Review: The X-Files – Annual 2014

Disclaimer: The events of this issue take place during Mulder and Scully’s first stint in the FBI. And that has everything to do with its quality. If you’re reading this review to find out if this annual issue is anything like the show, then you are in luck, because I touch on that specific thing. The X-Files Season 10 is in its eleventh month, but it hasn’t really been the easiest series to read. Mulder and Scully have been brought back without any real reason, and if you followed the show, you were under the impression that it would take an act of God to get these two people back on the government’s payroll, especially Mulder. Personally, I was a little surprised that this attempt was even made. It also hasn’t really been good throughout. I don’t really think that this subject matter really translates to print that well. So I guess that I’ve been reluctantly reading every month with pretty ‘meh’ types of feelings. But I did say that I would be touching on whether or not this issue was anything like the show. It is most definitely an exact copy. I didn’t feel like I was once reading a comic book. When I opened this up I was instantly taken back to the days of watching The X-Files. Every word, every gesture, every spooky moment had that classic 90’s television feel to it. Obviously this is the reaction that they were going for, because it matched so closely. And I think that I know why this issue reads so much better than the rest of the series. You can’t tell the kind of story that The X-Files Season 10 does in parts, or in twenty-something pages. Apparently you actually need to read from beginning to end in one sitting or you just lose interest. Especially when there are so many other comic books out there that thrive on cliffhangers. The X-Files Season 10 doesn’t work that way. An episode was forty-four minutes. Each issue should be forty-four pages. Since we all know that the comic industry will never agree to that, we are stuck with cliffhangers that fizzle out after a month of anticipation. But this annual issue was something different. This is how it’s supposed to be.

A man has returned from the dead with a warning for his wife. This has classic written all over it. When the agents investigate, a very interesting priest crosses their path. Is there a connection to the strange case that Mulder and Scully have been sent to close? It wouldn’t be The X-Files if there isn’t. Also in this issue, the backup “Talk to the Hand”, by Dave Simms.

XFiles_Annual2014-pr_Page_1The script was pretty good. Like I said earlier, it was a lot like the show. That’s really all I wanted it to be. I’m not sure if The X-Files still holds up after all of this time as a well-written show, I really don’t know, but I’m glad that I could experience it like this.

I wasn’t really a huge fan of the art. I guess that it wasn’t that I wasn’t a fan of the art itself, not really, but I don’t think that it was a good fit for the book. Mulder and Scully are cool characters, I don’t want to look at smeary and blurry depictions of them. I felt like I was reading Arkham Asylum. Of course, I didn’t like the art in that book either. That was a mess. Anyway, it was cool to look at, I guess, but I was distracted by it.

So my official, final word is that I liked it. It wasn’t amazing, it didn’t blow me away, but it did make up for the series that is currently on the shelves. Of course, it’s not that I think that the current series is bad, but it just needs a new format. Something that keeps me caring about the endings of each arc. But I’m also not eager to pay $7.99 every month either. Maybe The X-Files Season 10 could be bi-weekly. I would probably be on board for that. Actually, I definitely would. There’s some free advice, IDW.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Frank Spotnitz & Various Artist: Stuart Sayger & Andrew Currie Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $7.99 Release Date: 4/16/14 Format: One-Shot, Print/Digital