The truth is out there? Ha!
For “X-Files” fans, it seemed like some of the show’s greatest mysteries would remain unsolved. Like whatever happened to that alien colonization plan? Did they just give up? Is Scully’s baby going to save the world? And did no one else really notice that giant spaceship taking off from Antarctica?
The series finale, in 2002, was a little vague. And the second movie, “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” didn’t deal with the show’s mythology at all.
Dammit — the cornfields, the bees, the oil. Will the Smoking Man ever get a novel published?
Maybe, maybe, relief is coming in comic-book form.
This week, IDW introduces a new “X-Files” series helmed by Joe Harris, writer of Image Comics’ “Great Pacific.”
Called “The X-Files: Season 10,” the series includes input from series creator Chris Carter and the return of Mulder, Scully and favorites such as the Lone Gunmen.
It’ll scratch that paranormal sci-fi itch you’ve been nursing since “Fringe” ended, and take you back to the days of big cellphones, dark trenchcoats and killer clones.
But closure? Harris laughs at your naivete. He spoke to Parallel Worlds about his plans for “Season 10.”
The comic will take place after ‘I Want to Believe,’ is that correct? At the end of that film, it looked like Mulder and Scully were in for an extended tropical vacation. Will they come back and work for the FBI? Or are they independently back on weird cases?
Harris: Yep! To be most accurate, I’d say it takes place in the “present day,” which is certainly post-movie number two. We pick up with former Agents Mulder and Scully living in anonymity, under assumed identities. But things get weird pretty much right away. And as for whether or not they’ll be back at the FBI, that’s a turning point I can’t divulge at this moment.
Will these all be new, standalone cases, or will the old mythology surface?
Oh, it’s going to be a mix of both in what I’d consider to be the classic “X-Files” tradition. Our opening story arc, “Believers,” touches on the original, extraterrestrial conspiracy “Mytharc” and lets us hit the ground running. After that, we’ve got some classic “Monster of the Week” type stories lined up, including some direct sequels to a few fan-favorite episodes. Then it’s back to the mythology, building upon what we think we know, etc.
The way the show resolved the alien invasion/black oil plot seemed . . . abrupt. Can the comic provide any more closure to long-time fans?
Closure? This is “The X-Files,” man. We don’t close anything . . . we unspool and open new doors, twists and questions. But there are plans for many of the elements you identify. I’m a fan of the mythology going back to the beginning and through the end. It’s all factoring in to the plans going forward.
What will Chris Carter’s involvement be? Has he already been suggesting plots or even offering dialogue?
Chris has been reading my outlines and scripts, offering notes and advice and tweaking some of the story elements to steer us away from where he didn’t want us to tread. But he’s been very supportive, and even his limited advice and input is invaluable when you consider the connection he must have and feel to these characters, his babies. That he’s been so kind and has had such encouraging things to say regarding where we’re going with this series has been very flattering, humbling and cool.
Besides Mulder and Scully, any other returning characters from the original series?
Oh yes. Off the bat, we’re bringing back FBI Deputy Director (a new title for him), Walter Skinner right away. And you’ve likely seen The Lone Gunmen and The Cigarette Smoking Man pictured on the covers for both issues No. 2 and No. 3 of the series.
But that’s just the beginning. I’ve got plans or ideas, to some degree of fulfillment or another, to bring back a lot more of the old allies, enemies, and those you never could quite peg along that scale.
Another thing I’m really excited about is the direct sequels to classic episodes we’re going to do. After our initial story arc, “Believers” is done, issue No. 6 is going to bring back a very belovedly reviled monster from the past. And the reunions and revisitations will continue through year one and into the next, I can promise you that.
So the Smoking Man didn’t die in the TV series finale?
I can neither confirm nor deny either fate for the Smoking Man at this time. All is not what it seems. Sometimes it’s much more.
What are you favorite episodes of “The X-Files”? Any you went back and watched before starting the new book?
I have many faves, dating back to the brilliant pilot episode and other first season eps, through the early years, toward the middle when the mainstream audience was really starting to pay attention while that first movie was prepped, and beyond.
I actually did go back, in preparation for writing this series, and re-watched the entire “Mytharc” story line from pilot to the series-ending Season 9 finale, “The Truth.”
I’ve also gone back, hunting and pecking through the classic in-between “Monster of the Week” installments and am still doing so. The library is pretty vast!
But when asked, at least these days, I always point to the Season 3 finale, “Talitha Cumi” as my favorite. So many amazing things happen in that episode! You’ve got Smoking Man and Mulder’s Mother, in which Smokey lets us know they had an affair in the past with a line of dialogue that will make you smile, and make your skin crawl, all at once. It’s got alien weaponry, it’s got the alien healer, Jeremiah Smith being interrogated by the Syndicate. And it’s got my favorite moment, again, at least for right now, in all of X-Filia at the end when Mulder and the mysterious informant Stephen Williams played, known only as “X,” get into a huge, brutal fistfight in the FBI parking garage.
X wants what Mulder has found over the course of the episode, but Mulder knows his informant can’t be fully trusted and refuses to give it to him. These two men proceed to beat the living piss out of one another and it only ends when both draw guns and have to back away slowly, battered and broken but locked in a standoff neither can crack.
I love X. LOVE X.
“X-Files: Season 10” No. 1 is in stores Wednesday. Enjoy the first three covers, with art by Carlos Valenzuela, as well as an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek inside!
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