulder was maybe a little much. Sure she’s meant to be the sceptic, but the level she was at made her attitude not as convincing as it could have been. I do appreciate that what happens to her at the end of the issue makes sense from a dramatic stakes and plot point of view, but she didn’t exactly get to say much in this issue, despite what she witnesses.
Meanwhile: why has no one spotted the black oil yet? Do people just not look into anyone’s eyes? Heck, where’s the panels showing it crawling under people’s skins? It seems silly that neither Mulder or Scully have made the connection yet.
Of course people who have stuck with the series this far should get their mitts on this issue, but this is not a good point to jump on. After 12 issues of Season 10, I am concerned at how slow a lot of it has been moving along. There seems, to me, to have been an excessive use of cliffhangers in a way that the TV show took care not to overuse. I’m enjoying reading these comics, but I just wish we didn’t still have so many unanswered questions by this stage.
The X-Files Season 10 issue 12: “Pilgrims, Part 2” is out now. Our reviewer bought their own copy of the comic.