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The X-Files: Season 10 (IDW) #8 – Being for the Benefit of Mr. X (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. X is effectively another origin story, following on from Hosts.

While Hosts explained exactly how the Fluke Man came to be, and even gave the character tangible motivation, Being for the Benefit of Mr. X is largely driven by flashbacks that proceed to explain and elaborate upon Mulder’s second informant. Mister X has long been one of the franchise’s most interesting and underdeveloped character, in part owing to the fact that the show fleshed out very little about him and in part due to Steven Williams’ performance. While the show revealed a lot about Deep Throat or the Cigarette-Smoking Man, Mister X remains a mystery.

Marking the spot.

Marking the spot.

The question, of course, is what this actually adds to the story being told. It is fun to revisit the origin of Mister X, but he is very much an outdated concern at this point in the show’s life. In fact, the character’s last appearance was in flashback in Unusual Suspects at the start of the fifth season, following his death in Herrenvolk at the start of the fourth season. Unlike the Cigarette-Smoking Man, Mister X was never literally resurrected. Unlike Deep Throat, he never turned up to haunt Mulder in episodes like The Blessing Way or The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati.

It is not as if writer Joe Harris has constructed a particularly compelling origin story for Mister X. The story told in Being for the Benefit of Mr. X is solid and sturdy, integrating quite smoothly with the continuity of the show and the character as we understand it. However, there are no real surprises or tangents, no twists or surprises. Being for the Benefit of Mr. X is a solid “done in one” story. It just feels a tad unnecessary.

In too Deep (Throat)...

In too Deep (Throat)…

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