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The X-Files (Topps) #41 – Severed (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

This is the end.

Severed is the last X-Files comic book to be published by Topps. It was released in September 1998, after the release of The X-Files: Fight the Future and before the broadcast of The Beginning. The company had actually solicited a number of X-Files comics that were never actually published – including Season One adaptations of The Jersey Devil and Ghost in the Machine. It seems quite likely that Severed was the last comic book to be published by the comic book division of Topps, who had decided to retreat from the industry following market trends.

Filed away...

Filed away…

Topps wrapped up the bulk of its publishing operations over the summer of 1998, releasing the last few tie-in comics for Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Severed was actually delayed significantly. Devil’s Advocate had been published in June, leaving a three-month gap between the two issues. It is interesting to wonder what the delays behind publication might have been; certainly writer John Rozum and Alex Saviuk had proven themselves quite capable of managing a monthly schedule.

Whatever was happening behind the scenes, Severed is very much damp squib of an ending. It’s a bland and forgettable story, but one that is sadly par for the course in the stage of the book’s life cycle.

The transformed man...

The transformed man…

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Non-Review Review: Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf is quite possibly the single strangest werewolf movie I have ever seen. I would love to have been a fly-on-the-wall at that pitch meeting:

Teen movies are all the rage this year, sir.

And werewolf films have been trending up since The Howling.

Now if there were only some way to combine the two.

As the name implies, Teen Wolf is the story of a teenager who discovers that he has hair in places where he didn’t have hair before. Lots of places. The film does an… interesting job using a conventional movie monster as an exploration of teenage “otherness”, and I actually like the film’s second act is completely off-the-wall, but even the considerable charisma of Michael J. Fox isn’t quite enough to salvage a muddle mix of eighties clichés, knock-off eighties theme songs, and confusion about the movie’s rather basic “be yourself” metaphor.

Scott’s attempt to grow a beard has gone horribly wrong…

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Are Werewolves The New Zombies?

Well, I guess Twilight: New Moon was ahead of the curve in at least one regard. Perhaps horror tastes are cyclical, as it seems that werewolves have cycled back into public consciousness after a few hundred years. Disregarding the aforementioned sequel, we have the release of The Wolfman coming up next year. That the werewolf has been chosen to spearhead the planned relaunch of classic Universal horror properties is perhaps a large vote of confidence in the beasts, and perhaps a long overdue one. How come, for all the cheesy B-movies they’ve been featured in, werewolves have never pierced popular culture in the same way that vampires, zombies or even plain old ghosts have?

Benecio del Toro looks only slightly hairier than usual...

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