Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #15: The X-Files: Year Zero by Karl Kesel, Vic Malhotra & Greg Scott

Number of pages: 120

This compilation from five comic books shows a very different style from Joe Harris' comic book stories, providing a good mixture of drama and light-hearted, occasionally flippant moments.

It opens with what appears to be a homage to the classic movie, Cat People, but turns into a story about how an ordinary man is tipping Mulder and Scully off based on advice from "Mr Zero", which is remarkably similar to "Mr. Xero", who sent similar messages to a housewife in 1946 (if you remember what famously happened in 1947, you won't be surprised at what Mr. Xero ends up predicting). However, there is one problem...

As Mulder tells Scully, Mr. Xero reportedly murdered the woman who was taking his messages, which doesn't look good for the modern-day character, "Mr. Spoon".

The storyline alternates between the present and a flashback that introduces a 1940s version of Mulder and Scully, who investigated the first X-Files. This graphic novel provides some good social commentary on gender roles in the 1940s, and also touches upon the backstory of one of the season one episodes, dealing with the "Manitou" (essentially the same as a werewolf), by featuring the original case referenced in the episode itself. I always love it when the comic books manage to provide these knowing references for the fans to spot. Also, Mr. Zero/Mr. Xero is a truly creepy villain, as evidenced by the artwork (notably when he gets angry).

Overall, I enjoyed this. There did seem to be a slight over-reliance on flashbacks, but the characterisation of Mulder and Scully was excellent, and the more flippant style, which reminded me of several episodes from the late 1990s, was definitely a welcome relief from the gritty tone to the Joe Harris stories, which I am also enjoying. From my understanding, Year Zero is also part of a continuing series that I would like to read more of.

Next book: The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, Edited by Jonathan Maberry
Tags: fanfiction, fantasy, graphic novel, sci-fi, television

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