Hold onto your butts, fellow children of the 90’s: The X-Files and The Crow are about to cross over! As IDW’s ‘Conspiracy’ event gets close to the end, the Lone Gunmen dive into a world of restless souls and really bad cosplay. Is it good?
The X-Files Conspiracy: The Crow #1 (IDW Publishing)
The issue opens with two police officers, Bernie and Robin, driving along while discussing the extra-marital affair they’re having. Just as the two decide to make their relationship official, however, a VW van crashes into the back of their cruiser.
“Stupid hippies and their left lane shenanigans!”
The two lovebird lawpersons are actually the police from the crossover event’s opening issue that got blasted off the road by Sky Logic’s goons. This time, the flashback lingers back to show the pair’s heartbreaking fate: Robin reveals that she’s pregnant with Bernie’s child before succumbing to her injuries. Bernie on the other hand, gets capped in the face.
“Oh…I just thought you’d been packing on weight…”
Later on at the neighborhood crematorium, Bernie wakes up to discover that he’s on fire. Understandably, he decides that it’s time to call it a day and rushes home. Bernie’s day gets a whole lot worse, however, when he discovers that he’s been gone for four days, a crow is talking to him, and the gaping bullet wound from his roadside encounter is still present in on his undead body.
Meanwhile, The Lone Gunmen are still looking for clues on how to stop the impending viral disaster while also on the run from Sky Logic. Sure enough, both Bernie and his murderers end up in the same hotel room as our intrepid trio, where a clumsy shoot out, a couple of bad puns, and a very strange resolution all come together.
Is It Good?
You know what was missing from the recap up there (besides a better writer)? The story had decent atmosphere, a nice dose of dark humor, and a neat tie-in to a couple of the previous issues. Unfortunately, it did absolutely nothing to move the plot forward.
I guess it could be argued that the Sky Logic hit squad getting ‘taken care of’ counts as a form of story progression. But in all of the other previous issues (including the ones I didn’t like that much), there was some type of surprisingly plausible explanation for why the Lone Gunmen were encountering and interacting with the other IDW franchises.
In this one, however, the story just feels like an excuse to throw The Crow as part of the event. We also don’t really get to know Bernie well enough to feel the appropriate amount of sympathy that his quest for revenge should requirs. I know that sounds a little harsh to say about a guy who just lost his girlfriend and unborn son, but The Crow is all about the struggle and heartache of the spirit’s quest to right the wrongs perpetrated against it. This just feels like well packaged and relatively shallow attempt at creating synergy.
And speaking of the packaging, my only complaint about the book’s look is a bit of an odd one. Maybe it was just my copy, but the lettering attributed to the crow’s words was often incredibly hard to read. Otherwise, though, the artwork by Vic Malhotra is very nice.
This isn’t a bad issue overall. In fact, it was mildly enjoyable. But unless you’re a really big fan of The Crow, you won’t be missing much of the overall story by not picking it up.