Review – The X-Files #2 (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joe Harris
Artwork: Matthew Dow Smith, Jordie Bellaire
Release Date: 25 May 2016

Dias De Los Muertos – or “Day of the Dead” – is the second issue in the recent revival of the comic book series, The X-Files. Over a decade after the original X-Files unit was closed, Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have reunited and returned to the FBI in order to investigate cases dealing with unexplained phenomena. The rejuvenated comic coincides with the release of season 11 of the television show, which aired in 2016 to critical and fan acclaim.

Dias De Los Muertos, “Muertos” Part 1 is thus the first monster-of-the-week issue in this new series. Siblings Rosa and Enrico – escaping an unknown threat referred to only as Justiniano – board a train packed with Mexican immigrants that is destined for the United States. An armed cartel stops the train, searching for the children. From their hiding place, we see something seemingly supernatural hiding in the dark with them.

Cut to Mulder and Scully at Rio Grande Valley, Texas, investigating the mass murder of a group of Mexican immigrants; the bloody bodies were found in a truck on the border and the only survivor of the attack was Rosa. Mulder quickly determines that the deaths, Rosa’s drawings and some flowers found at the scene all point towards the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead and, in particular, Sante Muerte or Holy Death, a female folk saint worshipped in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. He and Scully must now figure out how this figure relates to the missing Enrico…

Matthew Dow Smith draws this world in bold, black lines, with colourist Jordie Bellaire infusing the story with a muddy palette, splashed strategically with primary colours. The issue presents some fascinating discussion about the Mexican holiday Dias De Los Muertos and the figure of Sante Muerte, cleverly weaving these cultural references into the supernatural world of the X-Files to creepy effect, while simultaneously providing a very timely social commentary about immigration.

The series thus far is a long-awaited return for our beloved characters and poses some exciting future adventures from writer Joe Harris. More information in regards to our protagonists would be welcome, but the series is still young.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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rebThe writer of this piece was: Rebecca Booth
Rebecca Tweets from @rebeccalbooth

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