Racing against the further spread of the mystery illness unveiled in part 1, The Lone Gunmen start this issue wading through human excrement as they try to hunt down humanoid-turtle-aliens. What they don’t realise is that they’re not dealing with aliens.
This part took a long while to get going. While the Turtles are notorious for staying low when they need to, I don’t feel it was dramatically appropriate for the LG to take as long as they did in tracking them down. Watching characters play needle in a haystack can get a bit boring when you know the story involving the Turtles directly needs to wrap in one issue. But it’s also a real issue of the characters of Frohike, Byers and Langly not, seemingly, being understood by writer Ed Brisson. The guys are really good at finding people and things, and not by chance, which is what eventually happens.
Admittedly, a fight sequence does break things up for a bit, but it takes a really long time to get there. Michael Walsh is back in this issue offeirng up pencils. His sure lines makes for some simple but elegant interpretation of the Turtles’ designs and also makes for a flashy fight sequence. But it’s not helped by the off pacing.
In comparison to the Ghostbusters (previous issue) , the Turtles and their characters aren’t as well known, certainly for an X-Files audience. It would have been nice to have spent a bit more time focusing on them. Though their initial reaction to meeting the LG is priceless and one of the best moments in the comic, the Turtles huffily explain that they’re not aliens, but rather mutants instead.
But what is a treat for X-Files fans is the return of a certain group of characters from season five of the TV series. I’d always wondered where they’d gotten to and now I know.
If you want to see the Conspiracy story through to the end – then this is worth reading. But I do feel that the emphasis of this issue was put in the wrong place and forced it to feel stilted rather than engaging. I would have really appreciated a bit more face time with the Turtles, even it had had just been a few more roundhouse kicks here and there.
The X-Files: Conspiracy #3 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is out now. The writer bought their own issue of the comic.