There are spoilers in this review.
The cat’s out of the bag, as Scully tries to deal with Mulder who isn’t Mulder, Skinner gets a dose of weird, and the continued fall out from Scully and Mulder’s visit to Saudi Arabia doesn’t show any real sign of letting up. Everything’s a bit crazy and unwieldy at the moment in The X-Files Season 10 , so business as usual.
One of us, one of us!
It’s not the first time that Fox Mulder has been infected (taken over?) by the Black Oil, but here he is in the comics, playing puppet to the sentient ooze, which is doing its best at not answering any questions. Scully has dozens of questions, as did I, and despite still having that tiny bit of hope that maybe something would be answered in this issue after reading issue 13, my hopes have been dashed yet again.
While I applaud the super creepy, eerie vibe Joe Harris and co. managed to pull off with Mulder, an aspect I always liked about his character in the TV series when alien things took over him, this issue does just feature loads of panels with the Black Oil giving readers a run down of the ooze’s history. Something most fans were reasonably well aware of.
And while I love seeing Mulder act the way he did in this issue, I was put off by the continued stretching of suspense and anticipation. After a struggle between Mulder and Scully at the beginning of the issue, Mulder says:
… And I’ll show you everything you need to understand.
But that doesn’t happen this time.
If the antics of the FBI’s most mysterious weren’t enough, I ended-up feeling sorry for Skinner as he too dealt with a version of mystery whack-a-mole. One moment Krycek is acting all confused in Skinner’s apartment, (he’s been acting confused for several issues now, don’t forget) and the next he’s gone. Vanished. Vanished along with any explanations.
Harris keeps teasing us. Each time it feels like we’re getting close and then the walking talking plot explainers disappear into thin air – Scully has something similar happen to her in this issue as well. At this point, most of the characters that we’ve been geared to associate with are feeling a bit like headless chickens. Sure, it makes sense to stack the odds against them – who doesn’t want drama – but the suspense levels I can handle are at breaking point.
If you’ve managed to stick with the series this far, then sure, I’m not going to stop you. However, for those who haven’t jumped in yet, this is definitely not a good point to jump in. Now, with this being the penultimate issue before the end of this five-part story arc, I’m really hoping that some long standing mysteries and questions will be answered in issue 15, because it will otherwise feel like I’ve wasted my time reading this one.
The X-Files Season 10 issue 14: “Pilgrims, Part 4″ is out now. Our reviewer bought their own copy.