It’s the penultimate issue before the Lone Gunmen discover whether they can really save the world. With the nature of this particular conspiracy already hinted at in the “Ghostbusters” issue, we know that The Crow will be encountered in some form or other.
Time to be avenged
Those familiar with The Crow mythology would know that someone was going to have to die and have some unfinished business – avenging – that they really needed to take care of. And such is the case here, but what Denton J. Tipton actually does here that makes things a little more interesting is that he makes the individual who is aided by The Crow/becoming The Crow someone who is a bystander in the events affecting the Lone Gunmen.
Unfortunately, in the short space of one issue, with characters needing to be quickly introduced and a female character to be fridged very promptly, there’s not much room for storytelling niceties. There was no real build up to bullets starting to fly and the avenging spirit had little time to actually be shown hunting down the persons that caused his death. And we saw very little of The Crow in action. Everything felt a bit sparse in this incredibly short story, which is weird when you consider how condensed it is as well. There were a lot of unnecessary scenes and it felt like the wrong aspects of the story and characters were emphasised.
I was quite disappointed that the person who is granted the power of The Crow was male, considering that there’s hardly been any female characters in the Conspiracy series so far. Tipton didn’t have to make The Crow male. There were equal levels of passion in the relationship we glimpse at the beginning of the issue that it could have been the female side of the relationship that was reanimated instead. In fact, the drive for The Crow in the issue is pretty standard at this point and felt far too run-of-the-mill.
The Lone Gunmen also weren’t as in awe of The Crow as they had been of the other entities that they’d encountered over the course of the series. As I already said: the comic felt sparse, but I now think that this was because very little page space was devoted to allowing characters to have some reaction space and generally be characterised. The set-up for this Crow’s backstory was done completely through dialogue and so looked really lazy. The art wasn’t given enough of a chance to speak for the characters involved.
Frustratingly, this was the issue I was looking forward to the most, being a fan of The Crow, but it has turned out to be the most disappointing. It didn’t feel like it added much to what we already knew about the characters involved and I was quite underwhelmed by it all. The story is lazy and seems almost pointless in face of the following issue clearly needing to tie-up a lot in this story arc. There’s not much point in reading it.
The X-Files: Conspiracy Part 5 “The Crow” is out now. Our reviewer bought their own copy.