Review: X-Files #2

(IDW 2016)

Writer: Joe Harris

Art: Matthew Dow Smith

Colors: Jordie Bellaire

Letters: Dezi Sienty

Cover Menton 3

Spinning out from the recent Fox TV event series the adventures of iconic FBI Agents Mulder and Scully continue in the The X-Files #2, the brand new ongoing series from IDW Publishing with the participation of Chris Carter! Returning to the Bureau and the X-Files, FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have resumed their investigations into strange and unexplained cases. The X-Files #2 sends Mulder and Scully on their most challenging case so far, as two young siblings with a sinister power watching over them go on the run.

The X-Files #2 Muertos Part 1 explores dark, poignant themes, as writer Joe Harris brings us a powerful story which follows the plight of brother and sister Rosa and Enrico, as they join migrants racing to board the wagons of the freight train know as The Beast in their desperate bid to escape from the mysterious Justiniano and cross the US-Mexican border. But when the train is intercepted and stopped by Justiniano’s men, it becomes apparent there are dark, powerful forces overseeing Rosa and Enrico’s journey.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.42.58 PMCalled in by Sheriff Mendoza, Mulder and Scully travel to the scene of a gruesome discovery in an abandoned truck in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. While Milder, Scully, and Mendoza go over the details of the case, Mulder finds a clue that connects to the Mexican Day of the Dead rituals amidst the carnage. They key to finding out what happened rests with one traumatized survivor at the Immigration Detention Center Lardeo, a young girl called Rosa, but getting through to her isn’t going to be easy. Joe Harris deftly keeps the mystery and suspense building throughout the issue. Mulder and Scully are soon embroiled in a complex investigation, one involving a dark web of corruption, drug cartels, and human trafficking, as the elusive identity of Justiniano and the mystery of what has happened to Rosa’s brother, Enrico, begins to unfold.

Harnessing the distinct mood and tone of the TV series perfectly, Matthew Dow Smith’s artwork is as impressive as we’ve come to expect, and this issue is a veritable showcase of intricately structured sequences and dramatic situations. Matthew Dow Smith ensures every scene is well realized and highly detailed, the likenesses of all the main characters are spot on, and the brooding atmosphere of Joe Harris’ tautly plotted script is heightened even further by Jordie Bellaire’s mesmerizing use of color which in turn makes this issues themes resonate all the more powerfully as a result. From the grim opening moments on the train, the initial levity of Mulder and Scully’s journey peels away as their investigation takes in the blood soaked interior of the van, but it is the moving scenes as the agents question Rosa and the Day of the Dead imagery depicted in the child’s drawings that are key to driving the narrative of the issue towards further unexpected revelations.

The issue coves a lot a ground in a very small space of time, tackling some very difficult issues along the way, but the story never feels rushed or undeveloped. In classic X-Files fashion, the truth proves as elusive as ever. The pace of the issue doesn’t let up for a moment,  Scully gets to autopsy the mutilated remains of the victims, while Mulder conducts a further investigation of his own, and everything builds to a chilling cliff-hanger that will leave you eagerly awaiting the next issue. With its striking Agent Fox Mulder cover by Menton 3, bold and unflinching storyline from Joe Harris, great art by Matthew Dow Smith, and colors by Jordie Bellaire, The X-Files #2 is another remarkable and thrilling issue from this series’ excellent creative team!

PaulBowler-ProfilePic1Paul Bowler is a self-Confessed Sci-Fi Geek, Doctor Who fan, and Zombie Disposal Expert. He likes movies, comic books, and all things PS3. He likes to write about his interests, would love to write a novel one day, and also enjoys chatting to the many people he has gotten to know on Twitter. When he’s not busy being an Impossible Astronaut, he likes to take a break from his adventures in time and space to enjoy some of his favourite tv shows and movies, preferably with a nice cuppa tea & a sandwich! You can follow him on Twitter @paul_bowler, or find him at his website, Sci-Fi Jubilee.

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