After crossing through numerous big name franchises licensed to IDW, the Lone Gunmen have what they hope will be the right stuff/information to stop doomsday virus from being unleashed on the world. Will they get the job done in time…and is it good?
X-Files: Conspiracy #2 (IDW Publishing)
The Gunmen arrive back at the CDC, where they learn that a full quarantine is about to go into effect. They hand over the blood/genetic sampling from the Ninja Turtles and Transformers to Scully, who begins to work on a cure/vaccine for the rapidly spreading virus.
There’s a joke to be found somewhere in here involving Frohike, Scully, and spreading pants, but I’ll leave it alone.
Meanwhile, Mulder breaks into an abandoned warehouse, where (SURPRISE!) he finds the hidden laboratory where the virus was creating. After holding an unsuspecting scientist at gunpoint, another emerges with two “shocking” revelations:
- The virus was manufactured specifically to wipe out humanity (rather than its original purpose of making everyone smell like flowers).
- The “person” behind the virus is actually an alien (DUN DUN DUN!).
“Wait…so my lab partner’s haircut isn’t the douchiest thing about him?”
The evil alien then calls upon its supreme power of firing a gun in an attempt to kill Mulder. Fortunately for our hero, the other scientist realizes that his partner is evil (because making a virus like this wasn’t a huge clue in the first place) and drives in front of him to take the bullet.
Mulder then chases after the alien, determined to stop the creature from unleashing a much larger batch of the virus in the most predictable manner possible. Back at the CDC, the Gunmen learn that a bomb is about to blow up the building. The trio bravely takes on the task of finding and diffusing the explosive, bantering the entire time in a manner that is equal part hilarious and cringe-inducing.
As the story comes to what feels like a disappointing conclusion, however, writer Paul Crilley pulls an incredibly effective and chilling ending, salvaging much of the issue along with the series.
Is It Good?
Until the last few pages, this one was all over the place. The story, humor, and artwork all had moments that were both brilliantly executed and painfully flat. The ending, however, is one that will stick with you long after the book has been put down. If you’ve been reading the whole series up to this point, the payoff at the end makes slugging through the issue’s weaker aspects totally worth it.