The X-Files: Origins #3 ComicWow! Review

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This is a different X-Files comic.  It tells two parallel stories.  Each storyline is discrete; both of them involve one of the main characters of the X-Files franchise as teenagers.  They do not know each other (so far). 

On New England Coast, a young Fox Mulder is investigating UFO sightings with his teenaged friends.  In Southern California, an equally young Dana Scully is investigating the death of a local teacher.  Both of them are (so far) unaware of the conspiracy that ties the two events together.   

This is an interesting enough story and the characters are sufficiently dynamic that it is really unnecessary to recast the story as an X-Files tie-in/prequel. 

Young Fox and Dana each show hints of their future selves, but they are still adolescents, unsure of their place and purpose in the world.  Young Fox is less of a loner than adult Fox; Young Dana more of a loner.  Even with this, these characters are not adults; the face problems and issues that are unique to adolescents.  Fox depends on his bike for transportation.  Dana is confronting a family relocation to the West Coast and all of the teenage angst that accompanies the transition. 

This comic is clearly aimed at readers new to the series as well as those familiar with the franchise, but is that necessary?  Houser and smith have written a well-constructed parallel narrative.  They have populated it with three-dimensional, realistic characters and they have constructed a fascinating narrative chimera:  a combination of mystery/ Sci-Fi conspiracy/coming-of age story.

The artwork is not standard X-Files artwork.  It is clearly aimed at a younger readership, YA as compared to adult.  The colorist likewise kept tighter control of the palette, with less shading and an almost cartoonish feel.  It is appropriate for the characters, artwork and storyline.

Written by:  Jody Houser & Matthew Dow Smith

Illustrated by: Chris Fenoglio & Corin Howell

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