Tony Black reviews The X-Files #15…
“Resistance,” Part 2 (of 4): The final piece of the puzzle falls into place, threatening to send Mulder over the line, just as shadowy forces are revealed to have compromised the upper echelons of government.
In his interview with The X-Cast podcast recently discussing the final run of The X-Files ongoing series, writer Joe Harris mentioned how the spectre of Donald Trump in his bizarre tenure as President would hover over ‘Resistance’, as you might expect from a commander-in-chief whose election is nothing short of a bulwark against the kind of left-wing, progressive thinking which, in a strange way, The X-Files doesn’t seem as relevant a concept within. Part two of this major four part conclusion begins with Harris unashamedly displaying his disdain for Trump via the most disturbing cabinet meeting in the White House you’re ever likely to see. Omnipresent, Trump’s blind eye when it comes to power becomes the catalyst for darker forces to emerge.
Harris is steadily now bringing together the narrative threads which have built across the last year or more of issues in this Season 10-era run of stories, and here we finally get a few specific confirmations about the enigmatic Firas Ben-Brahim and his motivations. While tapping heavily into certain elements from the first X-Files movie, Fight the Future, Harris also manages to draw a strong parallel between the lives and destinies of Firas and our boy Mulder, both eternally at the whim of chess masters with a biological connection. Scully has been closer aligned with Firas across this run but Mulder here finds a tether which binds them in ominous, foreboding circumstances, and it’s a great point of intersection drawn. These are both men incapable of escaping the ongoing conspiracy to destroy mankind, coming from very different vantage points.
Harris continues his narrative trend of blending flashbacks and occult, offbeat imagery into his story, allowing artist Matthew Dow Smith the opportunity to tap some different styles in his panels; sequences in 1980’s Tunisia are given a sepia tone to depict the past, as are the Lovecraftian flashes to the ‘Old Ones’ who form part of Harris’ own niche carved into the alien mythology. It’s interesting how Harris has done this over the run, assiduously avoiding using the word ‘alien’ in the majority of instances and allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions, with hints, as to how his story connects back to a conspiracy and mytharc that, given The X-Files is ongoing as a series, he can’t directly influence and direct too heavily. It’s a balance he’s conducted well.
Going into the penultimate issue, with both Mulder & Scully facing their own cliffhangers which place them in danger from the burgeoning new conspiracy, ‘Resistance’ continues to establish a deepening new threat at the highest echelons of power it’s hard to imagine how our FBI heroes can combat. Joe Harris also continues his response to the madness of the Trump administration which gives the issue a satirical, relevant sense of bite. The X-Files looks on course for a strong, meaningful ending to the Harris era.