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The X-Files: Season 10 (IDW) #1-5 – Believers (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.

Five years can be a long time.

To be fair, there was a six-year gap between the broadcast of The Truth and the release of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, so the gap was not unprecedented. Nevertheless, the fact is that Mulder and Scully had been retired for five years since their last film and eleven years since their last television episodes. Even the most hardcore fans of The X-Files had begun to doubt that the show would ever return in any tangible form. However, the show was entering its twentieth anniversary year, and forces were stirring in the background.

X-appeal.

X-appeal.

Occasionally interviews would surface with David Duchovny or Gillian Anderson mooting the possibility of doing a third feature film. After all, despite the promise made in the opening of The Truth, 2012 had come and gone without an alien invasion or a global apocalypse. The franchise had set its own alarm clock and slept through it. There were still fitful stirrings, suggestions of possible future developments. As the franchise passed what many regarded as its “best before” date, Frank Spotnitz even speculated that fans might be treated to a reboot.

In many ways, the revival of The X-Files began somewhat innocuously. In January 2013, comics publisher IDW announced that they would be publishing a monthly series focusing on the continuing adventures of Mulder and Scully. This was not necessarily news of itself. IDW had a long history of managing licensed properties, such as the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot and the Russell T. Davies Doctor Who relaunch. That was very much their market niche in the comic book industry, especially with nostalgic titles like Ghostbusters or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

How the years 'shroom by...

How the years ‘shroom by…

While the launch of the title did suggest that there was an audience for stories featuring Mulder and Scully, it did not necessarily lead to the promise of greater things. Indeed, the announcement that IDW would be publishing The X-Files: Season 10 consciously and clearly evoked the approach that the publisher Dark Horse had adopted towards Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel, running entire seasons of comic book stories that served as the new “canon” for the characters. But nobody was expecting Sarah Michelle Gellar to reprise the role of Buffy Summers.

However, the IDW comic book launch served to bring Chris Carter out of semi-retirement and back into the media spotlight. Joss Whedon had consulted with Dark Horse on Buffy: Season Eight, the prolific television writer and producer was also working on his own concurrent projects that included directing episodes of The Office and preparing Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. In contrast, Chris Carter had been largely silent since the release of I Want to Believe. The launch of the comic book brought him back.

Where there's smoke...

Where there’s smoke…

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Geoff Johns’ Run on Green Lantern – No Fear, Revenge of the Green Lanterns & Wanted: Hal Jordan

Talk about a turn-around in fortunes. I remember the days when the Green Lantern was a cult figure – beloved by a few core devotees and mocked ceaselessly by anyone who knew the character well enough to know that he had a weakness to the colour yellow. That’s lamer than Kryptonite and led to all manner of hackneyed set-ups and resolutions since the rebirth of the series in 1960 (the original Green Lantern had a similar weakness to wood – yes, wood). However, he’s now one of DC’s flagship properties, managed to be the one to watch even in a summer where DC ‘killed’ Batman and has a mega blockbuster movie coming out starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by the man who saved James Bond (twice). There are a variety of factors that explain this massive reversal in fortune, but I’m going to go ahead and throw a name on them: Geoff Johns.

Don't worry, he's just out of practice... He'll figure it out...

Yeah, exposition tends to really kill those big moments, doesn't it?

Note: As Green Lantern: Rebirth is receiving an Absolute Edition next year, I held off on buying the trade. So I’ll get that in 2010 and review it then. I just wish I’d held off on buying the Sinestro Corps War books – they’ll likely get the Absolute treatment too. Still, this collection actually makes a better “jumping on” point.

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