I feel like it's been forever since I last read an issue of the Season 10 comics, but in reality, it hasn't been that long, right?
April was a very generous month for X-Files comics, not only did we have the release of The X-Files Annual 2014 but also the hardcover version of The X-Files: Season 10 - Volume 2.
The eleventh issue of The X-Files: Season 10, titled "Pilgrims - Part 1" starts a five-parter that will deliver the newest chapter in the mythology being developed in these comics.
Warning: Spoiler filled review after the jump.
Written by Joe Harris and, as always, executive produced by Chris Carter, "Pilgrims - Part 1" opens with an exciting teaser, presenting the events at Rub Al-Khali desert in Saudi Arabia.
After an underground oil drilling site with American personnel is attacked under mysterious circumstances, Mulder and Scully travel to Riyadh; they've been assigned the case despite of it not being classified as an X-File. They're met by the restrictive nature of the society and politics of the Saudi Kingdom, of which both agents seem very leery of, as they represent a huge obstacle in their investigation. And even this far away from the usual Washington antics, they're being surveilled by unidentified men. Mulder decides to investigate on his own, while Scully interviews the witnesses in the hospital.
Scully discovers that the Americans weren't the objective but that they were bystanders to the attack. Another patient on the same floor is heavily guarded by the military, so she activates a fire alarm and uses the confusion to weasel her way into the guarded room. The conversation leads her to important details; the presence of Black Oil in the rig and a man that blew the IED to cover it up.
Mulder summons the Lone Gunmen to decipher a tampered surveillance video from the attack. Not only did it register a loss in time but also the presence of a mysterious figure. Mulder dreads the new findings could be tied to the syndicate, but his online meeting is cut short when he's attacked. Luckily, he manages to escape, aided by the mysterious man, who happens to be Alex Krycek.
I wanted to like this issue. The reality is that I loved it, because it delivered what I look for in these comics. From the plot and the signature banter between Mulder and Scully, to Matthew Dow Smith's art and Jordie Bellaire's colors - I loved it all. I found the spread to be consistent; Mulder and Scully's portrayals were age appropriate and true to form, still quite artistic but not distracting so it allowed me to focus on the intricacies of the story without sacrifices. I was satisfied by it. I was carried from scene to scene without an objection and was indeed filled with a lot of curiosity by the time that I got to the cliffhanger.
Even though some of you may object to Alex Krycek's presence, and many other seemingly deceased characters, I like that Harris and Carter have broadened the possibilities within the realities of these stories and by doing so, made available many more stories to tell. The present reality of the world allows for other facets, for other points of view that we didn't have the opportunity to see while the show was on the air. I'm really excited about the possibility to see the conspiracy unfold into an threat that has outgrown our imagination.
I can't wait for next month's issue, and I'm delighted that this mythology storyline has been given multiple issues.
"Pilgrims - Part 1" has four different covers: a regular and quite eye catching one with art by Francesco Francavilla, an RI cover by Matthew Dow Smith and Jordie Bellaire reminiscent to IWTB, and two photo covers - a subscription cover and the Ottawa ComicCon cover.