Friday, May 23, 2014

The X-Files: Conspiracy

 In the same vein as their previous crossovers that brought together unlikely licensed characters, THE X-FILES: CONSPIRACY seems like a blast, but it's actually a dud.

 Collecting the two issue X-FILES: CONSPIRACY bookends, and the related TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, THE CROW, GHOSTBUSTERS, and TRANSFORMERS one-shots, THE X-FILES: CONSPIRACY tells a half-baked tale of a virus straight out of Chris Claremont's X-MEN run that is threatening to wipe out humanity. FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are (marginally...) on the case, enlisting the help of their fringe-dwelling friends The Lone Gunmen to do the heavy lifting. The Gunmen set off to investigate a lead that was sent to them from the future (!!!), and it somehow involves them tracking down The Ghostbusters, The Transformers, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Along the way, they also encounter The Crow. Or A Crow. Whatever. I just thank God that they do encounter him, because he's the only interesting character in this book.

 I enjoy the characters of The  Lone Gunmen more than I do the stiff Mulder/Scully team, but I can't help but feel that this premise would have worked better with Mulder & Scully investigating sightings of giant Amphibians, giant robots, etc., in a more ambiguous fashion, which is how it would have been handled on the maddeningly cock-teasing TV show, where nothing was ever resolved. Here, we have the Gunmen presented with irrefutable proof that these weird beings DO exist...indeed, they interact with them, converse with them, and share adventures with them. It flies in the face of the X-Files unspoken credo of "Nothing ever gets solved."

 Also, the basic premise doesn't hold up...The Gunmen receive information from the future telling them who to track down for clues, but the revelation of who is sending that information to them just doesn't jibe...For instance, there was absolutely no reason for them to look for the Turtles. They gained no information that was relevant, so...I'll avoid spoilers here, and I'll just say that it didn't add up. Also, the final scene was absolutely preposterous. You can just walk into the CERN Supercollider like you own the joint...? There are no checkpoints, no security, you just walk in the door, and voila...there's the Supercollider? Yeah.

 The writing was uninspired, and the art ranged from acceptable to awful, especially the Ghostbusters issue, which had such terrible likenesses that I had no idea which Ghostbuster was which. I guess IDW doesn't want to pay to use the actors likenesses, but this was ridiculous. There's the black guy and the guy with glasses, and two identical generic white guys. Lazy, sloppy, awful stuff. I'd point fingers, but IDW sends incomplete review copies that have no credits, so the guilty will go unpunished.

 IDW provided a review copy.