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The X-Files Volume One
Words by Chris Carter, Stefan Petrucha, John Rozum, Roy Thomas - Art by Miran Kim, Charles Adlard, Rick Magyar, Val Mayrick, Gordon Purcell, Josef Rubenstein, John Van Fleet - Published by Checker Book Publishing Group - First published 2005 - Originally published as X-Files 0, 13-17
Once someone has come up with a good idea it must be hard to let it go. The X-Files is a classic example of an ingenious TV show flogged to death by its owner's innate desire to keep the money rolling in long after the bubble has burst. Certainly, selling the licence to all comers regardless of the suspected quality of what they're likely to produce is, in our book at least, nothing more than indirectly shafting your core market for more cash.
Perhaps in the case of the comics collected in this book, mostly published back in 1996 and arguably before the series embarked on its inevitable decline, you can forgive the programme makers from suspecting that the result might be better. This volume includes early issue remixes of the pilot episode and Squeeze, the one with the serial killer who can alter his body shape to fit through small gaps and hibernates for 30 years at a time. These are actually pretty good, though clearly they aren't new to anyone who's seen the TV episodes and we wouldn't recommend that people make this their introduction to the phenomena.
The other stories, which strangely start at number 13 of the monthly run and go through to 17, have degenerated into resembling reject ideas from the show, fleshed out into barely worthy standalone stories. The artwork varies but there are plenty of times when the only recognisable things about the main characters are long auburn hair and a bigger than average nose.
The bottom line is that this book has very little to offer. X-Files fans are bound to be disappointed because the new stories aren't up to scratch and the remixes of the TV shows are old hat. Those new to the X-Files phenomena, should such a person exist, should certainly not use this as their introduction - buy the vastly superior Season 1 of the TV show on DVD instead (Amazon: US/UK).
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