IDW Publishing 2018
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Pencilled by Elena Casagrande
Inked by Silvia Califano
Coloured by Arianna Florean
Lettered by Shawn Lee
Scully and Mulder are sent to a small Florida town to investigate a rash of bizarre crimes only to find themselves in the clutches of an alligator-worshipping cult.
While I really haven’t been that much of an X-Files fan for some time now IDW does have this strange ability to pull me back in with their stories. That JFK Disclosure was brilliant and so naturally that meant I needed to give this one a go. Also that Elena is doing the pencilling meant I knew the interiors would be stellar, I haven’t seen her since NYCC 2014 where she was nothing but sweet as can be. Maybe it’s the story’s premise that really catches the eye, it’s probably the best first arc of a new series by title alone though such a strong story doesn’t hurt either.
There is something absolutely delightful about the opening and I think, I think, that’s because Mulder is kind of hysterical to see here. The man is an FBI guy and a grown man it’s hard to believe he’s never been to Florida before. The opening just sucked me in right away from the banter, see dialogue, and the visuals working in concert really make that kind of impact on the reader. The humour here is just as strong, bold and adventurous as the kind of work that these two do and it makes for great reading a somewhat delightful distraction.
The whole tone and feel of what Delilah has created here is exceptional stuff. The way the book is structured so we get this ebb & flow that feels natural and the way that it should, via the television program, while seeming like it is the odd man out was a great surprise. Sometimes we forget that the way Mulder’s mind work is the usual I gotta say that when like the rest of us and when he does some odd thing like stop at a roadside stand where a man is painting and finds one to his tastes that this really wasn’t a random occurrence. I am thoroughly impressed with what I am seeing here.
Oh good grief Charlie Brown, Elena’s pencils really do set the stage here for the most stunning rendition that I've seen in the franchise. Her ability to render likeness’ is something that is a very rare gift and that at the same time she’s able to give it some leeway so that we see expressions and body language that’s both unique and yet familiar makes her one today's greatest illustrators. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a magnificent eye for storytelling. The fact that there is such prolific use of backgrounds expands the story in ways that really show the scope and the region of the story.
I will say this I really am enjoying how this story is unfolding because heck when they went into Big Steve’s Gator World I wanted a souvenir. Also that that we see how the town they are in is well that’s another aspect of the story that just screamed obvious and I cannot wait to see if I am right about that as well as see what the consequences are from what I suspect. God I enjoy a story that allows the reader to become so engaged and involved in it where the mind gets to expand what is or isn’t happening. This is the power of storytelling at it’s finest and it makes us like in some small way that puts into this amazing universe.