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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

EDITORIAL: Why The X-Files: Season 10 is a MUST-READ!

"If you've ever watched an episode of The X-Files, this series is a must-read." - Comic Vine 

For those of you who don't know what The X-Files is, it was an extremely popular television series that ran from the early 1990's until the early 2000's. It spun two films, one that fans love and one that fans hate (personally I enjoy both), two spin-off series (both short lived), and more than one comic book series. The series starred David Duchovny as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully, the series was created by Chris Carter.

The series was a horror, science fiction, drama that featured who FBI agents (Mulder & Scully) trying to solve the FBI's unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena aka "X-Files". However, the main focus of the series, a story taking up over 90 episodes of the nine season (202 episode) long series and one of the two films, was Mulder finding out the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials and what their plans are for the planet Earth.

Now, if this doesn't intrigue you to at least watch the "Pilot" episode of The X-Files, I don't know how I can ever convince you to read the comic! But nevertheless, I will do my best!

The X-Files: Season 10 picks up 5 years after the second film (The X-Files: I Want To Believe) leaves off. The series is written by Joe Harris (who does an amazing job at keeping the series alive) and is "executive produced" by series creator Chris Carter. The first arc "Believers" is drawn by Michael Walsh (who is fantastic) and the current arc (only in it's first chapter as I write this) is drawn by Elena Casagrande with Silvia Califano (also great). The series is published by IDW and because of that is going to have a (I believe out-of-continuity) crossover with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles early 2014.

Here's the thing, there are only a handful of books that I absolutely HAVE to pick up every month: Scott Snyder's BATMAN, Jeff Lemire's GREEN ARROW, Geoff Johns' JUSTICE LEAGUE, and Joe Harris/Chris Carter's THE X-FILES: SEASON 10. I don't HAVE to read Superman, I don't HAVE to read Hulk, I don't HAVE to read All-New X-Men, Aquaman, or The Flash (even though I do and I love those books dearly), but I do have to pick up the top four, and the fact that The X-Files is on that list means a lot.

Issue 1 is surprisingly a great jumping in point for new fans. Don't let the "Season 10" subtitle scare you, the book should really just be called "The X-Files". The photo below this paragraph is a simple summary of the past nine seasons and two films as it gives some backstory to the characters you will be following in the book. More backstory is of course included in the comic, but these are the basics:

To be fair, while I think that Issue 1 is a good jumping point for new fans and a great way for people to get into the X-Files some may still be confused as to who some of the characters are, events that are being referenced to and so on. To that I would say you can do one of three things. 1. Look online for information on what the characters are referencing or who some of the characters are. That's totally ok for you to do if you're lost and want the full story. This actually leads me to my second point, which is (2.) watch the series! The X-Files (all nine seasons) are currently on Netflix, the films are there as well (unfortunately not to stream, but there nonetheless), and it's a great series to get into, one that's hard to stop watching once you start. But finally, my third (3.) option for you is, leave it be! Sometimes it's fun not to know certain things so you can find them out later. This is definitely not the case for most people, but for some this is the way to go.

"But I shouldn't have to do research or work if you're telling me I can jump in." Well, yes and no. I never said you wouldn't have to, in fact I never said anything close (seeing as I just said you may want to do some research or watch the series), but I did say you could just jump into the series head-first. This series is definitely written for those who followed the show, who enjoy the series and films and comics that came before, but I also do believe it's very reader friendly.

"So why is this a must-read?" So glad you asked! All I've done up until this point is try my best to explain The X-Files and how easy it is to get into this series, but I haven't actually told you why it's great. Well, that's a loaded question...

Mystery, conspiracy, shadow, and science fiction. If you love to read, watch, or enjoy any of those things in a fictional format, then this book is for you. Why is this book great? Well, to be frank, it just gets the characters! Fox Mulder has always been one of my favorite characters on television, ever since I first saw The X-Files I've looked up to that character, and his translation from screen to panel is just as flawless as Stephen Amell's translation of Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow from panel to screen. I mean really, every time I read Mulder's dialogue in the book, I feel like it's David Duchovny delivering his lines on the show. This may not entice you all who never watched the series, maybe it will, but it definitely means a lot to me.

What's cool about this book is that it's both action AND story heavy. There's a good amount of gun shooting, shape-shifting, alien fighting violence in this book that never ceases to impress. Not only that, but other characters including Mulder's computer hacking friends (The Lone Gunman), the mysterious Smoking Man, Walter Skinner, Agents Doggett and Reyes, and a host of other characters make the story move forward at a pace that gets me through each issue in under 5 minutes leaving me begging IDW to send me the next issue tomorrow. 

It's hard for me as a comic book reader to get into "cop" books, or any police procedural book, TV show, whatever, so if that's your fear for this book, don't worry about it! While the characters in this book are FBI agents (Chuck, Alias, and Supernatural fans are now all laughing, but trust me, these guys are good), this is most certainly not a "cop" book. In fact, there are occultists, alien/human hybrids, parasitic monsters, space ships, and much more to make sure that this book does not becoming a police procedural.

On that note, it's also not constantly a book about the paranormal as Mulder and Scully have dramatic, character building scenes as these characters still (for the most part) have every-day lives. Scully has to deal with a decision that she made a decade ago to give up her and Mulder's son for adoption for example. These are "real people" (I put quotes because they're still fictional) who have to deal with real problems while fighting the paranormal and unexplained. 

The first arc, "Believers", is a 5 issue arc that continues the alien conspiracy plot-line that the series started 20 years ago. The second and current arc, "Hosts", goes back to a classic X-File from Season 2 which brings back an old villain, who has been waiting for almost two decades for it's "revenge" on Mulder. Every exciting stuff to jump into, and like I said, easy to jump into.

Let me say this, The X-Files: Season 10, thus far, is a book that tells the story of two people who are in search of the truth. While part of this truth was most certainly discovered by the end of the series, there is still much more that needs to be not only revealed but fulfilled. If you're interested at all in aliens, the supernatural, the paranormal, or even if you just want to add a good comic book that keeps you reading every month to your pull list, The X-Files: Season 10 is for you!

Michael J. Petty

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Senior Editorial Editor on SMN, I also work as an Administrator on Across the Airwaves Productions and as a Staff Writer on the Superman Homepage. I enjoy movies, comics, television, music, and long walks on the beach. Just because he's on the side of the angels, don't think for one second that he's one of them.