Written by Joe Harris
Art by Matthew Dow Smith
Published by IDW Publishing
Release date: November 12, 2014
Even as a long time fan of the X-Files TV series, I was never too eager to give the comic series a try, but after reading this issue, I am hooked.
Series writer Joe Harris has a terrific job capturing the mood of the original TV series and translating it into comic book form. Issue #18 serves as a standalone story, revisiting the disappearance of Special Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes at the hands of the alien faction known as the Acolytes. As it turns out, Doggett and Reyes have been kept in the basement of a house just outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota by one of the shapeshifters in service of the Acolytes. We never really learn what exactly has been done to them over the past 18 months, but that will certainly be revealed as the rest of the arc unfolds.
The pacing of the book is on point with your typical X-Files episode, giving readers just enough tidbits of information to keep the story moving, but never enough to truly feel satisfied. While this may seem like a failing of the writer, in a book filled with the supernatural and conspiracy theories, it is the perfect way to keep an air of mystery throughout.
Adding to the atmosphere is Matthew Smith’s pencil work which is top notch. There isn’t a great deal of detail in the panels which helps raise the creepy factor of some of the pages. Much of the book is dark and muddled, but again, it works in this story, because in true X-Files fashion, things are never quite what they seem.
Overall, this book serves as a great introduction to new readers of the book and helps propel the series forward for existing fans. I definitely look forward to seeing how the rest of this arc plays out.