Tag Archives: x-files

The X-Files – Issue 4 (Ishmael Pt 1): People on Pedestals

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I’ve had this in my pile to read for a while, but have been busy so just got to it. It’s the first installment on a story that explores Dana Scully’s past and her relationship with her father. It’s pretty good, and the artwork is nice, and I love stories that have a connection to Melville’s great novel. But what I wanted to write about is a passage that struck a nerve for me, about putting people on pedestals.

We place people on pedestals and, sometimes, rightly so—but when they reveal themselves to be human we tend to just build a bigger pedestal… instead of allowing for everything they might be at once…

(p. 12)

Dana is expressing her feelings on what happened when she discovered a secret about her father’s past, but this taps into something more universal that I see in society today. We place people on pedestals all the time: sports stars, politicians, writers, musicians, etc. And when these people fail to live up to the expectations we set for them while on the pedestal, there is a tendency to react with anger at what is seen as a personal betrayal. Another thing I see happening is that if anyone challenges or threatens those that are placed on pedestals, people also react with anger, as if it is an attack on them.

I have learned not to place expectations on people. When I do, I am often disappointed. The important lesson here is that no one is perfect and everyone has flaws; but just because someone has flaws, that does not make that person bad or evil, it just makes them human. I think this is something that we should all keep in mind this election season, or before we react to someone’s Facebook post.

Thanks for stopping by, and keep reading and thinking.

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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: Issue 01

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When I went to the comic store the other day to pick up my cache, this one was in my folder. I confess that I hesitated for a minute. A new X-Files arc? The last one I found disappointing, so I was not sure I wanted to bother with it. But being the X-phile that I am, I figured I would give it a read. If nothing else, it would give me something to complain about. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by this first installment.

The story is about an active shooter incident in a mall where each of the shooters claims to see holes in the sky. There is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes that is not made clear but implies that there is some sort of experiment taking place. Think “Jacob’s Ladder.”

What I liked the most about this issue is that it works as a stand-alone story, but also ties in with the larger X-Files conspiracies, so you can approach it from different levels depending upon your knowledge of the background. And it seemed well thought-out, the writing was solid, and the artwork was good. Honestly, I couldn’t find a flaw in this, which was encouraging. My interest is definitely piqued and I will certainly continue reading the subsequent issues. I get the feeling that the creative team has gotten their groove back and have some fresh ideas they are ready to explore.

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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 #05

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I confess that I was starting to get a little discouraged about the current X-Files comic arc, which is why I didn’t even bother writing about Issue #4. Thankfully, this issue is better.

Let me start by saying that I recently met Matthew Dow Smith, the comic’s artist, at the Asheville Comic Expo. I discussed the comic with him and was honest about my concerns regarding the seeming lack of direction. He shared something interesting with me that shed some light on things. The creative team had a plan on the direction the story would take, but then when the decision was made to move forward on the TV reboot, they were told they had to change the story and the timeframe. That explained a lot. With this in mind, there was a line in this issue that seems to hint at the struggles the creative team were dealing with.

Outside factors have sped up my plans. You’re no stranger to taking decisive action.

This issue also has a theme to it that I feel is both true and powerful—that key events in our lives and how we respond to those events has a significant impact on the course of our life. I can point to key events that have changed the course of my life and contributed to defining who I am as a person. So I want to conclude this post with two quotes that tie into this theme. The first appears early in the issue and the second appears toward the end.

You need to understand, it isn’t any one tragedy—or some single set of events—that makes someone who they are. It’s how we process them, rolling all of our experiences together—that informs the transformation and tests the measure of what we’re truly capable of.


 

It’s never one tragedy that defines us. We are each the product of myriad experiences—good, bad, and life-altering. While what we’re capable of is something we only learn in our worst moments. And which we save for our finest hour.

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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 11: Issue #02

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As I mentioned in my review of Issue 1 of Season 11, the overarching storyline seems fragmented. And it still feels that way in this installment. But having said that, I confess that I enjoyed this issue.

This issue draws on an episode from the television series that was quite controversial when it aired. The TV episode was called “Home” and was the second episode of Season 4.

“Home” was the first episode of The X-Files to receive a viewer discretion warning for graphic content and the only to have carried a TV-MA rating upon broadcast. Critics were generally complimentary, and praised the disturbing nature of the plot; several made comparisons to the work of director David Lynch. Some reviewers nevertheless felt that the violent subject matter was excessive.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Creepy scene from "Home" episode.

Creepy scene from “Home” episode.

The television episode was basically about the Peacock family, which practiced incestuous inbreeding to keep their family lineage pure. The result was disturbing, to say the least. So in this comic, titled “Home Again” Part 1, Mulder ends up at a secluded farmhouse where the surviving Peacock family has been regenerating. He is captured and informed that he has been chosen to “mate” with the grotesquely deformed mother of the clan.

What intrigues me about this comic is that it bodes well for a possible tie-in to the upcoming X-Files television reboot. It appears that in this season, the writers may be going back and using “unsolved cases” as inspiration for the issues. I really like that and hope that this is the intention. Also, on a personal note, the whole concept of inbreeding and the genetic deformities that result from it is kind of fresh in my mind after reading “The Lurking Fear” by H.P. Lovecraft. It’s kind of strange when things that you are reading have parallels or connections.

Anyway, if you are an X-phile, then you will probably enjoy this issue; if not, you might as well skip it. This is definitely written with a clear target audience in mind, one who is familiar with the X-Files mythos and who has been following the graphic series. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

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