[Books] The X-Files: Trust No One Anthology – Mini Reviews – Part 1

Never let it be said that IDW hasn’t been making the most of the X-Files license.  In addition to the ongoing The X-Files: Season 10/Season 11 comic series, a number of spinoff comic miniseries and annuals, and even a big-box board game, the publisher has now released its first X-Files short story anthology, featuring 15 new X-Files stories, each penned by a different author and spanning 25 years of Mulder and Scully’s history.

The authors chosen for this first volume (a follow-up is currently planned) consist of newcomers to the X-Files world as well as those who have a history with the property such as Kevin J. Anderson, author of some of the X-Files novels from the 90’s, and Paul Crilley, who recently wrote a number of the Lone Gunmen-focused X-Files Conspiracy crossover comics for IDW.

So, with over 20 years of X-Files fanfic floating around various internet archives, how does this official paperback version stack up?  Let’s find out!

I’ll be writing up little mini-reviews of each story as I make my way through the book and split my reviews up into three groups of five as I go so that each story can be addressed individually.  Then in Part 3, I’ll offer my final thoughts on the collection.  But to start, I’ll provide brief summaries for the first five stories and then offer more detailed thoughts (and nitpicks) after the jump!

Stories 1 – 5

1.  Catatonia

When four kids go missing and are found in a strange, catatonic state, an early Season 2 Mulder enlists the help of his former partner, Dana Scully, to get to the bottom of what’s happened to them and hopes that his current partner, Alex Krycek, won’t get in the way…

2.  The Beast of Little Hill

A late Season 2 Mulder and Scully take a little trip to investigate a small town with a history of UFO sightings and a couple of residents who claim to have dead aliens in their freezers.

3.  Oversight

Skinner must defend the X-Files division from falling victim to budget cuts and ends up solving an X-File of his own along the way…

4.  Dusk

In a story set in 2015, Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance of some teenagers who had gone in search of a Twilight-inspired vampire.

5.  Loving the Alien

It’s early Season 5, Scully’s cancer is in remission, and Mulder doesn’t know if he believes in aliens anymore.  But when Scully loses contact with Mulder after he travels to a small town to investigate claims of an alien sighting, it’s up to her to solve the mystery of his disappearance and make sure they both make it out of there in one piece.

Now onto the reviews!

Read More

[Episodes] 02×03 – Blood

Notable for being Darin Morgan’s first story credit before he officially started writing for the show.

The Case

The case, according to the FBI:  A series of seemingly random killing sprees occur in a small town.

Mulder’s Theory:  Smashed electronics are found at the scene of each murder, leading Mulder to believe that the machines may somehow be influencing the killers.

Scully’s Theory:  After finding traces of it in the body of one of the killers during an autopsy, Scully thinks that LSDM from a pesticide may have something to do with it.

What’s actually going on:  The LSDM seemed to be affecting individuals triggered by certain phobias, possibly allowing them to be affected by subliminal messages broadcast on electronic devices that may or may not have been related to controlled experiments by the government.

Did Mulder and Scully solve the case?  As far as the FBI is concerned, most likely (though this case wouldn’t have been classified as an X-File, since the X-Files unit was closed during this episode).  Objectively, one killer was located.  A potential killer was stopped and brought in.  The agency using the pesticide agreed to research the affect it may have on the population, though only if they could do it without drawing attention to themselves.

Interpersonal Relationships

Mulder and Scully:   Even though they’re no longer formally working together, Mulder apparently still sends long-ass emails to Scully for her input on his cases, and she just waits for him to get to the weird shit.  She also performed the autopsy for his case and flew out a few hundred miles to join him when he needed her help.  You know, like any work acquaintance might do.

Frohike and Mulder:  Frohike is a creeper, and it’s implied that Mulder probably gave him Scully’s phone number in exchange for a letting him borrow his night vision goggles.  We also get this exchange between Frohike and Mulder:

Frohike:  “So, Mulder, where’s your little partner?
Mulder:  “She wouldn’t come. She’s afraid of her love for you.”
Frohike:  “She’s tasty.”
Mulder:  “You know, Frohike, it’s men like you who give perversion a bad name.”

Agents in Peril

Fox Mulder:  Pretty much all Mulder in this one.  First he was slashed in the arm by a knife-wielding woman whose microwave told her to kill him, then he was sprayed down with some potentially psychotic pesticide, and finally, he went head-to-head with a man with a shotgun who was already in the process of shooting up the place.  Also, he tripped while running up stairs and re-opened his knife wound.  Ouch.

Recurring Elements

Glasses:  Two different scenes where Scully’s wearing glasses.  Woo!  [The Glasses Master Post]

Physical Fitness:  We see Mulder going for a jog while working on the case.

Porn:  Mulder’s excuse for not reading the August edition of “The Lone Gunman” was that it arrived the same day as his issue of Celebrity Skin.  (Frohike also has a number of pin-ups in his work area.)

Not Officially an X-File:  This episode takes place after the X-Files unit had been shut down the first time.  Mulder is back to investigating violent crimes, and Scully is teaching and doing autopsies at Quantico, but they still manage to get together to figure this one out.



[Episodes] 01×17 – Miracle Man

In which we have a religious case without much focus on Scully’s faith and casual MOTW Samantha sightings.

The Case

The case, according to the FBI:  Local authorities suspect that a religious group is running a scam.  A boy known for healing the sick is now thought to be killing those he’d supposedly healed.

Mulder’s Theory:  Samuel can repair electromagnetic energy to heal or destroy it to kill.

Scully’s Theory:  Poisoning.

What’s actually going on:  Leonard was poisoning people to frame Samuel as revenge for bringing him back to life to live with his disfiguring scars.

Did Mulder and Scully solve the case?  Yes, they caught the killer (Leonard).  Though Samuel’s body is now missing from the morgue…

Agents in Peril

None, really.  Mulder was seeing weird visions of Samantha, but neither agent was ever in any real danger.


– Scully mentions that she was raised Catholic and has familiarity with scripture, although aside from being pretty firm in her belief in God, she remains pretty skeptical about the claims of religious healing and whatnot.

– Sexy roof people.

Recurring Elements

Sunflower Seeds:  Mulder is munching on sunflower seeds as he watches the video of the preacher with Scully in their office at the beginning of the office.


Hotel Stay:  Mulder and Scully discuss locusts together in a hotel room.  They’re also seen in their individual rooms toward the end of the episode as we see that Mulder is carrying around a photo of Samantha and Scully is typing up her case report.




Samantha Mulder:  Samuel mentions that he can see Mulder’s pain regarding Samantha’s abduction.  Mulder sees a young girl who we can assume is supposed to be Samantha, though no one else can see her.

[Episodes] 01×01 – Deep Throat

In which we meet out first informant, and Mulder and Scully still need to work on this whole “trust” thing.

The Case

The case, according to the FBI:  Case was shelved without an investigation.  Investigating the disappearance of a military pilot.

Mulder’s Theory:  UFOs.  Or something.  Military test pilots going kind of crazy… (evolves into planes built using UFO technology)

Scully’s Theory:  Aurora Project defense department surveillance project withe the pilots suffering from stereotypy syndrome produced by extreme stress.  Maybe these guys are flying these top secret military planes.

What’s actually going on:  Probably military aircraft built using UFO technology.  Pilots could be messed up from flying the aircraft or from the military messing with their heads…

Did Mulder and Scully solve the case?  The case was closed, if not solved satisfactory.  The pilot is back, but not quite the same…

 Character Introductions

Deep Throat:  Deep Throat introduces himself as someone who is in a position to know many things about the government and someone who has a lot of interest in Mulder’s work.  He tells Mulder to drop the case at first, but also tells him that he can be of help to him.  He sees Mulder on his own terms when he has something to gain and currently doesn’t have much interest in communicating with Scully.

Interpersonal Relationships

Mulder and Deep Throat:  They first meet in a bathroom.  Deep Throat lets Mulder know that he’s familiar with his work and advises him to drop the case.  The relationship is respectful, but Deep Throat lets Mulder know from the beginning that he’s only helping him because it serves his own interests, as well.

Mulder and Scully:  Scully is still concerned about her reputation at the bureau and not having her field reports read like a tabloid story.  She shows a combination of bemusement and impatience (mostly impatience) with Mulder’s UFO theories and calls him a sucker for buying a print of a UFO in the diner before Mulder reveals his motives.  Scully expresses some concern for Mulder’s job in addition to her own credibility.  There’s a good amount of tension between the two of them as they butt heads over whether the aircraft in question could have any extraterrestrial origin (with Scully flat out thinking Mulder is gullible/nuts and Mulder getting frustrated that Scully is so closed off to the possibility).  The trust is not there yet.  Mulder blatantly lies to Scully and then ditches her when he feels that she’s not going to take his investigation seriously.

Agents in Peril

Mulder:  Both Mulder and Scully are roughhoused a bit when their car is stopped by some Men in Black, with Mulder taking the brunt of it.  After Mulder ditches Scully and goes off to the air base alone, he ends up getting tackled, restrained, drugged against his will, and his memory fucked with.  Scully must come to save his ass.

Scully:  Scully is accosted at the motel, and when she realizes she’s in danger, bolts to lock herself in a car, which then has the window smashed open to get to her.  She then holds the dude at gunpoint with his own gun and is pretty much a complete bad-ass as she forces him to take her to the base to find Mulder.

Recurring Elements

Glasses:  Scully is wearing glasses when we first find her in the bar waiting for Mulder.  [The Glasses Master Post]

Physical Fitness:  Mulder is jogging at the end of the episode when he meets up with Deep Throat again. [Physical Fitness Master Post]

Hotel Stay:  Mulder and Scully spend a good amount of time discussing the case together and making phone calls from their motel.  In an age where people still looked up numbers in phone books and made domestic long distance calls using credit cards.  It’s weird seeing Mulder and Scully without cell phones.

Mulder’s Apartment:  Rare Mulder’s kitchen sighting near the beginning of the episode!  He appears to be cooking a can of Campbell’s Soup on the stove.  It may be joining a sandwich or something somewhat bready looking on a plate on his counter.  Also, his phone is probably being tapped.  Get used to it, buddy.

Informant:  Well, the episode is named after one, so…  yeah, we meet Deep Throat.  In the bathroom.

Mulder Ditch:  Mulder flat out lies to Scully about dropping the case and then runs off, pretty much immediately after leaving her sight.


[Episodes] 01×13 – Gender Bender

Or how attitudes toward sex have changed over the past 20 years.

The Case

The case, according to the FBI:  A series of unusual deaths following sexual contact.  Mulder requested to be informed of this one based on past cases he had been following.

Mulder’s Theory:  Human pheromones, somehow linked to The Kindred based on the presence of a unique type of clay that they mine.

Scully’s Theory:  Drugs?

What’s actually going on:  The Kindred are shapeshifters who kinda poison you when they come into sexual contact with a human (possibly alien-related due to the crop circle thingy at the end, but it does’t really go into more than that).

Did Mulder and Scully solve the case?  Probably not in a way that would satisfy the FBI.  They figured out what was going on and may have stopped it in the short term, but the suspect was never actually caught.

Agents in Peril

Scully:  Brother Andrew tried to seduce (and by extension, kill?) Scully, but Mulder broke in just in time to stop him before she could “do the wild thing with some stranger.”

Scully and Mulder:  When attempting to apprehend the suspect, both Mulder and Scully temporarily get knocked down, but eventually regain their composure and get back to the chase.  An ambulance does come to patch them up after the suspect gets away.


– Mulder, don’t touch that.  Why are you touching that?  For the love of god, please don’t put it in your mouth.


Recurring Elements

Mulder’s Slideshow:  We have a Mulder slideshow in the office!

Sunflower Seeds:  When Mulder and Scully are supposed to be walking back to their car through the woods, Mulder is casually munching on some sunflower seeds while they talk.  I guess they never really did get to eat dinner.


The Many Faces of Alex Krycek:  Okay, not Krycek, but of course this is Nick Lea’s first X-Files role, playing a victim named Michael.  Let us all just enjoy some screenshots of a young Nick Lea.





[Memorabilia] Funko – The X-Files Pop! Vinyl Figures

Funko announced that it would be adding The X-Files to its Pop! Television line of its adorable big-headed, bug-eyed vinyl figures back in late 2014, a few months before the still-in-negotiations 2016 X-Files television revival was announced to the public.  The figures were released in April of 2015, between the new limited series’ March announcement and when it began filming on June 8th.

The line features four characters:  A Fight the Future-era Fox Mulder (#183) and Dana Scully (#184), a deceptively cute Cigarette-Smoking Man (#185), and a grey Alien (#186) that pushes the head-to-body ratio even for a Pop! figure.

X-Files Pop! Vinyl Figures
Mulder and Scully are dressed and posed much like Funko’s bobblehead versions of them, though the big heads and small bodies are a lot less creepy in Pop!-styled simplified cartoon form compared to the more realistic depiction of the Wacky Wobblers.  Again they’ve given Mulder a gun, even though we all know he’s just going to drop it.  Scully is armed only with a flashlight and her scientific mind, while CSM grasps his trademark cigarette.  The Alien is just trying its best to stand up without falling over onto its enormous head, which is the only point of articulation for any of these figures.

Again like the Wacky Wobblers, the Pop! figures use the Fight the Future-style logo (which is also currently in use by IDW for the Season 10 comics and the recent X-Files board game).















While the selection of characters is fine, I have to admit that I wish we could have seen a few others, such as Skinner or Krycek (I’d have personally taken either of them over the alien) or even Doggett and Reyes.  I have to wonder if there’s any possibility of a second series of Pop! figures as we approach the new episodes in 2016 since there’s still such a large cast of memorable characters to pull from, not to mention plenty of opportunities for alternate versions of Mulder and Scully.



[Memorabilia] Funko – The X-Files Wacky Wobbler Bobble-Heads

The X-Files somehow seemed to just miss the resurgence in popularity of the bobblehead doll in the late 90s and early 2000s.  This has finally been rectified in 2015 thanks to Funko and their Wacky Wobbler line.  Just as with Funko’s X-Files entry into their Pop! line of vinyl figures, the Wacky Wobblers were announced in the latter half of 2014 and were released in March of 2015 (about a month ahead of the Pop! figures), just as the confirmation of a 2016 X-Files limited series revival was announced to the public.

As of this posting, it’s been exactly 17 years since the first X-Files movie hit theaters, and though the timing of these new figures seems to line up more with the series revival than the original theatrical release, this depiction of Mulder and Scully definitely has a Fight the Future vibe to it.  While the movie or its subtitle aren’t mentioned explicitly, everything from the design of the characters to the promotional artwork on the box to the style of the logo make for bobbleheads that would have felt right at home beside the McFarlane action figures back in 1998.



Nice little surprise when you lift up the top flap.

As bobbleheads tend to go, their realistic, well-sculpted heads clash horribly with their tiny, cartoonish bodies, making them somehow both cute and creepy.  Despite that, though, the likenesses are pretty spot-on and instantly recognizable.



And just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years or so (or don’t want to get your Fox Mulder bobblehead mixed up with your Hank Moody bobblehead), their names are spelled out on their pretty silver bases for good measure.




[Memorabilia] McFarlane Toys – The X-Files: Fight the Future Action Figures

Back in May of 1998, McFarlane Toys released a set of Fight the Future action figures in anticipation of the upcoming X-Files movie. The figures featured a couple of different versions of Mulder and Scully along with the more viscous version of the aliens introduced by the movie (spoilers, guys!) and a few of the aliens’ victims. These 6-inch figures were generally sold either in blister packs of two characters (usually either Mulder or Scully with an alien or victim), or one character and a larger accessory, though there was also a boxed set that featured Mulder, Scully, and the Attack Alien. In the US, the figures were sold in toy or specialty stores, such as Toys R’ Us, Suncoast, and Sam Goody.  There are a couple of different packaging variants and character configurations.

Figures included:  

AGENT DANA SCULLY (in suit with FBI badge and cell phone accessories)
AGENT FOX MULDER (in suit with FBI badge and flashlight accessories)
AGENT SCULLY (dressed in arctic gear with cell phone accessory)
AGENT MULDER (dressed in arctic gear with flashlight accessory)
ATTACK ALIEN (version of alien with teeth and claws exposed)
DOCILE ALIEN (articulated alien without teeth exposed)
PRIMITIVE MAN (cave man from the beginning of the movie who was somehow found more deserving of an action figure than Skinner, CSM, or WMM…)
FIREMAN WITH CRYOLITTER (alien cryolitter and fireman victim with translucent skin that reveals a small alien gestating inside)
HUMAN HOST AND CRYOPOD CHAMBER (translucent human body inside alien ice pod thingy)
VICTIM IN BODY BAG AND GURNEY (rubbery human victim wrapped up in a white body bag on a gurney accessory)

The figures feature some minor articulation in the arms and neck but are otherwise fairly stiff.  The victims were created with a translucent rubbery material that is flexible and reminiscent of the bodies in the movie, though those figures feature no true articulation (but they’re dead, so I guess that’s fine).  Antarctica Scully is wearing boots that match Mulder’s, though I don’t think she ever actually had any in the movie, since she was pretty much just dressed in Mulder’s outer layer of clothes.

There are a couple of packaging variants.  Some are labeled as “Series One,” though I’m not sure if all of the characters were part of it or if some were released later, since they all seemed to be release around the same time.  The same characters can also be found without the “Series One” label.  Not sure if this was due to regional differences or if another series was originally planned and then never produced.  The back of the “Series One” packaging featured dramatically lit photographs of the standard Mulder and Scully figures with character profiles and some promotional text from the teaser (similar to what was used in the movie trailer).  The variant packaging (with one rounded corner) features the other figures with short descriptions and also advertises the movie’s soundtracks and the X-Files Fan Club at the bottom.