Tony Black reviews issue #18 of The X-Files: Season 10 comic run, ‘Monica & John’…
Written by Joe Harris
Art by Matthew Dow Smith
Joe Harris addresses a very open, dangling thread in The X-Files Season 10 with ‘Monica & John’, a one-shot which calls back to the opening story, ‘Believers’, and serves to answer the question: what happened to Agents John Doggett & Monica Reyes, of course the mainstays of the last two seasons of the show before the revival. Much like they were sidelined for the actual season 10, Harris understandably chose to do the same in the comic to place the focus on Mulder & Scully, but it feels at the expense of two key characters in the latter half of the show’s mythos. It’s very likely Harris planned it this way all along, but it’s at the same time a long time coming.
With only a few pages to spare, Harris spins a story which brings Doggett & Reyes back into the fold in unusual circumstances, with at the outset the twist that Doggett appears to have been Reyes’ captor for eighteen long months. In the end, the revelations concern the strange Deacons from ‘Believers’, the alien hooded beings who seemed to be involved in the new conspiracy, and this just serves to deepen the enigma of the new mytharc and in time-honored X-Files fashion, pose more questions than it answers.
Why were Doggett & Reyes being held? What connection does it have to the Deacon monitoring star patterns & presaging his own death? This merely establishes the complication and gets the Agents back in the FBI radar by the end, and thanks to some grimy panels and good drawing of the captured, harried Doggett & Reyes by Matthew Dow Smith, you do feel that sense of atmosphere to an otherwise brief piece which doesn’t have time to do much but catch us up.
Oddly it also lacks any presence of Mulder, but that’s perhaps a conscious choice so the focus can zero in more on the missing Agents, and the way Scully nicely reacts to seeing Doggett reminds us she was always the one with the bond with him, and Reyes, not really Mulder. It’s just a shame ‘Monica & John’ just seems to come out of nowhere, with no reminders since the opening story that anyone at the FBI was concerned they’ve been gone, and it’s all too brief to really feel much more like a minisode filling in gaps.
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