There be spoilers here. Sorry.

Season ten continues to go where the TV series and the second film never got the chance. To gaze into the depths of the conspiracy and move it along… Things have gotten extremely “oh fudge” as the grand conspirator of what Mulder and Scully have been dealing with for over twenty issues was revealed to be Gibson. Remember – the chess-alien-DNA-psychic kid? Yeah, he’s all grown up now and… well… Mulder’s not been around to guide him for over ten years.

X-Files season 10 issue 23 img 1White picket fences

Perhaps one of the most interesting themes Joe Harris has managed to introduce in this entire comic series takes root in this issue. The idea that Mulder and Scully’s time out of the FBI-alien-conspiracy game has done more harm than good – and I like this. This notion that Mulder and Scully had become so involved in the conspiracy of Earth being invaded that by quitting the FBI and hiding for so long that they have potentially threatened the continued existence of humanity. It’s like with great knowledge comes great responsibility.

And so having Gibson talk to Mulder through himself and clones to explain the problem of being absent with the amount of knowledge he had: it’s delicious. Like Mulder thought he had no true responsibilities – that he was just one man, but no: he is more than just one man. And of course having the same conversation reflected with Scully as well is a great touch, emphasising the connectivity of the clones. There’s always been blame to dish out in the X-Files universe, but it’s just interesting to see Mulder and Scully in something that isn’t a victim role for once.

X-Files season 10 issue 23 img 2Scully on the case

Okay, so I am really enjoying how Harris has got Scully on the hunt for Mulder and seems to not be freaking out too much. While it might be appropriate for her to be freaking out, it’s more interesting to see her keep her calm and soldier on. Though I have to say I was kind of creeped out by her prolonged road trip with Cancer Man, because over the many seasons of X-Files on TV, her driving off with strange men has rarely ended well: foreshadowing on Harris’s part? Well, it’s obvious that Scully will have more trials to face before she reaches her prize.

One thing I think I would like some answers on at the moment is where Scully and Mulder’s son, William, fits in with all of this. We know he went walkabout from the early issues of season 10, but no reference related to him has turned up since. Does Gibson know where he is? Is Scully’s son going to end up on a different side to Gibson? We’ll we even find out what happened to him? I’d say this is the next thing I’d like to see some answers about, because by the end of this issue it feels like Harris has really hammered down Gibson’s POV on the invasion conspiracy.

EmgoodWorth reading?

With the way it’s revisiting the alien-human conspiracy element of the TV series and with Gibson’s involvement: yes, it is definitely worth continuing with the series. I currently can’t see where things are going to go and I like that. This isn’t an issue you can just drop in on without reading previous ones, but that’s not a problem as overall the series has been quite a roller-coaster of storytelling. Yes: X-Files fans need to read this.

The X-Files season 10 issue 23 “Elders, Part 3” is out now, published by IDW. Our reviewer bought their own copy.