Author: Joe Harris
Illustrator: Wayne Nichols
Colourer: Sebastian Cheng
Letterers: Chris Mowry & Tim B. Long
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Executive Producer: Chris Carter
Publishers: Ted Adams / IDW
The X-Files X-mas Special 2016 continues on from on from the 2015 X-Files X-mas Special installment, riding on the wave of a renewed popularity with confidence. After all, it makes sense to keep going with a good thing…
The scene is set on Christmas Eve 2016, where a disoriented Mulder runs frantically around Washington DC demanding to know what time it is, while Scully attends a decidedly “postmodern” nativity play. Not only do members of the cast start to say strange things but random members of the audience start to speak out, as if being “spoken to” in some way. Mulder bursts in to rescue Scully, who then starts behaving in the same strange way. It turns out the Bethlehem star is causing all the commotion, and brainwashing everyone – but how, and why? Cue a flashback to earlier that day, when Mulder and Scully brave the crowds to find presents for Christmas, and out of nowhere Mulder spots an apparition of his long-lost sister, while the Christmas carollers are singing slightly different versions of the traditional songs. They are led by a mysterious figure who compels Mulder and Scully to further investigate the true meaning of Christmas – along with another emerging mystery.
Like its 2015 predecessor, X-Files X-mas Special 2016 adopts the “detached and all-seeing narrator” approach, with the implication that it is not a human presence who is bearing witness to the events unfolding. They speak of humans, and Mulder in particular, as being typical of the human race, both rational and irrational at the same time. The story which unfolds turns out to be a retelling of A Christmas Carol, with Mulder as the stand-in Scrooge, the one questioning not only the Christmas spirit, but basically everything. The juxtaposition of a classic and a modern tale is usually an interesting one and this is no exception. What becomes apparent when reading is that, is that if a story is strong enough, it will pass the test of time. A Christmas Carol proved that over a century and a half, and more recently The X-Files has proved that over at least a generation. The animation style remains true to the real-life appearances of Mulder and Scully in the TV show, with some new characters making an appearance, whose depiction we have no choice but to accept as true to life, having no equivalent in the TV show.
Another (mis)adventure in the world of The X-Files is proving to be always welcome.