Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Booknote: X-Files: Year Zero

Vic Malhotra, X-Files: Year Zero. San Diego, CA: IDW, 2015. ISBN: 9781631402364.

Genre: Graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: Science fiction, mystery
Format: e-book
Source: Netgalley

From the book's description:

"When a blue-collar worker from New Jersey passes prophetic messages to the FBI from a mysterious “Mr. Zero,” Mulder is convinced it is the same otherworldly entity that contacted the FBI through a suburban housewife in the 1940s." 

The story is set up to run parallel between the current day between Mulder and Scully and the 1940s FBI Special Agent Bing Ellison and his female "partner," the Special Employee Miss Millie Ohio. Yes, back in the 1940s, the FBI (along with much of the U.S.) were still riding the misogyny bandwagon of not letting women work alongside men. Millie works in the FBI in clerical work, and that is mostly because her father is a well-connected politician. She gets to tag along because she has a connection to the case. And even though she is a World War II vet who can likely handle agent work fine, she still gets the condescension. It can be interesting to some folks I am sure to see the contrast between her and Agent Scully in the modern day. Anyhow, the two post-World War II agents are basically the predecessors of Mulder and Scully. The connection between the four agents is the mysterious Mr. Zero, who is sort of an FBI informant that sends tips to the agency via seemingly random civilians.

As in other X-Files volumes I have read, this one really gets to the essence of the show in terms of plot and story. The sense of unease and things being vague and unsettled is alive and well in this comic. Just when you think there is an answer, you get more questions popping up. The story does have a great ending that sets up for the next adventure. If you are a fan of the show, this is certainly a comic for you. It takes you deep into the the X-Files origins. The comic provided a good mystery and an unsettling character in Mr. Zero. It was like one of the better episodes of the show.

I do highly recommend it, and I think it makes a good choice for public and academic libraries with graphic novel collections.

I am giving it the full 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure Note: Where I tell you I read this book provided by the publisher via Netgalley. It was provided free in exchange for an honest review. There, we have appeased The Man.

This book qualifies for the following reading challenges in 2015:

Falling For YA

The 2015 Fur and Fangs Challenge (there is a shifter, but you have to read to find it).

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