When one thinks of The X-Files, some of the first things that come to mind are Mulder, Scully, Mulder’s online video collection, Scully, Skinner, Cancer Man, and, in case I didn’t mention it yet, Scully. My point here is the fact that most people are more familiar with Mulder’s adult video fetish than they are with the history of the X-Files themselves (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Enter IDW’s latest X-Files mini-series aptly titled Year Zero. Year Zero #1 (That felt odd to type.) starts in traditional X-Files fashion with Scully nagging Mulder into an early grave, but for good reason. It seems the dynamic FBI duo are tracking down the whereabouts of a black leopard, thanks to the tips provided by a local zookeeper. In typical X-Files fashion, things truly get weird when the zootender turned tipster reveals he is receiving his tips from an anonymous source that goes only by the name Mr. Xero, who, in turn, requested that the zookeeper inform Mulder directly.
Being the storyteller that he is, Mulder starts to fill in Scully on the connection he believes that their current case has to the very first X-File ever to be recorded back in 1946. The story quickly flashes back to said year and introduces us to a pair of Mulder and Scully-esque agents that are throw together in a very similar way in order to investigate an oddball case that the government feels will be the official death nail in the careers of the bureau employees who seem to be the only two that don’t like playing by the FBI’s 1946 rules.
Quality wise, this is another top notch book from IDW. The writing by Karl Kesel is right on the X-Files money, so much so that I truly felt I was reading a Mulder/Scully marriage squabble. Thanks to the classic art by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra, the look of the characters, and more specifically the dark feel of the show, is captured in almost near perfection, specifically when it came to the current day time setting.
Plot wise, this might be the most interesting storyline with relation to The X-Files that I have started reading in a long time. For the most part, the show itself has always focused on the present and/or future timeline. With the connections and flashbacks to the retelling of the original paranormal cases, I feel like this series has the potential to provide a solid prequel arc (hence the title) to the origin of the X-Files division that the show never delivered and any prospective future movies may never explore. In other words, “The Truth is Back There” in the past . . . maybe.
Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend this series to any current or past X-Files fan still roaming their neighborhood comic shops or online retailers. This series is shaping up to be a solid telling of the untold creation of the entire X-Files universe. More importantly, a woman just as hot as Scully is back there, too.