Mulder and Scully continue to track down leads on a case that connects to the very first X-file. In the past, agents Bing Ellington and Millie Ohio continue to do the same (with substancially less sexual tension). Is it good?
The X-Files: Year Zero #2 (IDW Publishing)
Last month, the opening issue to the miniseries left us with quite the bit of foreshadowing: Mrs. Sears had been murdered by the mysterious (and monsterous) Mr. Xero. This month’s issue opens with what looks to be that fateful confrontation…only to see them talk about Jell-O and cheese.
No seriously…that’s what happened…
All snark aside, however, the encounter is very unsettling, especially considering what we know about the future. Ellington and Ohio’s questioning of Mrs. Sears leads them to Montana, where they come face to face with something far more horrifying than what the agents thought they were hunting.
Back in the present, Mulder and Scully start to close in on Xero (while also throwing out a delightful Twins Peaks reference). Unfortunately, their mysterious target seems to be one step ahead of them…both now and in the past.
Is It Good?
I haven’t hid my dislike of the current arc/direction of the main IDW X-Files series. On the flip side of that, however, X-Files: Year Zero is turning out to be everything I could ask for and then some.
Both of the story’s timelines present a compelling mystery, doling out just enough information to keep the reader interested and engaged without feeling like a series of poorly executed deus ex machinas. Writer Karl Kesel does a great job portraying Mulder and Scully’s chemistry, balancing real danger and suspense with the perfect dash of humor when it’s needed.
But what’s even more impressive is how he’s crafted a similar yet distinctly different dynamic between Ellington and Ohio. Fox and Dana may be running the show, but I feel just as invested in their 1946 counterparts.
On the art side of things, the work by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra is superb. Both styles contrast enough to clearly separate the different time periods without feeling too jarring. My only gripe is that the major action sequence near the end of the ‘present’ story (drawn by Scott) was very stilted. This hurts a key scene, but not enough to discount the rest of Scott’s gorgeous, atmospheric penciling.
Even if you didn’t know anything about X-Files (or you didn’t like the show back when it aired), this would likely still be a fun series to read. But if you are a long time X-Phile, then X-Files: Year Zero is shaping up to be a wonderful ride.
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