Review by C.J. Bunce
The X-Files Season 10 is one of IDW Publishing’s best series, following Mulder and Scully and friends in their ongoing exploits following the TV series and two films. The spin-off mini-series The X-Files: Year Zero followed Mulder and Scully in the present day as they pursue a case first investigated by the original keepers of the FBI’s X-Files, Bing Ellinson and Minnie Ohio. This year both of these series shared a combination of good storytelling, evocative imagery, and familiarity of the well-loved characters that made for required reading for genre fans.
This week IDW is releasing a rare, prestige format holiday one-shot: The X-Files X-mas Special. It includes two unrelated stories, one about Mulder and Scully in the present day, and a second about the 1940s’ duo and their encounter with a creepy character that very well could be the vile holiday elf Krampus.
The first story, “Season 10 Greetings,” comes from the creative team of writer Joe Harris, artist Matthew Dow Smith, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. The 1940s FBI team story “Merry Christmas, Comrade!” was written by Karl Kesel, with art by Matthew Southworth, and colors by Matheus Lopes.
Harris provides a reunion of sorts for the old FBI office. And we get a peek into the early days of Mulder and his little sister, an element that fueled Mulder’s actions throughout his pursuit for the truth. Kesel’s story is full of pulp noir components, a soldier downed in a World War II battle, and strange goings-on around the holidays–sharing just a bit more with us about the work relationship between Ellinson and Ohio than we learned in the mini-series. Artist Smith doesn’t give us photo-real versions of these characters, but that doesn’t matter. We get what we need and his style works well for this universe. Southworth practically provides photo-real artwork, yet based on characters that have never appeared onscreen. It’s a nifty way to make characters we don’t know so well all the more accessible.
Two covers for the Special are available, one by Carlos Valenzuela and the other by Vic Malhotra. Series creator Chris Carter is executive producer, always keeping his franchise consistent and true to the original TV series.
A fun holiday read, pick up The X-Files X-mas Special this week at comic book stores everywhere.