I was sitting on my couch, sipping hot chocolate and reading comics after a rainy trip to the shop. I had already read through the superhero fare and was just finishing up the latest issue of “X-Files” when my girlfriend stopped by on her way home from campus. When I held up the comic I was reading, she squealed with delight, because, really, it’s her comic book and she loves it dearly, and I love buying it for her. Of course, if I’m going to buy a comic, I’m going to read it, and I must say that this second story-arc ends strongly.
My biggest complaint is Brian Denham’s art, which showed promise and growth in the first three issues. Sometimes, it was uneven as he seemingly struggled with depicting characters to match their real life actor counterparts, and the overly warm and brightly bland coloring by Carlos Badilla doesn’t help. But, with each issue, Denham’s work grew more confident and looked better, like he was coming to grips with the characters, no longer needing stills featuring awkward and stiff poses.
His art in this issue, though, reminds me of his uneven work from the first issue. Much of the growth and confidence of last issue has disappeared and the dreaded elongated heads have returned. That far too many panels lack backgrounds, or feature the most basic, generic backgrounds, suggests that deadlines may be catching up with him, but his work here is quite disappointing. I hope he regains the ground he’s lost in the next two issues.
Marv Wolfman’s story of elderly Chinese being murdered by a man who seemingly can be in numerous places at once concludes at breakneck speed, rarely slowing down. The pace works, particularly to build the tension of the final showdown with the suspected murderer, Chan. Wolfman slows things down just long enough for Mulder to reflect that this case may be the one case of legitimate supernatural occurrence that he’s been waiting for.
Not an introspective story, more an action thriller, Wolfman’s script is very entertaining and relies less on mood, and more on gun fights. It’s an interesting change of pace from the initial story of this mini-series, which was slower and quieter. This demonstrates that Mulder and Scully aren’t just good investigators, but can also hold their own in dangerous situations.
Next issue will begin the third and final story of this series with only artist Brian Denham as the constant throughout. His work was improving, but this issue is his weakest art since the first issue. It’s a real shame, too, because, last issue, he really delivered and, this issue, his art drags down an otherwise solid issue. Though, I’m sure my girlfriend won’t complain.