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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 Truth May Still Be Out There: X-Files Reboot Possible

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So I just read an article on CNN’s website that FOX is considering rebooting The X-Files.

CNN Article

While it’s just a rumor, I can’t help feeling somewhat intrigued. I’ve loved the X-Files since it first started airing, and if you follow my blog, you know I am a fan of the current X-Files comic series also. I just hope that if they do revive it, they don’t just try to rehash old stuff and characters. There is a lot of interesting things happening in the world, and lots of new discoveries and theories in the field of science, I think that there is definite opportunity here for some creative exploration. I suppose we will have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts? Would you watch an X-Files reboot?

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The X-Files: Year Zero – Issue #5

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This issue concludes the mini-series and does so superbly. Unlike the previous issue, there is a lot of great stuff woven into this story.

Mulder and Scully discover Dorothy Sears’ identity in the present day. Having gained immortality by tricking the trickster Xero into giving her ambrosiac, she has lived below the radar and maintained her youth into the present day. There is a great panel where she relates to Scully what it was like to be a woman in the 1940s.

“But then, you don’t know what it was like in the forties, Agent Scully—for women, I mean. We had very limited roles, very few options. And a Cape Cod house with a picket fence was just a pretty cage—for me, at least.”

(p. 4)

During the climactic confrontation with Xero/Zero, Sears again tricks the trickster and escapes. Angered, Xero vows to hunt her down, but Mulder challenges him, claiming to know the tricksters true, secret name.

Xero: No! She will not do this again! She has broken her word—and so shall I! I will unheal her son, then hunt her down and—

Scully: You won’t hurt either of them!

Xero: No? And how would you stop me?

Mulder: By saying your true name!

Xero: You… play a card you do not have.

Mulder: Try me.

Xero: You are foolhardy, Fox Mulder. I like that in a man. It has earned you a reprieve. Until we meet again…

(Xero vanishes)

Scully: So… for future reference… what is his true name?

Mulder: Rumpelstiltskin?

(pp. 13 – 14)

I particularly loved the ending. It flashes back to 1947 where Ellinson and Ohio are setting up their new office space, from where they will begin investigating X-files. The two discuss how to set up their filing system.

Ohio: How should we have these sorted? The Sears case could go under “S”—or “L” for Long Island. But our Christmas trip—should that be “D” for Detroit? “H” for Hardin? “G” for gremlin?

Ellinson: Let’s keep it simple, keep them together so we can get at them quick. Bottom line is, these weird cases we’re looking into—past, present, and future—they’re all because of Mr. Xero. They’re all X-FILES.

(p. 20)

So this explains how the X-files got the name. Mentally filing that away for future trivia.

Hope you have an X-ellent day!!

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The X-Files Season 10: Issue #17

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Yes! I am so psyched that the writers have brought Frank Black from “Millennium” back and incorporated him into the story. “Millennium” was one of my favorite shows and its untimely end saddened me, although Black did return and was featured in an X-Files episode. “Millennium” is the only TV series that I own on DVD.

Anyway, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Frank Black, he is a retired FBI profiler with psychic abilities that allow him to see visions of what serial killers are thinking and feeling. His investigations are centered around apocalyptic fears and events associated with the millennium.

In this issue, Black comes to assist Mulder in the investigation surrounding Joanie Cartwright. Frank senses that an evil entity is behind the events. After Cartwright and her followers commit a mass suicide, the entity takes possession of a person and the issue leaves you hanging.

I can’t wait to find out what happens. I would really be psyched if they branched out and did a Millennium comic, or a film. I suppose I will have to wait until more is revealed.

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The X-Files: Year Zero – Issue #3 (Trickster Archetype)

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This mini-series is getting very good. I was enjoying it from the beginning, but now it is really fleshing out and becoming a complex and engaging tale, complete with all the supernatural mystery that I love about the X-Files.

This issue continues the parallel storyline with agents Mulder and Scully investigating Mr. Zero in the present and Special Agent Bing Ellinson and Special Employee Millie Ohio investigating Mr. Xero in 1946. Both pairs of agents discover something about this mysterious being—that he appears to be an incarnation of the trickster. Upon overhearing Ellinson and Ohio’s conversation regarding Xero, Ish, a Native American youth, says: “He sounds like the one my people call Raven—a trickster who is helpful at times, hurtful at others.”

The trickster is an archetypal deity that appears throughout mythology.

The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects (though the trickster’s initial intentions may have been either positive or negative). Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer.

In many cultures, (as may be seen in Greek, Norse, or Slavic folktales, along with Native American/First Nations lore), the trickster and the culture hero are often combined. To illustrate: Prometheus, in Greek mythology, stole fire from the gods to give to humans. He is more of a culture hero than a trickster. In many Native American and First Nations mythologies, the coyote (Southwestern United States) or raven (Pacific Northwest and Russian Far East) stole fire from the gods (stars, moon, and/or sun) and are more tricksters than culture heroes. This is primarily because of other stories involving these spirits: Prometheus was a titan, whereas the Coyote spirit and Raven spirit are usually seen as jokesters and pranksters. Examples of Tricksters in the world mythologies are given by Hansen (2001), who lists Mercurius in Roman mythology, Hermes in Greek mythology, Eshu in Yoruba mythology and Wakdjunga in Winnebago mythology as examples of the Trickster archetype. Hansen makes the observation that the Trickster is nearly always a male figure.

(Source: Wikipedia)

As Mulder and Scully begin to figure out that the mysterious Xero/Zero is the trickster, they have a great discussion about the nature of the trickster and why he appears at the times he does, and also about the manner in which he manifests.

Scully: It seems in each instance Xero made an unexpected appearance that helped the agents… excuse me—agent and special employee… solve the case. He was training them. But why?

Mulder: The world was changing, Scully. Even the phenomena were changing. Suddenly there were rumors of aliens and atomic mutations in addition to ghosts and goblins. But no matter how real the consequences, to Xero it was all just a game.

Scully: And he wanted to make sure there was someone else who could play.

Mulder: I think Ish was right—we’re dealing with a trickster. Xero presented himself in terms that people from the 40s would understand—a being from another world… but there are patterns and peculiarities to his appearances that have shown up throughout human history. Two hundred years ago he would have been considered a mischievous or maleficent faerie or elf like Rumpelstiltskin. Two thousand years ago he would have been called a demon.

The trickster is one of my favorite mythological archetypes. I was enjoying this comic before, but now I am really psyched about it. I cannot wait to see how the two stories play out. Check back for my review on the next issue once it is released.

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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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The X-Files: Year Zero – Issue #2

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It had been a little while since I read the first issue in this series, so I had to go back and reread it to refresh myself. Basically, Mulder and Scully are investigating a case regarding a possible shape-shifter which has similarities to the unsolved first X-Files case from 1946. Both involve a mysterious Mr. Zero (or Mr. Xero from 1946).

This issue continues the parallel storyline with Mulder and Scully in the present day and Special Agent Bing Ellinson and Special Employee Millie Ohio in 1946. The dual storyline was what caused me to have to go back and reread, because I couldn’t recall what was what, but after I got my bearings, it worked well for me.

The most interesting part for me was at the end and is part of the 1946 string. Ellinson and Ohio track down a Native American youth named Ish in Glacier National Park. He informs the agents that the “person” they are searching for is a manitou, “An evil spirit with a bloodlust greater than that of the fiercest beast.” The issue ends with the manitou bursting up out of the floorboards of the cabin where the three are hiding.

So far, I am enjoying this comic. The story is interesting and I like the “film noir” style of artwork used in the panels. I’m also curious how the two stories will eventually connect, or if they end up taking divergent paths. I’ll review the next issue when it comes out in about a month.

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The X-Files Mystery Magazine #1: “Year Zero”

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I have a cool thing set up at my local comic store. I provide the owner with a list of comics that I am reading and each time a new issue comes out, he drops one in a folder for me. Then I can just pick them up at my convenience. On my last trip, I found a copy of a new X-Files offshoot, which the purveyor of graphic literature thankfully figured I’d be interested in.

In this issue, Mulder and Scully are investigating a case regarding a large black leopard that is loose. Mulder is convinced it is a cat person, someone who can shape-shift between human and feline form. Mulder points out that there are similarities between this case and the first x-file from 1946. The comic then flashes back to 1946 and begins the tale of two outcast agents, one male and one female, investigating a case involving a mysterious Mr. Xero.

The comic is really well done and draws on the style of film noir detective stories. I really love the old detective stories. As a kid, I read detective magazines and would watch old mysteries. I imagined myself being a detective one day. I confess that I read every single Hardy Boys mystery before I reached junior high school.

I’m very excited about this new series. I love the X-Files and I love 1940’s detective stories, so a combination of the two bodes well. Anyway, the plot is set, and now I wait for the next issue to see how the mystery unfolds. I’ll be reviewing the next issue as soon as it comes out. Cheers!

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The X-Files Season 10 Comic: Issue #13

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This issue continues where Issue #12 left off and concludes the three-part miniseries: Pilgrims. In typical X-files fashion, it answers some questions, but sparks many more. There is also an ominous twist at the end, which I will omit so as not to spoil the story for anyone.

At the end of Issue #12, Scully is abducted from Saudi Arabia. This issue begins with her turning up in Arlington with Alex Krychek. Neither of them have any recollection of what happened nor how they ended up back in the United States. Mulder, alone in Saudi Arabia, has a strange encounter with a woman truck driver who picks him up while stranded on a desert road. The plot and the conspiracies get deeper and deeper, and the web becomes more tangled. Trust no one.

There is a great section in this installment where Scully is writing up notes on her computer and thinking about the recent events. She is confused, frightened, and wanting answers. I loved this because it reflects how I feel as a reader. The truths in the story are intentionally hidden, causing the reader, like Scully, to yearn for understanding and answers, regardless of how terrifying those answers may be.

Now… I am still unclear. I have questions. I lack answers. And I seek the truth in all things, no matter how elusive… or how much it frightens me to my very core.

This comic series is just as addictive as the television series was. I know that there is no way for me to stop reading this, even if I wanted to. I’ll just have to continue along and see where the story leads.

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