X-Statix is bouncing back into action, and shepherding the long-awaited return of the wild and wooly fan-favorite superheroes is the original creative team of writer Peter Milligan and artists Michael and Laura Allred – who, according to Mike Allred, haven’t even had to shake off any dust for this new chapter.
In July’s Giant-Sized X-Statix #1, a new team will take shape with members both classic – and unexpected. While we’ve got Peter Milligan’s perspective on getting the band back together coming at you later this week, Allred’s mad mind was ripe for the picking following his Twitter reveal of some sketches for the project (seen here).
Is This The Return of X-Statix - With Mirror Girl, Hurt John and Demos? https://t.co/ofqIcueL7R— Michael Allred (@AllredMD) April 11, 2019
Read on to find out what’s ahead for Giant-Sized X-Statix #1 – though the spoiler-averse Allred was keen on keeping plenty of secrets about the over-sized issue’s plot.
Newsarama: Mike, you’re back on X-Statix for this Giant-Sized special alongside Peter Milligan. How does it feel getting back to these characters you co-created?
Michael Allred: The quick answer: Surreal. And incredibly exhilarating. That’s “X-hilerating!"
Saying more, it’s something we’ve talked about, daydreamed about, and tinkered with for a loooong time.
Of course we’ve knocked ideas back and forth over the years, and even run into each other in odd corners of the world, with Spain and France being my strongest and most inspiring memories of how we could play with our creations again.
Nrama: How has it been shaking the dust off drawing this team? Are there characters you’re connecting with differently now?
Allred: No dust ever settled as these characters have been running through our heads nonstop, despite being hidden away from the public.
There’s a natural progression that makes everything that came before feel like an epic preamble.
There are beautiful little seeds that were planted in our original run that are blooming gloriously in a way beyond what I could have hoped.
Nrama: What’s the story in this Giant-Sized special? What is the team up against?
Allred: You know I can’t answer that without making some surly crack about secrecy, right?
If Peter wants to give the skinny, cool. But I’m the kind of fella that wont watch a trailer if I already know I’m going to see the movie. Lotsa surprises here. And I don’t wanna spoil anything. Once I start, my enthusiasm prevents me from corking up again.
So, I’ll just say that folks can relish the return of beloved characters, as well as guarantee new ones to fall in love with. And maybe, just maybe, some blood will be spilt.
Nrama: On that note, there’s a new U-Go Girl on the team. What can you tell us about that?
Allred: Let’s have some fun by suggesting people dig back through the original run for the foreshadowing.
Of course, this special works as a nifty primer too. No one needs to read the original run to pick up where we start here.
I will say she is already one of my all-time favorite characters ever!
Nrama: You and Peter Milligan are back together on this book along with your wife Laura on colors. What’s it like getting the band back together? Has the dynamic changed?
Allred: Not one tiny bit. Peter is one of the very very very best and most creative writers to have ever worked in the biz. He can throw out one idea and it explodes into countless others, so it’s always a thrill brainstorming with him. Every Peter Milligan script is a major event in our lives. “Gather ‘round, Kiddies!”
We’ve actually knocked around more proposals than I can remember in the interim, but our schedules never meshed until now. So we’ve had relatively regular ongoing contact. It’s big fun to have this all come together after germinating since our last issue.
Nrama: What part of X-Statix has been your favorite to revisit? What new aspect are you most excited about?
Allred: It’s mind-boggling how remarkably prescient Peter was with media, celebrity, and what was to come. He nailed it!
I keep chuckling at every opportunity Peter has to say, "I told you so”.
But ultimately I’m most excited about partying with these terrific characters again, and how perfectly the new ones are busting in. Literally.
Nrama: One of the X-Statix characters you helped created, Zeitgeist, had a role in Deadpool 2. What’s it like seeing a character you designed come to life in that context?
Allred: IT’S A BLAST! First off I absolutely totally dig the Deadpool flicks! So as a fan, it’s trippy and gratifying.
And for an ego boost, I’ll admit it’s always a big kick when someone makes an introduction in “polite society” and starts listing my creations and credits. Most often you’ll get polite nods. Then they mention something that appeared on TV or in a movie and eyes start popping out of heads.
Making comic books has always been my top priority despite my detours into movies, TV, and music. There’s no getting around how much brighter, and potentially lucrative, those spotlights are than comics. I just want to do everything I can to make comic books as relevant and eye popping as any other medium.
Nrama: The natural question we have to ask is, what’s the future hold for you and X-Statix?
Allred: I was specifically asked not to say. So let that be my answer. Stir and stew.
Nrama: Bottom line, what’s in store for fans of X-Statix in this Giant-Sized special?
Here's the full solicitation for Giant-Sized X-Statix #1, due out in July:
GIANT-SIZED X-STATIX #1
PETER MILLIGAN (W) • MICHAEL ALLRED (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY AARON KUDER
They’re back and more alive than ever for this special one-shot! But what new threat is so grave that only the most famous mutant celebrities can fight it? And who is the new U-Go-Girl? Only the original X-Statix creative team Peter Milligan, Michael Allred and Laura Allred know for sure!