Review: The X-Files: Conspiracy: The Crow
Bernard is a decorated state policeman in love with his partner. But their romance is brutally cut short when both die following a high-speed pursuit and fiery car crash involving the Lone Gunmen. Bernard inexplicably awakens to find himself resurrected by an otherworldly crow and with only one thing on his mind: vengeance.
The conspiracy continues this week in The X-Files: Conspiracy: The Crow. This serves as the fifth part of the six-part event. The story is written by Denton J. Tipton with art by Vic Malhotra. Matheus Lopes handles colors with Shawn Lee tackling lettering. The Lone Gunmen have crossed paths with several unlikely allies the past few months, but how do things go when they run into The Crow?
Way back in the first Conspiracy story we saw two cops run off the road by the two mysterious agents in black suits that were chasing the Lone Gunmen. Those two cops had a story to tell and this issue is all about what happened after their cruiser crashed. Officers Bernard and Robin were partners and lovers. They had been carrying on a relationship even though Robin is married and partners shouldn’t be romantically involved. Robin had just told her husband she was leaving and she and Bernie were going to be together. Then they crashed. Both of them died, but Bernie had some unfinished business. Officer Bernard became the crow to get some vengeance, but is he going after the Lone Gunmen or the mysterious figures in black suits? Will the Lone Gunmen’s journey end before they’ve put the final few pieces of the puzzle together?
Tipton writes a fast-paced issue. Introducing a new Crow is a hard task in and of itself, but to do it in 22 pages in a tie-in story is even more challenging. Tipton does an admirable job, but it ends up feeling just a bit too rushed. The set-up almost falls into cliché territory as we get some quick points to show why Bernard is a spirit of vengeance we should care about. The Lone Gunmen largely take a backseat and when they are brought in it’s to do little more than spout some dialogue and crack a joke or two. Malhotra’s art is solid and delivers on the action and thrill. The artist brings in a lot of his skills that I loved so much in his other IDW work, Thumbprint. It’s in a similar vein to David Aja and it works really well with The Crow and presents some interesting choices for the Lone Gunmen themselves. Malhotra’s art gets another big bump from Lopes’ colors. Things look very grounded and some brilliant oranges seem to be a recurring theme.
Bottom Line: This is a story with a lot of promise, but it doesn’t quite click as a tie-in to the Lone Gunmen Conspiracy story. There’s only one issue left, but there’s not a huge carryover from here to the finale. Tipton and Malhotra have a good two or three issue story, but unfortunately they had to cram it all into one. 2.5/5
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