IDW’s decision to launch a new monthly comic series that picks up where the X-Files left off was risky. Mulder and Scully have a cult following; and season 10 is sacred ground. But if issue #1 is any indication, it was a risk worth taking.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
In the opening story arc, “Believers,” readers will catch up with Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, living normal lives together under secret identities. However, a visit from an old friend threatens to rip them from suburban anonymity, as they learn that someone is preying upon everyone involved in THE X-FILES.
It would have been *so* much easier for IDW to approach this title as a reboot, or to sort of magically jump-start this series during an earlier season when things were so much simpler — before the convoluted plot twist of an alien invasion, before the kiss, before Doggett and Reyes, before the kind-of-unsatisfying end of season 9 where Mulder and Scully are left in a hotel room, on the lamb. But they didn’t. This is really season 10. And so far, it’s good.
IDW was strategic in how they approached this series. The story of X-Files #1 was developed by Chris Carter, and writer Joe Harris (who also pens the script). And it doesn’t try to ram us with too much catch-up right away; we’re baited gently and reeled in with those three elements that always made this series work: Mulder, Scully, and Supernatural-Shit. Harris does a good job of crafting our title characters — Mulder and Scully’s lovable quirks are there, but he’s also left some room for them to grow. This is a smart move. If this series is to survive, it can’t be a greatest hits album of inside jokes and old dynamics. We’re going to have to see this version of Mulder and Scully develop.
The artist, Michael Walsh, arguably had the hardest job of all. Mulder and Scully had to be recognizable, but fluid. There’s nothing worse than an artist trying so hard to accurately capture a real-life person that they accidentally produce a book that ends up looking like a courtroom sketch pad. But Walsh illustrates this issue well. The art is engaging, and appropriately creepy.
X-Files Season 10 #1 offers a strong start. Will it continue doing so? Well, I want to believe.