"Roswell Conspiracies": The Mystery Is Why Haven't I Heard Of It
I picked up Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths & Legends: The Bait a few years ago in the Wal-Mart bargain bin for a dollar. Little of what I’ve bought there has ever been any good, so I had low expectations for this title. If they’re practically giving it away, it must suck, right?
Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths & Legends: The Bait is a fun, action/sci-fi show with an X-Files kind of vibe. I was surprised I hadn’t heard about it when I was a kid, because it was right up my alley. I was probably too busy watching Batman Beyond.
Roswell Conspiracies is about Nick Logan, a bounty hunter who ends up getting involved in The Alliance, a secret government organization his father used to work for, that is dedicated to keeping aliens secret and preventing the more aggressive ones from killing people. Sounds like Men In Black, right? Well, it is similar, but this series takes itself seriously, and the comic relief is actually funny.
Nick is partnered with Alliance agent Sh’lainn Blaze (who also double as a love interest), a white-haired girl with an adorable Scottish accent (voiced beautifully by Janyse Jaud, a.k.a. Sarah from Ed, Edd and Eddy) who can fly, shoot energy beams from her hands, and predict when someone will die. And she’s a banshee. Yeah, that’s another cool thing about this show. Turns out all myths and legends, like werewolves, vampires, yetis, banshees, etc. are all aliens stranded on Earth. It just makes the series that much cooler when you’re familiar with the lore behind the bad guys (although not all aliens are bad). The comic relief is provided by the Nema and Fitz, who make up the Detail Unit. Their job is to lie to people, pretty much. Fitz just comes up with some absolutely implausible, far-fetched story to cover up alien activity and Nema helps him sell it. And it actually comes off as funny. Another cool factor set up early on is that The Alliance treats everyone, even Nick, as expendable. This makes James Rinaker, the head of The Alliance, a kind of villain; not in the traditional sense, but in the sense that he lies to Nick numerous times and tries to have him killed when he thinks it’s in the best interest of The Alliance. And Rinaker is awesome.
Oh, sure, there are a few problems with Roswell Conspiracies, but no show is perfect. When Nick first discovers that aliens exist, he seems to take it in stride, much like Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: First Flight. You can rationalize it, saying that he was unknowingly trained to fight aliens when he was a young boy, but that only explains why he can fight them, not why he shows no surprise when he comes across them for the first time. Still, assuming you can let that bit go, the rest of the series is really entertaining.
Judging by the first five episodes, the writing is mostly solid, and the characters come off as real people (or as real aliens); the comic relief is comic; and the show never talks down to its audience. The animation has a stylized, almost anime-like feel to it at times that is fluid and as well done as any action show of the time. If only a quarter of the animated series out now had this level of quality.
The only really depressing thing is that it is far better than the likes of Ben10 and Generator Rex, yet it’s sitting in the bargain bin while shows like The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin get their own season sets. That’s just not right. Why it never became a hit, I don’t know. Maybe it came out at a time when there were lots of better shows on the air. Maybe it just wasn’t advertised enough. But I wish I had heard of it when it came out.