There will be spoilers in this review.
When we last saw John Doggett and Monica Reyes, their lives were on the line as one of side of the alien invasion overwhelmed them. We’d been left wondering what on Earth had happened to them for more than twelve issues and finally we have an answer. A long eighteen months have passed and a fudge load has happened. I’ll admit now that the lack of information on the pair has, until now, peeved me off a bit. So, has Joe Harris managed to satisfy my curiosity? Read on to find out.
Letting the panels speak
During the opening pages of the issue, not much is said. Motions are gone through. It’s not very often that a comic is brave enough to let the art do the talking and Matthew Dow Smith’s panels, and Harris’s lack of words, really give you the room to ponder what’s been going on with Monica and John. This beautifully reflects the situation that the characters have been in for the past eighteen months – the isolation, the silence, the lack of answers.
This does have a negative consequence, however, in the issue not having much room for giving us answers as to what has been going on. We get to learn what has happened to the two FBI agents during all of this time: they’ve been locked-up in the same house, apart, by an alien. But we don’t learn why – the issue makes no real attempt to answer this. Instead we’re left with their alien captor moaning about waiting for a sign that hasn’t come, making the whole storyline seem like some massive cop-out, where no one could be bothered to deliver a more detailed explanation.
I enjoyed the build-up to be showing the situation that the pair of agents had been left in, but I felt cheated, as the pay off was so little in the end. Part of me did accept that this lack of information was a further reflection of their alien captor also being kept in-the-dark as to what was going on with his allies, but I think by the end of the issue I would have happily traded its slow opening for some good old exposition. Even knowing what the pair’s initial days in captivity were like would have made for a more interesting read.
This is definitely not an issue to jump on with, and only collectors should really worry about picking it up. In the end, despite what it was proclaimed to be about, it didn’t really deliver anything but peace of mind as to the well being of agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes. There is so much that it could have done, could have let us in on, but it felt like Joe Harris didn’t have any cards left to hide and this issue was just filler before a new main event. I didn’t necessarily expect to be let in any further on the aliens’ master plan, but it would have been nice to have seen and felt more from the perspectives of Doggett and Reyes. There’s little to enjoy in this issue.
The X-Files season 10 issue 18 “Monica & John” is out now. Our reviewer bought their own copy.