I have to say that I found this issue to be only mildly entertaining. The story is based around a conspiracy that the government was growing some genetically modified marijuana called G-23 that has a “Jacob’s Ladder” effect on individuals. Of course, some enterprising freaks manage to acquire this and have a rave with some consequences. Honestly, the story felt hackneyed to me, like I’ve heard it a hundred times before, all told in much more engaging versions. Also, I wasn’t crazy about the artwork, especially the renderings of the Lone Gunmen. I have to say, upon finishing it, I felt slightly annoyed that the story is to be continued in the next issue.
It seems like the writers were trying to appeal to the stoner crowd, and frankly, the stoner genre just does not appeal to me. If I wanted to read that type of comic, I’d go and read the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. At least they were somewhat funny.
I realize this is kind of a harsh review and usually I try to find something positive to say about the things I read, but I am finding it hard to do that this morning. I think it’s the fact that the last several issues in the Season 10 series have been so good, that the contrast here just makes issue #19 seem that much worse. Anyway, issue #20 will be titled “Tripped” so my expectations are already low. I guess the good thing is I probably won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for stopping by, and read on!
This issue concludes the six-part miniseries. While the series as a whole was a little goofy at times, overall it worked for me.
In this issue, the Lone Gunmen are reunited with Mulder and Scully as they race to prevent the spread of the genetically modified alien hybrid virus. The story works really well and concludes nicely. There is a twist at the end that draws on parallel universe theory in quantum physics, but that’s all I’ll say. You know how I feel about spoilers.
What really stood out for me in this issue, though, was the quality of the art work. It’s very good! There is one particular set of panels where Mulder is exploring a dark warehouse using a flashlight. The artist does a great job with light and shadow that evoked some of my favorite scenes from the television series. I’m no artist, but I understand that capturing the way light works is very difficult for a visual artist. Kudos to Stephen Downer and Chris Mowry for their work on this.
Reading this was welcome and refreshing, especially after reading the dismal X-Files 2014 Annual issue. I’m not sure if IDW plans to continue the Conspiracy series, but I hope so. I am, after all, a life-long X-Phile.
Links to my reviews of past X-Files Conspiracy issues:
This series is really starting to come together. Even the inclusion of the Lone Gunmen (who usually do little more than annoy me) worked well in this issue.
This installment takes place in Saudi Arabia, which ties in nicely with the return of the “black oil.” Essentially, the black oil is an alien virus that enters a human host and takes control of that person. It was featured in several series episodes, as well as in the original X-Files movie. Click here if you are interested in reading more about the oil.
There were no quotes that need to be highlighted here. Not that it is poorly written or anything such as that, there was just nothing in the dialog that struck me as extraordinarily profound or contemplative. Regardless, I felt intrigued when I finished. The strength in this episode is that it does an outstanding job setting the scene for subsequent installments. I have to say, I’m already eager to read Issue 12.
Now, I generally try to avoid spoilers in my posts, but doing so for this issue is impossible, so if you want to you can stop reading here.
At the very end of this issue, we have the return of another supposedly dead X-Files character: Alex Krychek. I don’t know why, but his reappearance did not bother me like the other resurrected characters in the series did. Maybe it was because Krychek had actually made a post-death appearance in one of the television series episodes. Anyway, I’m curious as to how the writers will spin this. For those who are interested, here is a good page that provides a lot of background information on Krychek.
My review of Issue 12 will be up as soon as I get my hands on the issue. Cheers!
Part 5 of the 6-part miniseries was pretty good, but not great, which seems to be consistent with this whole miniseries. I just find the Lone Gunmen to be a little too silly for my taste, even in the original television series. Frankly, I’ll be glad when this is over.
Having said that, there were some parts in this comic that I found interesting. I do like the Crow mythos, where the Crow shepherds the soul to the afterlife, unless there is unfinished business that needs to be addressed before the soul can cross to the other realm. I personally also consider birds to be omens. Every time in my life that I have had an unusual encounter with a bird, it was followed by an equally unusual event.
The other thing I found interesting in this issue was the references to NSA and their Prism program. I recently read an article in Wired magazine about this and wrote a blog post on the topic (click here to read the post). I actually thought that the way the writers of this comic tied the NSA events into the story worked exceptionally well.
The next issue will conclude the series. Even though it was only moderately interesting, I’ll still buy the copy when it comes out and post my thoughts here. I hate leaving stuff unfinished. It would be like reading a book, getting to the last chapter, and then tossing it aside. Not something I can do. I like closure.
OK, I admit this is pretty goofy, but honestly, I liked it. I guess it’s because I like the TMNT’s. I remember the first time I was introduced to them. I was traveling with a bunch of people to see the Grateful Dead and one of the guys had a copy of a TMNT comic. I read it and thought it was cool and have had a warm spot in my heart for the turtles ever since.
In this issue, the Lone Gunmen track down the turtles because they suspect they are aliens and that their blood is somehow connected to the virus that is beginning to spread. The turtles clarify that they are mutants and not aliens. They refuse to help the Gunmen, except for Leonardo. He sneaks off and meets them clandestinely and offers his assistance.
There is nothing deep or profound in here; it is just fun and entertaining. My brain needs that sometimes. I read for work and I read for personal enrichment, so sometimes I just want to read for fun, and this is perfect for those moments.
When I picked this up from the comic store, they also had the next issue in my folder: The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers. I suppose I’ll read that one now. I’ll share my thoughts on that one next.
So I found this issue to be kind of silly and I have to say that it appears that the rest of the six-part miniseries is heading down that path. That’s kind of disappointing to me, especially since the first installment was really promising. But the truth is, I did not have high expectations. Once I saw that the Lone Gunmen were the main characters, I suspected that it would meander into the realm of the ridiculous.
In this installment, the Gunmen interview the Ghostbusters in an attempt to gather clues regarding the pandemic viral outbreak. The events are as silly as the Ghostbusters film, complete with an ectoplasmic scientifically modified pink ghost. Now don’t get me wrong—I love the Ghostbusters. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the film, and if I was flipping through channels and it was on, I’d watch it again. I just don’t see how a comic that calls itself an X-Files comic can have Ghostbusters but no Mulder or Scully. To me it feels like a marketing ploy.
So what do we have to look forward to in the next couple issues? The Lone Gunmen meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After that, the Lone Gunmen meet the Transformers. It’s true; I can’t make this stuff up. Yeah, I’ll keep reading the series, but only for amusement’s sake. I’m OK with reading for entertainment once in a while.
This is the first issue in a six-part miniseries. The premise is that researchers at CERN, after isolating the Higgs Boson, discovered a new particle: the Higgs Singlet. According to the comic, the Higgs Singlet “is reputedly able to travel into a fifth dimension, cutting through time like a scalpel through flesh.” I did a quick Google search and discovered that the particle exists. There are several articles regarding the Higgs Singlet on physics sites, if you are inclined to learn more about this. Anyway, the story continues with the Lone Gunmen receiving encrypted files from a CERN scientist. As they begin decrypting the files, they discover that the files are articles concerning a pandemic which appears to be caused by a man-made virus. The Gunmen share the information with Mulder and Scully as the first outbreak occurs.
While the Lone Gunmen have always my least favorite thing about the X-Files, I have to confess that this story interests me. I am fascinated by physics, especially as it relates to matters that have often been solely in the realm of the spiritual. A great book in this area is The Holographic Universe. If you are interested in the marriage of science and mysticism, I highly recommend this book. And while I do not consider myself to be a conspiracy freak, I think it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility that a corporation or government might not be actively exploring the genetic manipulation of viruses to be used as biological weapons.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story; just enough to whet the appetite. The artwork is OK, but not spectacular. The writing and storyline certainly makes up for it, though. The good thing is, if you are an X-Fan or merely a conspiracy buff, you can follow this comic without a major commitment. Hey, it’s only six issues, right? If you decide to read them, feel free to share your thoughts. Cheers, and happy reading!