Tag Archives: aliens

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #8

What started as a really interesting arc has completely plummeted into stupidity. I’m glad there is only one issue left; otherwise I would drop it at this point. The folks are Marvel need to learn that you do not make a story interesting by throwing more and more into it; a story is interesting when there is cohesion, thoughtful crafting of the language, and evocative imagery. To just toss in a bunch of other characters, such as Howard the Duck casting magical spells, and think you are going to appeal to a wider audience is kind of pathetic.

If resorting to inclusion of the tired Avengers wasn’t bad enough, the writers also rely on the hackneyed trope of the “word of God” actually being a text created by an alien being. Please! Erich Von Daniken wrote Chariots of the Gods? back in 1968. What’s next—mystical text as computer code?

If you read my blog regularly, you know I try to find something positive or inspirational in whatever I read. I was unable to do so here. I actually feel like I wasted the 15 minutes it took me to read this installment.

Oh well. On to other things.

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The X-Files: Annual 2016 – “Illegal Aliens”

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Once a year, IDW publishes an annual special edition X-Files graphic novel, which is a little longer, a little better quality, and double the price. This year’s is a little on the silly side, set in New Mexico and playing off the pun between undocumented immigrants and visitors from outer space. There is nothing groundbreaking in this book, and nothing deeply thought-provoking; it’s just a whimsical story, fairly well written and illustrated, that is kind of fun to read, but that’s about it.

The illegal alien pun is kind of cliché for me, so honestly, I found that the least interesting. The thing that I found the most entertaining was Mulder’s observations on pro-gun conspiracy nuts.

Mulder: I’ll make it. I was doing some research. Have you heard of the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theories?

Scully: Half-baked government haters who thing the government wants to take their guns?

Mulder: Right, emphasis on half-baked. But there’s something about it that bothered me. When we put on a tinfoil hat because we think the government is trying to invade our brain, we’re assuming a certain level of sophistication, right? We believe we’ve progressed as a civilization to where the next great existential danger will come from threats beyond our conception.

Scully: Are you arguing on message boards again?

Mulder: Yes, but hear me out, Scully. These people, they think, they really think, the government is going to use a coordinated training exercise in the southwestern United States as cover to take away everyone’s guns. Logistical concerns aside—when did our conspiracies become so lazy? Have we fallen so far that the grand plan to enslave the human race is eliminating the threat of small-arms fire?

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I read this, especially considering all the social media chatter about how “if Clinton gets elected she is going to take away all our guns.” It’s the same thing you hear about every Democratic candidate. It’s never happened, and yet the fear and myth persists.

Anyway, if you are an X-Fan, you’ll probably get a kick out of this book; if not, you will see it as nothing more than a waste of $8, which could have been better spent on a latte and a defrosted piece of coffee cake from Starbucks.

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The X-Files: X-mas Special 2015

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So this issue is pretty good, but if you have not been following the comic series, you’ll be totally lost. Basically, this special issue wraps things up about as neatly as can be done with the X-files, and also sets the stage for new adventures. It’s a little goofy, kind of fun, but nothing groundbreaking. But it was something at the very back of this issue that caught my attention.

The issue includes a bonus, which is an excerpt from an upcoming X-Files anthology entitled The X-Files: The Truth Is Out There. The book is supposed to be about 400 pages and will contain a rich collection of short stories featuring our friends Mulder and Scully. I did a little research online and here is some info I found out:

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back in a chilling collection of all-new tales of dark secrets, alien agendas, terrifying monsters and murderous madmen. Featuring original stories by bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Hank Philippi Ryan, Kelley Armstrong, Kami Garcia, Greg Cox and many others. Edited by New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry (V-WARS).

(Source: Amazon)

The book is due out on March 10, 2016. I’m fairly certain I’ll be reading it.

Anyway, this X-mas Special includes one of the stories. It was pretty good, although I did have to overlook some typos which made the editor in me cringe. But typos aside, it was a nice bonus and piqued my interest in regard to the book.

Well, that’s about all I have to share on this one. I’m looking forward to the “X-Files Reopened” which should be starting up very soon. Hopefully I will be able to stream it on Hulu.

Cheers!

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The X-Files Season 11: Issue #03

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So I’m not sure where this story is going. Part 1 of Home Again was pretty good and got my hopes up, but this one was a bit of a let-down. I cannot help but feel like the writers are struggling to find their way, and that’s disappointing. I think that I feel even more disappointed with this issue because I just watched a really great X-Files episode with my daughter, one of the classics from Season 2 that features the alien bounty hunter (we’ve been watching the old series in anticipation for the reboot). Anyway, the contrast between the early television show and this issue is particularly stark. Of course, I will continue reading the series, but I feel less and less inclined spending my time reviewing the issues. So, unless the creative team ups their game, I am going to discontinue my regular reviews and only post occasionally when there is something worthwhile, kind of like I am doing with Witchblade (another arc that is struggling, in my opinion).

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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The X-Files Season 10: Issue #22

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This issue is the second part of the “Elders” episode (click here for my thoughts on part 1). It is very good, dripping with conspiracies. To summarize what is happening without including spoilers, Mulder is being discredited at the FBI for allegedly stealing secrets. He has been abducted and is held in a secret facility that appears to be host to alien-hybrid experiments. And at the end, the identity of the mysterious person with the glasses is revealed, and there is a nice cliffhanger setting us up for the next chapter in the saga.

There is an interesting quote that Deputy Director Skinner makes to Scully regarding what is happening to Mulder in regard to the FBI allegations.

If you think powerful forces sought to tear Mulder down before, you haven’t met Special Interests in the 21st century. And the more we resist their efforts to control the levels of government, the bigger the target we all become.

I found this to be an astute assessment of the relationship between government and special interest groups. No one questions that these groups influence legislation. The subtle insinuation that there is something going on behind the scenes works well in deepening the conspiracy aspects of the story.

So I want to close this post with Mulder’s last words in this issue, which I found to be a great twist on the X-Files’ famous tagline:

I don’t believe it…

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The X-Files Season 10: Issue #21

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After the last two dismal issues, I had reservations about whether this series would continue to be worth reading. I was relieved to find a return to the kind of storytelling and sci-fi mystery which attracted me to the X-Files.

This issue is part one of a mini-series entitled “Elders.” It provides a glimpse into the shadowy world of the Syndicate while keeping just enough detail hidden to foster the sense of mystery. It also allows readers to project their own ideas of conspiracy into the story, providing a somewhat personal experience when interacting with the tale.

The issue opens with an unknown individual shown monitoring newscasts from multiple sources. The snippets of reports draw on current events and would stir fear in the minds of most conspiracy theorists. It also provides just enough verisimilitude to allow the reader to suspend belief and be drawn into the story.

One scene that stands out for me is when an unknown individual who wears glasses and whose face is never shown (possibly an alien?) attends a meeting with the elder members of the Syndicate. He acknowledges that they were once important, but that this importance has been lost.

You were once important men. Together, you orchestrated the greatest lie in human history. But you were greedy… and gluttonous. You grew depraved in time. So you failed, and then you fell.

The mysterious figure in the glasses concludes the Syndicate meeting by asserting:

The world is an open window, my friends. There are no more shadows for you to hide in. The time for secrets is over…

There are other strands of sub-stories woven into the fabric of this comic, and they blend together well. This all bodes well for the subsequent issues, and, I must say, for the reboot of the television series which was recently announced.

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The X-Files Season 10: Issue #20

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So this is the second half of the story that began with issue 19 (click here for my review of that one). My expectations were pretty low based on how weak the previous issue was, but I have to say that this did not even meet my lowered expectations; in fact, it pretty much sucked. In the previous issue, people were using a genetically modified type of marijuana called G-23 that has a “Jacob’s Ladder” effect. In this issue, it is asserted that the marijuana is laced with alien DNA. I have to say that it was about the dumbest story imaginable. It belongs in a Cheech and Chong comic, or the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Bottom line, unless you just want to fill the space in your comic collection, don’t waste your money on this. It’s not often that I consider something I read to be so dismal that I cannot find anything redeeming about it, but this is one of those times.

You have been duly warned.

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Doctor Who – Eleventh Doctor: Issue 7

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I have mixed feelings about this issue. There are some things I like and some things that just didn’t work for me. The storyline is interesting enough: the Doctor and his companions return to Earth in 2015 in order to allow Alice to take care of personal business. When they arrive, they discover that two warring alien civilizations have taken their battle in the skies above Earth. Humans, as is their usual modus operandi, enjoyed the spectacle of warfare.

“And we got all the fun of watching. There were loud bangs and flashes, but the majority of ships didn’t enter our atmosphere, and we weren’t the target. So most people seemed inclined to sit back and enjoy the light show. The space war… it was entertainment.”

So while the story is interesting, I think what didn’t work for me is that this issue seemed a little heavy on the silliness. Now I get Doctor Who. I was exposed to the Doctor early in life by my mom, and I expect some degree of silliness and cheesiness. But for some reason, it just felt like it was overdone in this issue. Of course, that’s just my opinion, for what it’s worth. Still, I found it worth reading. It’s not my favorite comic on the shelves these days, but it’s entertaining, so I’ll continue reading it.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!

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Eerie: Issue #1

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As a youth, I was obsessed with horror and sci-fi comics. I devoured them and while it caused some slight concern with my parents, it ultimately planted the seeds which grew into a love of reading. One of the comics I remember distinctly was Eerie. As all good thing from the past somehow seem to come back, it doesn’t surprise me that Dark Horse Comics has resurrected the Eerie publication. I figured since it is October, it would be the perfect time of the year to pick up an issue and see if it is as good as the ones I remember from my childhood.

This was definitely a step into my past. The issue is hosted by Cousin Eerie, a somewhat jolly, plump creature with a twisted sense of humor. He’s almost like a macabre Falstaff. The issue is comprised of four short vignettes which fall into the sci-fi/horror genre.

The first one, “A Robot for Your Thoughts,” is all about artificial intelligence and robots taking over the world. A man suspects that his family has been replaced by robots, so it’s somewhat reminiscent of The Stepford Wives, but with a nice twist at the end.

The next tale, “Life Species,” is about a team of space explores searching extinct planets for the remains of previous life forms, then examining them to try and understand what happened to them and why the species declined. It reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode, but with a humorous ending. This was probably my favorite story in the issue.

The third tale, “Beta-Eden,” is clearly inspired by the Alien films. It has space explorers encountering an alien race that lays their eggs inside the human host. The spawn then feed on the host. This was probably my least favorite story. It just felt hackneyed and the artwork was not so great.

The last story, “Child,” is a reworking of the Frankenstein archetype. A bereaved scientist decides to construct a child out of parts of the dead. Upon reanimation, he is initially horrified at his creation, but then forms paternal connection which turns to love. What I liked the most about this particular tale was the writing. It was written almost as an epistle, where the father is speaking directly to the child. It works very well and I liked the way the story unfolds.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was $2.99 well spent and I think the writers capture the campiness of the original publication. I would certainly read more of these.

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The X-Files Season 10: Issue #16

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This issue is titled Immaculate and is the first installment in a new storyline. It is definitely spooky stuff and sucks you right in. The writing team weaves together science fiction and horror with actual events to create a truly engaging tale. I’m already craving the next issue.

The story is set in a rural North Carolina town that certainly fits the Bible Belt stereotype. A young woman named Joanie Cartwright goes to an abortion clinic and passes the gauntlet of Pro-Life demonstrators. Once inside, she appears to be communicating with an unseen alien entity. A bomb is exploded and it is assumed that she smuggled it in and detonated it, although she emerges unharmed. She continues to speak to this entity with divine reverence and persuades some of the protesters to follow her.

Once Mulder and Scully are assigned, they discover that the girl’s mother and some of the townsfolk have blinded themselves. They also find out that Joanie’s supposed boyfriend, Daniel, is studying a book on demonology. This all works well in building a compelling mystery.

The issue concludes with a twist that deepens the plot. Throughout the issue, an alien-like shadow represents the entity with whom Joanie is communicating. In the final frame, the entity is depicted with horns and what appear to be large wings, a clear implication that this is supposed to be a demonic being. It leaves the reader with a slew of questions. Is Joanie impregnated by some satanic entity? Is there a connection between angelic/demonic beings and alien life forms? Is Joanie an innocent or is there some dark intention behind her actions? In classic X-Files fashion, one is left with more questions rather than answers.

The issue scheduled out next month will be titled Millennial Visions. That intrigues me for a couple reasons. I don’t think our society has truly gotten over our millennial fears. I think as a society, our apocalyptic fears have taken root and are being fed by media hype. Natural disaster, global warfare, and biological threats are all prominent in our collective psyches. I am also intrigued by the possibility that we may see the return of Frank Black. For those who are unfamiliar, Frank Black was the main character in Chris Carter’s other television series, “Millennium,” which explored the darkness and apocalyptic changes associated with the new millennium. The show ended abruptly and Frank Black made his final television appearance on an X-Files episode. I have always hoped that Black would return in a film or something. Maybe this will be it. I suppose we will have to wait until next month to find out.

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