It's not every day you stumble across transforming alien robots, sewer-dwelling mutant ninja turtles, ghost hunters and conspiracy theorists trying to track them down amid a nationwide contagion.
Unless it's in the pages of IDW Publishing's "X-Files: Conspiracy," a sprawling six-part story that sees the Lone Gunmen trio attempting to blow wide open rumors of Transformers, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- among others -- to a public that has been kept in the dark.
Writer Paul Crilley, who is writing the John Stanisci-illustrated crossover with covers by Miran Kim, said the intrigue begins with a WikiLeaks file in the Lone Gunmen's email while, at the same time, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are investigating a rapidly spreading contagion.
The six-issue event launches Wednesday with "X-Files: Conspiracy" No. 1 and includes four issues that focus on the Ghostbusters, The Crow, Transformers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before concluding with "X-Files: Conspiracy" No. 2.
"A mysterious WikiLeaks file appears in (Richard) Langly's inbox, and, as the Lone Gunmen start to decode them, they realize the files are about events that haven't actually happened yet," Crilley said without divulging too much of the plot in a bid to avoid any spoilers.
"At the same Mulder and Scully are busy trying to trace the origin of a lethal contagion that is spreading through the U.S.," he said. "The Lone Gunmen realize their WikiLeaks files might be related to this contagion and trying to solve this mystery is what brings them into contact with the other properties."
It's one of the elements that helps tie the story together, said Erik Burnham, who writes IDW's "Ghostbusters" title.
"When the characters have voices as clear and as strong as the Ghostbusters or the Lone Gunmen, it's not hard to imagine how they'd react when something weird is put in front of them. That makes translation a pretty easy trick, and leaves the pure fun of imagining weird things to present to the characters."
That, said IDW editor Denton J. Tipton, helped propel the San Diego-based publisher's latest crossover.
"Everything fit together with the tone and story logic, so it fell into place nicely," he said.
"For each of the past five years, IDW has published a comic event that crosses over various franchises," Tipton said. "Given the great success of 'The X-Files: Season 10' (ongoing comic series) and how that world could easily segue into others, it was a no-brainer."
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