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The X-Files: Conspiracy Hardcover – 15 Jul 2014
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Conspiracy feels like the sorry by-product of the comic industry's shifting trends, with greater fixation on concepts like shared universes—yet the crossovers seen here are inorganic, lackluster, and fail to deliver on the premise. Perhaps if Paul Crilley & Co. had written Conspiracy with more straight-laced ethos, X-philes like myself wouldn't be so markedly disappointed by this sprawling book. It's a bad parody of The X-Files, and worse, it's a naked attempt by IDW Publishing to capitalize on the commercial success of the critically successful series. As with other X-Files graphic collections released by IDW, the artistic styles vary greatly and gives the volume an absurd, mismatched look. The ham-fisted dialogue does little to help matters, either. In the end, not even the quirkiness of The Lone Gunmen can hold together this abomination.
When The Lone Gunmen start getting pictures from the future about a deadly virus about to wipe out humanity, they start investigating. They have crossover adventures with the Ghostbusters, where they inadvertently set a ghost loose, with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where they need to collect some turtle blood. The Transformers help with to find a suspect and a couple cops protect them, and then are avenged by The Crow.
It's all over the map, and the art styles vary, but the loopiness of The Lone Gunmen hold it all together through this strange mismatched worlds. I ended up enjoying it and while the framing story worked, it wasn't as strong as it could have been. Still, it's nice to see The Lone Gunmen at it again.
I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
It contains several smaller stories all framed by an overarching plot: A mysterious, encoded (...for some reason) message from the future is received about a dangerous virus threatening humanity. After the first outbreak, the Lone Gunmen set out to assist S&M in finding a cure and the creators of the virus. To this end, the Gunmen follow several leads, in turn leading them to the Ghostbusters, the Turtles, Transformers and a Crow-Revenant.
There is very little to these individual stories. The Gunmen show up, interact a little bit with the heroes of the respective franchises, collect a sample and leave. It's only the cameos that are interesting at all.
The art varies significantly in quality over all these stories but where this book really drops the ball is the writing. It's awful. Most of the time i couldn't tell whether i was reading a bad parody of the x-files or just well... an abysmal x-files episode.
Evil Government Men-in-Blacks trying to kill the Gunmen (and some Cops) in broad daylight with machinegun fire, only very little actually happening in the individual stories, S&M breaking into the CERN facility and cable-tying the guards at gunpoint, characters teleporting all over the place between panels during action sequences,... *sigh*
Oh and yes, did you know there is an app for detecting bombs with your iPhone? Because all explosive materials generate a certain magnetic field and so you can find a bomb. I certainly didn't know that, but that is how the Gunmen save the day.
To sum it up: this was NOT money well spent.