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Review: “X-Files: Conspiracy” # 1

The “X-Files: Conspiracy” # 1 sees the Lone Gunmen discover internet files from the future that threaten to destroy humanity as we know it. To uncover the truth they must touch base with all of IDW’s hottest properties. The Ghostbusters, The Ninja Turtles, The Transformers, and The Crow all fit into this huge crossover event. Paul Crilley lays down a decent foundation for the series while Stanisci’s art adds a moody layer to this issue that ultimately fails to deliver on the promise of its premise.

WRITTEN BY: Paul Crilley
ART BY: John Stanisci
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: January 15, 2014

This should be the X-Files story everyone has been waiting for. Upon first hearing about “X-Files: Conspiracy” I thought “why hasn’t this happened before!?” The concept is almost too perfect to be executed poorly, but this issue borders on it.

The groan worthy dialogue here is overwhelmingly ham fisted in its execution. The Gunmen are pleasant when engaged in banter, but the exchanges between Mulder and Scully feel so forced that it pulls me out of the issue. The sheer fact that Scully repeats herself takes away from her succinct intelligence. Instead, she is stumped and at a loss because the story needs her to be, which just isn’t the character at all.

The scenes with Mulder and Scully only serve to derail the story from an otherwise good time. The Lone Gunmen are the perfect protagonists for such a crossover farce. Their motivations are much more clear and their bewilderment is a common theme throughout their time within the series.

The story does a somewhat decent job at cobbling together a reason for all these different crossovers but fails to really make a case for an overarching plot. There doesn’t seem to be any connection to each property outside of a collection of photos. It’ll be interesting to see where the plot takes each successive issue. As an introduction, the issue is heavy with exposition, and offers little mystery. Enough to get readers to come back for the second installment, but almost zero delivery on the other properties crossing over is disappointing.

John Stanisci’s art is dark and moody when it needs to be. Yet, I found a certain sense of fluidity to his character designs that wasn’t for me. He understands the Gunmen. I love the way he draws Frohike, with element of Twitch from Spawn coming to mind. Yet, his Mulder and Scully don’t quite do it for me. In the actions scenes Stanisci is able to handle himself quite well. The paneling is clean and dangerous.

This first issue of “X-Files: Conspiracy” fails to deliver on the promise of it’s premise. A conspiracy is completely lacking from the pages of this book. Instead we’re treated to hints at a viral outbreak that is somehow linked to several other properties in some completely unmentioned fashion. I would have loved to see some of these properties garner more than a mention, but I will stick around to see how they are handled in future issues.

Rating: 2/5 Skulls.



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