Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Wildstorm Comics (DC)
Spotnitz & Denham
The short arc wraps up with a bit of a letdown from the excellent first issue. Sure, this issue gives some great conspiracy and some layered covered up, but the explanation of last issue’s cliffhanger nagged at me. That, and the crew who figured out the tricks that the government was up to couldn’t produce evidence smelled a little fishy. It’s a good issue but it isn’t the ending I was expecting at all.
The issue picks up with Mulder getting saved as he is about to blow his brains out due to the paranoia caused from his hallucinations. At the hospital Scully and the others discuss what they think is going on with Mulder. They trace everything back to the memory stick Mulder lifted from the company last issue. They figure out that some sort of coating was on it to trigger some proteins in the brain that basically make it look like a suicide when you die. There are a couple of problems with all of this.
Mulder had a gun last issue. If he would have died from the brain injuries internally those that found him would have figured out immediately that the gun hadn’t been discharged. Thus, it wouldn’t have mattered whether they found him alive or not to figure all of this out. Also, how did the hospital save his life? If the proteins in the brain kill from within then how were they reversed? If they were reversed then wouldn’t that be proof that this was a weapon? Too many questions left here for my tastes.
The remainder of the issue is Scully trying to trap those responsible for setting off the weapon. Various setups fail and some more characters in the chain die. In the end, there is an opening in the case because they never really find who is responsible for everything.
The issue has its high points. For one, I like the idea of a weapon that mixes things up in your own body. I liked that it can be used as a slow weapon or an instantaneous one. I even like that the government isn’t interested in those it’s killing, but rather turning it on their enemies immediately. Secondly, I liked the plot layers and the ambiguous ending. I like my X-Files stories to be left unsolved for the most part.
Some of the items I wasn’t thrilled about, besides the explanation holes in saving Mulder, would be the use of the cast here. Too many character interact with Scully that have no introduction and it’s a little much. As a companion to this some of the characters have vastly different artistic depictions, even on the same page. I found following the characters to be very frustrating outside of the doctor, Scully and Mulder.
As a whole the comic was good but wasn’t nearly as great as the mystery that was set up last issue. Maybe a third issue would have made the story more complete or if it wasn’t Mulder who got stung by the weapon. I’m not sure, but I found the story to not sit as well afterwards as the first issue did. Still, this comic is overall on the right track.
3 out of 5 geek goggles