There are spoilers in this review.
It seems like an age since Mulder and Scully were sent out to investigate a fire at an oil field in Saudi Arabia. Back on home turf, after being split-up, Scully and Skinner are racing to find Mulder before anything else can happen to him. It’s time to go to the stars.
Ascending to the stars
Joe Harris makes use of one of the most iconic landmarks to exist in The X-Files universe during this issue, transporting some of the action to the fictional Skyland Mountain. Originally featured in season two of the TV series (and in the episodes I reached during my X-Files retrospective), the mountain has been the site of abductions and murders a plenty.
There’s a nice balance in this issue between the wait of finding out what happened to Mulder and then finding out what happened to the Black Oil that had taken up residence in his person. And we finally, finally, get some explanations as to what’s really been going on. Nothing huge on the revelation scale, but a satisfactory amount of questions are answered.
It was definitely quite tense following everyone up to Skyland Mountain and picking it obviously meant that seasoned X-Files veterans had plenty to be fearful of. The location really offered up some enigmatic ambience that was more thoughtful than a lot of previous issues.
Old foes and allies
Harris skillfully switches between the action on Skyland Mountain and the latest goings on with Krycek, helping to really balance the action. I’d been feeling pretty unsympathetic towards Krycek up until this point, but after finding out in this issue why he’s still around, I liked how my dislike for the character was toned down. After all, the character had a lot to atone for from the events of the TV series.
Revelations regarding the Cigarette Man were also a welcome reprieve from the land of questions I’d been subsisting in for most of season 10. And I am heartily glad to now understand what he is in all of this. Though in some ways I do wish that his revelation had come sooner.
Fifteen issues into season 10 and at the end of its second large story arc, I feel like the comic series is definitely a slice of X-Files. It’s been tough going at times, but this issue has definitely confirmed to me that I want to keep on reading. Answering questions where needed and keeping the level of suspense at manageable levels, I really enjoyed reading this issue.
The X-Files season 10 issue 15 “Pilgrims, Part 5” is out now. Our reviewer bought their own copy.