I have really fond memories of my first encounter with the Flukeman or as we lovingly call him, Flukie. To the regular people, like my mom, having endearing feelings over a humanoid flatworm would sound, lets say, outlandish, but not to the avid X-Files fan. Is not only the fact that we all have this kind of shared "guilt" over the fact that his sole existence relies on the aftermath of human kindâ€™s cruelty to Mother Earth, but also because it reminds us of a "simple" time, back when we were fresh faced about this show and just sinking our teeth into the marvelous universe that was The X-Files.
The first seasons of our beloved show seems like twenty years ago. Oh, wait.
Having said that, with The X-Files: Season 10 comics taking a stab at this classic character, the natural reaction is to approach with caution, but also with an open mind.
Issue #6 is written by Joe Harris, featuring Art by Elena Casagrande and covers by Carlos Valenzuela and Menton3 and is the first part of two that will explore this storyline in a "Monster-of-the-Month" model that steps away from the conspiracy scheme.
Mulder and Scully have been reinstated to the FBI, an important step for them, especially when they have to walk down memory lane and figure out where they stand in this new situation. They come back to a now Deputy Director Skinner and their new direct supervisor, the clean cut Assistant Director Anna Morales.
Right away we can see the touch of Harris' pen when it comes to figuring out the current political landscape. His talent to navigate the Washington game shines through in quick lines and clever visual language and it serves as a great tool to mark the difference between the time we last saw Mulder and Scully at an FBI office in IWTB and today.
Morales has an interest in new and old X-Files that haven't been "close", a term that irks Mulder because traditionally an X-File is not a done deal. This is how the Flukeman case lands on their laps again. A series of disappearances have taken place in Martha's Vineyard, all showing the same characteristics of the previously documented attacks.
Scully examines the remains of the original Flukie in Quantico while Mulder visits the beach town and does some researching on his own. They discover more than a couple of alarming things: the amputated body of the parasite regenerates, springing the humanoid flatworm back to life on Scully's end and Mulder finds multiple victims with exit wounds that point out to their bodies being used as hosts. They've been stashed away and bound, suggesting that someone with more fine skills than a mutant may be involved.
It all gets even more complicated when Scully suggests that if the genetically altered flatworms have exited so many hosts, and they have such powers of regeneration, it could mean that there could be a LOT of flukies out there, leaving us with a creppy cliffhanger for the next part.
The previous issues have been criticized because they've brought back formerly "dead" characters, though I have to say that just like Mulder suggests, no one really said that Flukeman was gone for good. The first look into this storyline is almost crammed with information that ironically enough leaves you wishing that you could live in this universe a bit longer; it is a complicated transition as they get their bearings and rejoin the FBI, which was another controversial point of the cliffhanger the previous five-parter.
Regardless of you agreeing or not that they should be reinstated, it makes me wonder if it would have been preferable to have a transitional issue where we have a longer look at their return to the FBI. I'm a sucker for that bureau dynamic and I'm sure that Harris would have enjoyed it as well, based on his work on Great Pacific.
I liked the banter in this one, you can recognize that sober sarcasm that was part of Scully's sense of humor and much like the original episode, Mulder's curiosity is portrayed very well. I enjoyed Casagrande's work; definitely different from the previous issues and fitting with the change of mood, I particularly enjoyed the use of shadows on the sewer scenes. Valenzuela's cover art is great as always and I'm looking forward to seeing how this Monster-of-the-Month will resolve in issue #7.
The X-Files: Season 10 - Issue #6 is out in stores now. Pick up a copy at your nearest comic book shop, or download via Comixology.