X-Files Conspiracy (IDW 2014 license cross-over)

Ancillary, non-main-line stuff. Star Wars TF, Speed Stars, Titanium Series, Robot Heroes, that sort of thing. They're kinda neat, but we all know they're not really that important. Admit it, you know it's true.
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X-Files Conspiracy (IDW 2014 license cross-over)

Post by Dominic »

X-Files Conspiracy (Transformers):
Given that "Transformers" is arguably the more high-profile license that IDW has, it makes sense that IDW consistently includes TFs in their annual license cross-over events.

And, this year marks a milestone for TFs as part of those cross-overs....the comic is actually good. It is not great. It is not going to be relevant after "Conspiracy" ends. But..... it is good enough to read.

The main story of "Conspiracy" is that the Lone Gunmen (from X-Files) have discovered some kind of plot to splice human and alien DNA. Things have gone wrong, and the clock is ticking (either literally or metaphorically, I dunno) until disaster strikes. While investigating and trying to disrupt the plot, the Gunmen cross paths with the Ghost Busters, Doctor Who, the Crow, the Ninja Turtles and (of course) Transformers.

For the purpose of "Transformers", "Conspiracy" is set in the "Hearts of Steel" timeline (specifically referencing the events of 2012's "Infestation 2"). Prime and Bumblebee visually evoke "Prime". But, this story assumes that their physical forms to be exceptionally mutable so this is hardly binding for the purposes of future comics.

Optimus and Bumblebee are searching for leads about Ratchet (who was apparently kidnapped before the issue began) and it turns out that their quest intersects with that of the Lone Gunmen. Predictably, Ratchet is rescued and the Gunmen gain more information about the titular conspiracy.

Paul Crilley (the head writer on "Conspiracy" as a project) wrote this issue. There is a throw-away line meant to account for why the Gunmen are likely to stay quiet about Optimus and BB. The Gunmen themselves are still processing the things they have seen and are assuming that nobody (including the generally credulous Mulder) would believe them. Crilley also has Optimus and BB refer to themselves as being "Cybertronian", rather than as "Autobots" which leads me to wonder if there are any Decepticons left in the "Hearts of Steel" timeline.

Dheeraj Verma's art is more stylistic than one might expect of either property. But, it nicely fits the tone of this issues. It is best described as "Ramondelli-lite". (Ramondelli excells at backgrounds, landscapes and distance shots. But, he tends to be weak when drawing individual characters, particularly those with established control art.) Verma's characters are identifiable. And, he manages to convey a sense of movement when Cybertronians are transforming. (Optimus's transformation visually implies that much of the process involves parts moving out of each others way and then back in to place, rather than massive shifts of mass. It combines and economizes bayforming with more traditional depictions of mode-changing.)

"Conspiracy" is definitely an "X-Files" series more than it is "X-Files meets.....". The original and "Infestation" series assumed cross-dimensional threats that would invade a given book and then be driven out. The chapters were fundamentally self-contained (even to the point of being contrary in places) or they were clearly unrelated one-shots (as with "Mars Attacks" in 2013).

If the TF issue is anything to go by, "Conspiracy" reads like an "X-Files" arc where some secondary characters blunder across things that are too bizzare even for them to fully buy into.

I am not going to go back and buy the earlier chapters (which may have sold out by now). But, I might look in to getting the compilation when it is all over.

Grade: B

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Re: X-Files Conspiracy (IDW 2014 license cross-over)

Post by Onslaught Six »

It always seems like it's TF that gets the blatantly not-going-to-work end of the stick with these things. I mean, Ghostbusters will work with pretty much anything. (I would actually read a TF/Ghostbusters crossover. Make it happen, IDW!)
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Re: X-Files Conspiracy (IDW 2014 license cross-over)

Post by JediTricks »

Can it be dull surprise if every scene of Bumblebee looks like he's an inflatable sex doll with wide-open eyes and mouth?

This was a very short, boring story that tried to be so much more than it was. The story overreached its abilities by leaps and bounds. Having the Lone Gunmen just find and accept the Autobots was pain.

Also, Dom, the designs used in this book are IDW ongoing, not Prime. Bumblebee is clearly rocking his 2013 toy's body while Optimus has a mild variation on the comic body shape with the Prime sword sticking out his hand.
See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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