Villordsutch reviews The X-Files Classics Vol. 1...
"The truth is… in here! Team up with Mulder and Scully as they unravel
mysteries only seen in comic books! This first collection features
stories like 'Not to be Opened Until X-mas', 'Firebird', 'Trepanning
Opera', 'Silent Cities of the Mind' and more."
I can recall many moons ago when the huge tentacled X-Files monster ran rampant throughout the world. It stared at you with its square eyed, addictive gaze and it snared you. It occupied your waking life and it made you buy magazines like FHM for a secret peep at Scully in her skimpies, or read cool interviews with Mulder in GQ, so you to could be Mulder cool too. There was one thing that eluded me, my newsagent and the local WHSmith - The X-Files comic. Get your hands on one of these and you’d scored. The adventures continued in those pages.
When the chance came to review these elusive comics, it gave me one of those tiny excited moments you can really only share with yourself. The X-Files however was as said, “many moons ago” - we’re 20 years on and these comics were relevant then, but how are they now?
Here in this collection, The X-Files Classics Vol. 1, you have over 200 pages of the continuing adventures of two of our favourite FBI Agents (obviously Dale Cooper is #1). When I initially loaded this up on my Nexus7 I was under the impression that I would possibly be reading a 100 or so pages, but when more than double that number appeared in the page counter I had a tiny cloud of dread settle above my head. The last thing I wanted was to be saturated with a torrent of 20 year old X-Files stories that were more of a nostalgic interest than actual good sci-fi tales.
I can say however that these 220+ pages are not just a “pleasant smile at days gone by”. You have in here some great stories, still standing both as brilliant sci-fi and an excellent continuation of the X-Files series. Each comic in this collection ticks all the boxes for what makes a good X-Files tale. The best of the bunch is the excellent 'Firebird', and all three parts are tucked in the middle of this collection. Written by Stefan Petrucha (Nancy Drew, Power Rangers), it manages to capture perfectly the feel of an excellent X-Files TV episode and place it onto paper.
The artwork from Charles Adlard and colouring from George Freeman (Black Orchid, Wasteland) can come across as odd on occasion, e.g. characters not looking like they did it the last panel, Scully's hair changing colour from orange to yellow, character's faces looking deformed etc. These happen every page or so and can be slightly distracting, as you wonder, "who the heck is that suddenly in the room with Mulder!? Oh it’s just a big nosed, blonde Scully." This is forgiven by the quality of the stories, helping to drive the graphic novel along.
The X-Files Classics Vol. 1 is an excellent reprint. Pop off and buy it then come home, dust off those old X-Files novels and episode guides, remove your Gillian Anderson FHM from its “special” place and show your X-Files love again.
Villordsutch is married with kids and pets. He looks like a tubby Viking and enjoys science fiction. Follow him on Twitter.