“The X-Files: Season 10”: Taking Scully Under The Covers

The dark, dicey harbors and grand, Georgian suburbs which spiral outward from the nation’s nexus of Washington, D.C. maintain a consistent ripple of clandestine rendezvous and the hiding-in-plain-sight, double-dealing that keeps the Capitol flowing. Amidst the briny, back alleys of Annapolis and Fell’s Point, and the wainscoted, chintz-covered parlors of McLean and Georgetown, secret lives meet with secret identities in an effort to keep us safe from government conspiracy and monsters lurking in the shadows … maybe. Even D.C. has room for only so many two-faces; lucky for us, the X-Files have been reopened.

"The X-Files: Season 10" #1 Cover by Carlos Valenzuela, photo courtesy of Denton J. Tipton
“The X-Files: Season 10” #1 Cover by Carlos Valenzuela. Photo courtesy of D. J. Tipton

Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are back in town as The X-Files: Season 10 returns to us that which we lost so long ago: haute conspiracy theory, paranoia and the dry snark of runway model-ready Fox Mulder. It’s been a long time since we’ve peeled into the grey matter of an agent hell-bent on exposing and combating the tightly-woven, non-existent, government syndicate. Surely, if anyone understands the pebble in Washington’s loafer today, Edward Snowden, and his supporter, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, it is Spooky Mulder. It’s also been a long time since we’ve been mesmerized by the marmoreal, porcelain skepticism of Dana Scully, M.D., tossed regularly to Mulder via beauteous, sideways glances. You may not be able to watch Scully’s enhanced, ginger beauty by TV’s blue haze this time around; but you will be able to take her under the covers with a flashlight at lights-out, just like summer camp, and read the continuing, cloak-and-dagger, comic book adventures of the F.B.I.’s Most Desired.

"Believers" #1 Interior Art by Michael Walsh, colors by Jordie Bellaire. Photo courtesy of Denton J. Tipton
#1 Interior Art: Michael Walsh, Colors: Jordie Bellaire. Photo: D. J. Tipton

Serving as a “Where are they now?”, The X-Files: Season 10 picks up alternatively, which suits it well, in comic book form: hence the summertime, undercover, late-night delectations. Set in  present-day D.C. Metro, our favorite agents in navy blue are living, à la Rob and Laura Petrie in Arcadia (S6e15), as a married couple in suburban bliss under the aliases Dr. and Mr. Anthony Blake: Scully working in pediatrics private practice, Mulder writing his memoirs, I Want To Believe. Many a fan “just want to see Scully and Mulder hook up”. Well, we got our wish, kind of.

“They are indeed living under the same roof as a married couple,” divulges IDW Publishing editor Denton J. Tipton. “The relationship between the two has always been the heart of The X-Files, and we will carry on that tradition. But things are far from “happily ever after.”

Winter has come and gone nearly a dozen times since we last spied on our basement odd couple: Mulder forever nursing his neuroses, Scully forever rolling her baby blues. 2013 brings them well into the 21stC., giving them a whole new arsenal of wireless weapons to fight. Walter Skinner, now Deputy Director Skinner, knows this and arrives in the burbs to alert Scully and Mulder that someone, or something, is systematically picking off those formerly associated with the F.B.I.’s X-Files division.

“I’d call you DD Skinner, now, but that just makes me feel dirty.” Mulder gives us what we want, as his revived character is spot-on from the first moment we see him in print, interacting with neighborhood kids playing baseball in the street, proffering advice in form and philosophy. “Play deeper when the big guy hits.”

Some will note Mulder’s alias, Anthony Blake as a nod to The Magician (1973/4): a short-lived mystery series, starring The Incredible Hulk‘s Bill Bixby. Centered on playboy philanthropist Tony Blake, he was a  “master of magic, romancer of women the world over and solver of even the most stubborn crimes”, as Mulder explains the origin of his new identity to a clueless Skinner.

A bigger fan of the supernatural than duplicitous, government syndicates? Fret not. Season 10 will weave in classic MOW’s (Monsters of the Week) “to let things breathe, explore other mysteries, and give us a break from the mytharc,” assures Tipton. “There will be some direct sequels to fan-favorite episodes, and lots of new threats and thrills for Scully and Mulder.”

“But rest assured that many other familiar faces will be returning in the comic,” Tipton continues with a tease. “Krycek is a favorite of the writer Joe Harris, so I suspect that he’ll [Krycek] turn up in some fashion sooner or later.”

“Who doesn’t love Alex Krycek?? Maybe Skinner, I guess… ,” ponders Harris.

A collaboration of 20thCentury Fox Consumer Products, IDW Publishing and 1013 Productions (a.k.a Ten Thirteen Productions, founded by Chris Carter in 1993), The X-Files: Season 10 has the ultimate blessing of original-creator, now-executive producer Chris Carter.

“He sees and comments on everything we do, from outlines, scripts, art, to final product. Nothing will be released without his final stamp of approval,” relays Tipton. “The X-Files remains very near and dear to Chris Carter’s heart, and it’s been an honor to collaborate with him. I don’t think he’ll ever truly have Scully and Mulder out of his system.”

XFS10 commences with Believers, a five-part segment within the series. It seems a quizzical turn, this continuation of such a storied series in comic book form, versus television. Still, in the new age of mobile and personalized media, who needs broadcast television? To boot, the artists behind this endeavor bring most everything we need to the inked page. The spooky docks, the robed villains, the dead-eyed children, Mulder’s smirk and Scully’s cheekbones all come through gorgeously through the art and colors of Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire, respectively. If you’re curious as to how different Scully and Mulder (originally played by Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in The X-Files TV series and films) will look in pen and ink, fret not.

“Gillian Anderson (Bleak House, Hannibal, The Fall) and David Duchovny’s (Goats, Californication, Things We Lost in the Fire) likenesses are being used in the comic, and all our artists must be approved by both. We’re as official as official can get!” guarantees Tipton.

The X-Files television series aired for nearly a decade, spawned two feature films and birthed a regiment of rabid fans known as X-Philes, most of whom would be shocked and amazed to know there actually exists another Chris Carter. (What?! ‘Tis true. A sports figure, it seems.) Will the franchise sustain as a comic book? Just as this year’s San Diego Comic Con celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Sandman graphic novels and the 20th anniversary of Bongo Comics Group (The Simpsons et al), might we be celebrating a milestone anniversary of The X-Files Comics in cons to come? When asked if IDW and 20th Century Fox will be proffering spin-offs like, perchance, The Smoking Man or the one-season, television series The Lone Gunmen (2001), Tipton handed over this hopeful prognosis.

“That all depends on the demand for such a spin-off. As it stands now, the debut issue is selling very well, and the reviews have been great, so I want to believe that there will be!” (See what he did there? ” … I want to believe … “)

"The X-Files: Season 10" #3 Cover by menton3, photo courtesy of Denton J. Tipton
“The X-Files: Season 10” #3 Cover by menton3. Photo courtesy of D. J. Tipton

Despite the fact that reading issue #1 causes involuntary, over-and-over flips of the book to see how the tale continues, then an obsessive countdown until next month’s issue #2 hits the shelves, there is still one component missing from this satisfying new series: the azure candescence of TV. Minus the hypnotic glow of tel-e-vi-sion, however, XFS10 is a welcome, long-awaited return of the crew on the Potomac.

Going to San Diego Comic Con this year? Do yourself a favor and stop by IDW Publishing (booth #2643) and give the other X-Men & Women a little of your own glowing kudos; I certainly will.

Barenaked Ladies sang it best: Watching X-Files with no lights on, we’re dans la maison, I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one.

Then again, indie musician PB3 sang it pretty well, too: Scully looks so hot, just a-standin’ there, and Mulder never seems to care. And I wonder, what must be wrong with Mulder … ?


The X-Files: Season 10 #1

Story by: Joe Harris with Chris Carter

Written by: Joe Harris

Art by: Michael Walsh

Colors by: Jordie Bellaire

Editor: Denton J. Tipton

Letters by: Robbie Robbin

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? JennyPop.net and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Follow @JennyPopNet #xfiles #xfs10 #comicbooks #idw #sdcc

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