Monday, May 9, 2016
The X-Files: Deviations (One-Shot) #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Just For The Hell of It Mondays
Art By: Elena Casagrande, Silvia Califano, Arianna Florean, Robbie Robbins
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 9, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
For this installment of Just For The Hell of It Mondays, I'll be taking a look at something that might as well have been considered my religion in the 90's because for the first seven seasons, you'd have to come up with a damn good reason for me to miss an episode of the X-Files, like someone dying or something......and even then, it's questionable....... and then by season 8 and 9, Mulder had left the show and I had gotten older and the prospects of getting laid became way more important to me than a monster of the week or a government conspiracy involving alien hybrids. Seeing how my teenage sex life went, I probably should have stuck with my beloved X-Files, but what are you going to do? Before reading this issue, I took a look at IDW's Ghostbusters Deviations (One-Shot) and I wasn't too impressed with it, even though I really enjoyed the idea of taking a story and flipping it on its head by altering a key element to it at some point and going from there and even though I read this book just for a laugh, I have to say that its deviation actually caught me by surprise and that's the reason that I decided to review this book.......... plus Elseworlds titles are fun........ even if they're not from DC and not considered Elseworlds. Let's jump into this One-Shot and see what IDW has in store for us with this weird take on the X-Files. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins in a way that may or may not have been something in the actual X-Files series, where we see a couple hanging out in the woods, smoking dope and preparing to butcher Ziggy Stardust with their own rendition at Martha's Vineyard in 1973, when they're confronted by lights shining down on them. At first this couple think it's the cops and try to get the hell out of there, but eventually they see that these phantom lights aren't there for them as they move past and they see them hover over the Mulder House, where the X-Files series started with Fox Mulder's sister Samantha getting abducted and putting him on the path to obsess over uncovering unexplained phenomena........ and finding out what actually happened to his sister. This is a great way to start this issue...... even if I can't actually recall if this was something in the TV series or not because it gets us right to the meat and cheese of the story and the catalyst that puts Mulder on this path to the truth. We then move right into the pilot episode of X-Files, with Agent Scully getting assigned to the title of this series and being partnered up with Agent Mulder as a way to disprove and discredit the agent to shut down this basement department of the Bureau.
Here's where our deviation kicks in and I don't know if it's because I was really into reliving the pilot of the TV series through this new medium or if I'm just a big dummy, but for whatever reason, it totally caught me by surprise and got me really invested in the story, when Agent Scully opens the door to the X-Files and we see that Agent Mulder is actually Samantha Mulder. That's right, back in 1973 it looks like Fox Mulder was abducted instead of his sister and even though Fox and Samantha are two completely different people, it looks like their two lives would be exactly the same as long as someone was abducted by aliens....... or a shadow government in league with aliens. That's really the biggest disappointment about this issue is that they got me with this great deviation about how Fox was abducted and that Samantha is now the one obsessed with her brother's disappearance, but they did nothing original with it. It might as well be a female Fox because there's nothing to Samantha's character or anything that happens in this one-shot that makes you think that anything is going to be different than what we were given in the show.
In the end, Mulder and Scully go around and investigate a slew of teenage disappearances that have been linked to alien abductions and in the end, Samantha takes Scully back to her home, where Fox disappeared and lays down her origin story about how she was originally being levitated out of the room before Fox grabbed her and told her to hide under the bed...... which led to Fox being abducted himself. As our issue closes, Dana and Samantha chase down a man, who had been watching them and we find out after the man gets away that it's actually Fox Mulder, now in league with the Cigarette Smoking Man........... or possibly, it's Fox's clone....... or something because whenever we had Samantha show up in the actual show, it was always weird about whether it was actually her or not...... that mythology got really sketchy at times.
That's it for this one-shot of X-Files: Deviations and initially it got me really pumped up about what it was going to do with Fox Mulder being abducted and Samantha being "Spooky Mulder" in the FBI, but ultimately this issue did nothing to hold my interest after that initial surprise because it didn't do anything new to the story we already knew. It just substituted Fox for Samantha and from what we got here, they might as well have been the same character, only gender switched. So yeah, that was a big let down and by the end this issue just seemed pointless because the deviation didn't do anything to really change the story that we already had and because it was so similar, it just came off boring after the beginning. Luckily though, the art was really nice and I loved what the art team did with all these familiar characters, even if the story didn't take us to an interesting place.
Bits and Pieces:
Even though I was initially excited for this book from where it started out, after a few pages in I realized that this deviation to our story wasn't anything that was exciting because it's initially the same as what we got in the pilot to the X-Files series, with less interesting things going on as it tried to cram the initial mythology of the show into a couple of pages. If this were an on going series or even a mini I could see this issue working better, but since it's a once and done, nothing seems too important or innovative about it.