Alas, all of that was not meant to be, as I wrapped up the final chapter of IDW’s mega-franchise crossover with my reading of X-Files Conspiracy #2. If you read my reviews on Fanboycomics.net of my take on the first few chapters, you see my excitement for the series along with my disappointment with the way some of the franchise inclusions were handled. I’m going to stick with the last episode specifically here, though, as everything that’s led up to this point is actually not even particularly necessary to get the gist of what’s going on. Heck, if anything, this issue could almost serve as a standalone story in many ways. That isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t a great thing either as it kind of makes the prior '80s properties inconsequential after all is said and done.
This installment, thankfully, deals solely within the world of The X-Files. Mulder and Scully finally come back into the fold for most of the story, while the Lone Gunman assume their more supplemental role as played in the series when it was on TV. As much as I like the characters of the Lone Gunman, I feel like they were never made more than two-dimensional caricatures, there to supply assistance and a spackling of humor during the X-Files' darker episodes. It’s probably part of the reason why their own spin-off series never gained the traction it needed to be successful.
As with the first issue of this mini-series, I felt the entire concept of the plot was out there, and the conclusion was just as far fetched as the beginning. To be fair, trying to intertwine four completely different worlds of sci-fi with a show whose own goal was to have a foundation of reality to ground the fiction is not an easy task. For what it’s worth, I feel the writers did their best with their ambitious undertaking and gave us a glimpse of something we would never see, the Lone Gunman talking to the Ghostbusters and driving around in Bumblebee.
To that extend, it was a fun ride, and the conclusion of the story was probably the most grounded installment of the bunch, until the final few pages that is. Just when you think the story seems somewhat plausible, the writers throw in the equivalent of an elephant-sized alternate universe monkey wrench to make your head spin a bit before you reach the “letters to the editor” section. The good news is the art in #2 is very strong and the writing may be some of the best of the series.
On its own, X-Files Conspiracy #2 is an entertaining read that brings the entire arc back to its X-Files roots. Unfortunately, the rest of the arc took the series so far “out there” that it also takes the reader too far out of the general plausibility of The X-Files, which is what made the FBI series so popular in the first place.
Hey, if there was one good thing that came out of it, though, it’s that I now have some pretty sweet comic books where the X-Files logo shares the spotlight with a Ghostbusters logo on their covers. And, for that, I will “trust no one” but IDW.