The last few issues of the X-Files have offered hardcore fans ample opportunity to geek-out, allowing us to revisit some of the show’s greatest hits — first there was Flukeman, then The Smoking Man, and now, with issue #11, the infamous Black Oil.
Here’s the official word from IDW:
The shifting sands of Saudi Arabia have attracted pilgrims, consumed armies, and made men rich beyond their wildest dreams. But when an ancient weapon is discovered beneath a newly tapped oil field, Agents Mulder and Scully find themselves pulled back into a black game as slippery as the X-Files have ever revealed… and you won’t believe who’s turning up to join them.
There’s nothing like the first issue of a new story arc to get fans all excited. Like the first few weeks of a new relationship, the first installment of a new arc is full of promise, wonder, and innuendo. And with issue #11 of X-Files: Season 10, that’s exactly what writer Joe Harris is offering us in spades. After a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, Mulder and Scully are dispatched to the Middle East on what appears to be their first non-X-Files case in…well, forever. And while the course of their investigation reveals a deposit of Black Oil, the biggest oddity it uncovers has to do with alternate realities, or time travel, or maybe both — who knows?! As with any new arc, this issue raises more questions than answers, but so far the questions are delicious and my eternal hope is that Harris is able to deliver the second act of this story as deftly as he did the first. In short: we don’t want to follow-up a great first date with a lousy one. But so far, this arc is magic.
Matthew Dow Smith provides some wonderful art here — his hand is sketchy, but detailed, and he captures the paramilitary feel of Mulder navigating an alley shoot-out with a sense of realism some of his early counterparts have struggled to achieve. The FBI is, after all, an armed branch of the government and it’s easy to forget that guns might be occasionally involved.
Overall, X-Files #11 is a joy to read. Go grab this thing today.