The Lone Gunmen are back to wrap up the latest and final installment of the frame story of the new IDW X-Files comic event, X-Files Conspiracy #2. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, The Lone Gunmen have been tracking down a deadly virus set to wipe out most of the world’s population, and the death toll has now reached more than 900. The virus’s existence has been revealed to them through a series of emails sent to them with time stamps from future dates. They have been on their own mission to provide aide and Intel about the disease to Agents Scully and Mulder at their FBI locations. In the emails they are alerted to the presence of four urban legends whose presence they seek in order to find out their connection to the contagion: a ragtag group of ghost hunters, vigilante man-turtles that rise from the sewers at night to fight crime, shape shifting giant alien robots, and one pissed off spirit of vengeance.
In case you missed all of those references, the emails are referencing none other than the Ghostbusters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Transformers, and The Crow. For the most part, each installment has been mildly entertaining. From unleashing ghosts in the Ghostbusters base of operations to encountering vampires with the turtles, The Lone Gunmen have left no stone unturned in their pursuit of answers. So far, the crew has learned of apparitions being able to communicate messages across time and alien footprints in the chemical composition of the virus. Yet, for the most they have really only stepped in the way of the daily lives of the urban legends that The Lone Gunmen have crossed paths with. They even had a part in the death and revival of the incarnation of The Crow they met (which the storyline for that issue was entirely too fast paced and unrealistic for its own good). The person in this scenario, a state trooper, was turned into The Crow after The Lone Gunmen, whom were carrying samples need for an anti-virus, pulled him into being pursued by agents working for the people who made the virus in order to combat alien “threats” such as The Transformers; he and his partner (his pregnant lover) were killed by the agents.
Still with me? Good.
Now, you may be wondering why there is so much being said about the issues in the middle of this larger frame story started in X-Files Conspiracy #1 and very little said about the issue that this review is actually for, X-Files Conspiracy #2. That’s because I would say that only three events happened in this issue. Don’t believe me?
The Lone Gunmen bring Scully the original Cybertronian/Human virus sample to make a vaccine, Mulder busts the headquarters and stops the scientists from releasing more pathogens, and the Lone Gunmen find a bomb planted by the…terrorists?…in the FBI facility researching the cure.
Done. Did I do it? What’s my lap time? Seriously, that’s how quickly and lackluster this issue ended; like Stewie Griffin apologizing for his first time.
If any reader decided to come into this event at the end (which in the author’s defense, most people in their right mind should NEVER come into a story at the end), they would be left with the clichés of a race against time. Worse than that, a cliché where they don’t even really know what is at stake. The main thrill ride came from the crossover events that were at the heart of this frame and as far as an end piece, the story technically did its job in wrapping up.
In the spirit of fun, there is an extra scene, an alternate ending in a parallel dimension, where all of the key players, (minus TMNT, Transformers, and Ghostbusters) have a metafiction moment. It is a scene where they are still racing against the clock, discussing alternate fates and realities due to their recent discoveries of the presences of time travelling and dimension hopping, and ultimately face the facts of the possible effects that sending Trooper Crow into a dimension jumping machine could have; in which they all die. As for the fans that stuck through this event, those folks are left with an apathetic final drop in the roller coaster, where they were left going, “Wooooooo? That’s it?”
My rating: 3/5