Review: The X-Files #3

(IDW 2016)
Writer: Joe Harris
Art: Matthew Dow Smith
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Cover Menton 3

Following the success of the X-Files triumphant return in the Fox TV event series earlier this year, Special FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully’s investigations into the unexplained continues in The X-Files #3, the all-new ongoing comic book series from IDW Publishing together with the participation of Chris Carter.

Delving into powerful issues and dark themes, The X-Files #3 presents Agents Mulder and Scully with one of their most thought-provoking and challenging cases so far in the thrilling finale of “Muertos”!
While looking into a grim crime scene in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas last issue, Mulder and Scully’s investigation became embroiled with the fate of two young siblings – Rosa and Enrico – who recently made a desperate bit to escape from the mysterious Justiniano and cross the US-Mexican border with other migrants on a freight train – but something else decidedly otherworldly was watching over them.
Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.02.37 AM The only survivor from the horrific crime scene was interviewed by Mulder and Scully at the Immigration Detention Center Lardeo, the young girl called Rosa, but she was too traumatized to help the Agents and her brother, Enrico, is still missing. Now, as Scully autopsies the mutilated victims while Mulder follows up a new lead on the case, the mystery of what happened to Enrico and the strange connection to the Mexican Day of the Dead rituals slowly begin to converge in The X-Files #3, when it seems that Mulder and Scully have inadvertently stumbled dangerously close to the truth without even realizing it.
The X-Files #3 Dia De Muertos Part 2 provides a dark and mesmerizing conclusion to this storyline as writer Joe Harris masterfully builds the tension and suspense. Emulating the rich atmospheric qualities of the TV series to perfection, this issue delves further into the terrible acts of the cartel men and the plight which drove Enrico and Rosa to flee from Justiniano. As events flashback to Oaxca, in Mexico, we begin to understand the sinister forces surrounding Enrico and Rosa, and how Enrico came to serve this ancient power to protect his sister.
Mulder finds himself in big trouble while investigating the truck in the Laredo impound when Justiniano’s men turn up. While Mulder gets caught up in a carnage of supernatural cross fire, Scully’s autopsies are interrupted when two more victims – with strikingly similar injuries – are brought in, and the tenuous connection with Enrico begins to fall into place. Meanwhile, Mulder finds himself at the mercy of the henchman Leonel, as the issue build towards a gruesome finale, and Enrico repays Justiniano “kindness” in the most ruthless way imaginable.
Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.03.10 AMMatthew Dow Smith’s artwork is exceptionally good, it impressively conveys the dark, brooding atmosphere of this issue, and effortlessly envelops you in the story and focuses your attention on the characters – especially Enrico and Rosa. The opening flashback is instrumental in achieving this, revealing more about the circumstances that drove Enrico to serve such dark powers. The colors by Jordie Bellaire cultivate the impending sense of dread and horror of the dark power Enrico has unleashed, the lurid visceral tones of savage bloodshed inside the truck is frighteningly brutal in its intensity, while the scenes in the Medical Examiners Office are awash with, cool, clinical blue shades, and the showdown in the mansion is swathed in deep shadows and vivid crimson bloodletting. The scenes with Mulder and Scully towards the end of the issue are also pitched perfectly, Matthew Dow Smith has a great handle on these characters and the rich legacy of The X-Files, and the seamless fusion of story and art that’s achieved here in this issue is utterly sublime.
The issue rounds everything off in classic X-Files fashion, with an uncanny series of events gradually unfolding which turns everything we perceived completely on its head to entwine tragedy and the unexplained with a poignant, and fittingly chilling coda. With its hauntingly beautiful cover by Menton 3, The X-Files #3 is another fantastic issue in this new IDW series from Joe Harris, Matthew Dow Smith, and Jordie Bellaire. If you love The X-Files, this is the comic book series is essential reading, and highly recommended!

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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