Doop was the surprise breakout star of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's seminal 2001 run, a mysterious green blob of a background player that didn't appear to do much other than look funny.As Doop grew in popularity, gradually more became revealed about the character in the follow-up series , though his inscrutable nature — and language persisted. Over the years, Doop had mostly disappeared from sight in the Marvel Universe, until Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo brought him back as a faculty member of the Jean Grey School in last fall's Wolverine and the X-Men #1. Doop hadn't gotten much of the spotlight in the series thus far, especially with dominating recent events — but that changes this week with Wolverine and the X-Men #17, a one-issue story featuring Doop (playing on his established history with Wolverine) and guest art from Allred, the character's co-creator. Newsarama talked with Allred for more on the story, and his upcoming run on the November-debuting Marvel NOW! series . Newsarama: Mike, it's safe to say that Doop — and your X-Force/X-Statix run with Peter Milligan in general — is one of the most iconic contributions to Marvel. What was it like returning to the character for an entire issue?
Mike Allred: I'm on a high. I'm so loopy with giddy happiness that you'll be nauseous by the time you're done talking to me.
It's a huge thrill! It was talked about so long that I built up an incredible amount of enthusiasm for it. Then I met up with Jason in Denver. Then Nick Lowe in San Diego, and a few weeks later there was this incredible four-star script delivered to me.
Nrama: Has your artistic perspective on Doop changed at all over the years?
Allred: Not one tiny bit. Doop is Doop. He's very consistent in his ambiguousness.
Nrama: Wolverine and the X-Men #17 revisits the established history between Wolverine and Doop. Obviously, that's a fun relationship — what do you think makes them a good pair?
Allred: Loyalty. My favorite human (or mutant) quality. I put loyalty above everything, and they have it to the max.
Nrama: The issue is also your first time working with Jason Aaron. How did the collaboration go, and what unique insights did he have on Doop's character?
Allred: It was invigorating! When we talked in Denver I was jazzed to see how into it he was. He is totally locked in. One of my very favorite scripts ever.
Nrama: Jason's been using Doop in Wolverine and the X-Men since the book's first issue last year. How heartening is to see the character still in rotation more than 10 years after he was introduced?
Allred: It's incredibly satisfying.
Nrama: Did you always suspect he might have long-term potential?
Allred: Not at all. In fact when I turned in my original sheet of X-Force character doodles, he was the one character Axel [Alonso] rejected. But then he called back to tell me he was rethinking it. That there might be something special there.
I had simply drawn Doop as he appears today with the word balloon "Doop" over his head. Axel told be that he had pinned up the sheet of doodles in the hallways of Marvel and that folks were running up and down the halls yelling "Doop!" He joined the cast and soon become the runaway star of X-Statix.
Nrama: Between this, your recent Daredevil issue, and your upcoming ongoing run on FF, you're clearly a busy guy at Marvel. Why is now the right time in your career to concentrate on work-for-hire superhero comics, and why is Marvel the right place?
Allred: It's no secret how much I love and am inspired by the creations of Kirby, Lee, Ditko, Romita, Steranko, Windsor-Smith, etc. The Marvel Bullpen has always been my idea of "Comic Book Shangri-la". I've been wanting to work long-time with my fellow Oregonian, Matt Fraction, for some time now… And with a series launch that will eventually include virtually all of my all-time favorite Marvel characters. It just felt right in every way possible.
Then if I didn't already feel like I was the luckiest comic book geek on the planet, I'm invited to work with Mark Waid on his red-hot Daredevil run and Jason Aaron rocking the X-Men world with old pals Doop and Wolverine! And both of those stories are so incredibly moving too! Big heart tuggers. I can't figure out what I've done to deserve so much creative pleasure and good fortune.
Doesn't hurt that my ol' X-Force/X-Statix editor, Axel Alonso, is now Marvel's editor-in-chief. Friends in high places, right? Maybe now would be a good time to ask for a raise.
Seriously, Laura and I keep looking at each other saying, "This is the best year ever, right?" All of our friends and family seem to be doing very well, the comic book art form appears to be enjoying a new golden age, my creator-owned work has been incredibly satisfying, and I've been working with the best in the biz on my all-time faves. It's like a big beautiful Karma check got cashed in or sumpin'.
Nrama: And speaking of FF, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask about it; the fact that you and Matt Fraction are on that book has got a lot of people excited.
Allred: And with the legendary Tom Brevoort as our editor! Again, Comic Book Nirvana!
Do you hate me yet?
Nrama: Are the costume designs for the main cast all yours?
Allred: Yup! All stones, or preferably flowers and/or cash can be thrown at yours truly for that. I also did the logo just for fun and then Tom told me that's what we were going with. That it had a "garage rock" quality that fit the tone of the book.
Nrama: Matt stated in an interview with us that a lot of classic Fantastic Four villains are going to be showing up — how fun has it been to explore those characters?
Allred: I can't even talk about this anymore. I'm too blissed out. I'm just gonna run with scissors in the House of Ideas 'til I'm told playtime is over. I am exactly where I want to be.More from Newsarama:
- What We Learned From MARVEL's December 2012 Solicitations
- Matt Fraction on FANTASTIC FOUR's Voyage and FF's Mission
- Exclusive: Brian Bendis on the Marvel NOW! ALL-NEW X-MEN