Seeing as Ghostbusters is my favorite theatrical film of all time and that I love The X-Files more than any other television series to hit the boob tube, you can imagine my reaction when I heard IDW would be creating a crossover blending the worlds of my two most beloved properties to ever grace pop culture. Let’s just say, there may have been an incident that included a victory dance, a vat of honey, a car battery, motor oil, cranberry juice, a banana, streaking across a major interstate on-ramp, and a call to local law enforcement.
But, enough about my typical Saturday night, you all obviously want to hear about one of the most ambitious franchise mash-ups to ever be attempted since the last time IDW tried this a few years back with their Infestation mini-series.
First, let’s start with the good, shall we? The art in The X-Files Conspiracy – Ghostbusters issue is top notch. Salvador Navarro delivers some of the best visuals from the comic universe of The X-Files thus far. The accuracy and detail within the Lone Gunman alone is a visual treat. The world of the Ghostbusters’ firehouse, where virtually all of this story takes place, is also brought to life by Navarro. The paranormal exterminators themselves seem to be younger, more in shape versions of their original film counterparts, but it doesn’t take rocket science to tell who is who.
That provides a nice segue for another positive attribute of the book, which was the personalities of the ‘busters. The writing and humor seemed fairly spot on as far as capturing the individual traits that made the foursome such a likeable bunch in the first place. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of their X-Files counterparts.
I’m not sure if it was just me, or did the Lone Gunman channel the cynicism of Dana Scully? From beginning to end, the three oddball hackers played the role of skeptics to the notion of paranormal activity. What’s more, they even seemed to play the role of three little Walter Pecks running around and causing havoc in the GB HQ, with Byers coincidentally even looking the part. There was even some dialogue with the Gunman where it seemed they were actually defending the EPA villain. Huh?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Lone Gunman supposed to be the underground secret hacking group that is so anti-government they would welcome borderline anarchy? In the TV series, what these guys believe even makes Mulder’s head spin, if that’s possible. While I understand that in order to bring all of these unique properties together, some liberties need to be taken (as well as an extremely healthy imagination), but to completely change the core makeup of the main players so drastically did more harm than good. Maybe it’s just me, but I think having the Gunman investigate these cases with the wide-eyed intrigue that one might assume they approach such tales with would help bring these worlds together. I may be the “Lone Gunman” on this one and your mileage may vary, but everything about the hackers’ attitudes just seemed off.
Regrettably, the Ghostbusters chapter of the story is all but done, as this was merely a one-shot in the six-part series. My hope is that there is some sort of cameo in the final issue with the boys in grey as the entire story comes full circle, and it is an intriguing one at that. Until then, however, I will just have to settle for the beautiful artwork adorning all of the variant covers of this episode, for which I had to take a second mortgage to collect the whole set.
All that being said, I still having nothing but sincere appreciation for IDW and their success in bringing both The X-Files and Ghostbusters title logos onto one product right next to each other. The site of that alone was more than enough to warrant the purchase of every cover to this chapter, regardless if I end up reading them from my new residence that is the curbside of my local comic book shop.