It’s official: X-Statix is back with a Giant-Size special from none other than original creative team of writer Peter Milligan and artists Michael and Laura Allred.
Originally launched as a wild new iteration of X-Force, the soon-renamed X-Statix revolved around a group of quirky mutant superheroes who were also reality TV stars.
Newsarama spoke with Mike Allred about the one-shot earlier this week, and now with familiar faces and new teammates coming together in this new story – the team’s first starring tale since 2004 - Newsarama turned to Milligan ahead of Giant-Sized X-Statix’s July release to get the skinny on X-Statix’s long-awaited return.
Newsarama: Peter, fans have been asking about when X-Statix would come back pretty much since the last time we saw them. What led to this long-awaited return?
Peter Milligan: It’s true, I’ve had many fans saying they’d like to see more X-Statix. And over the years Mike and I have spoken and emailed about it. I even began working on a new idea a few years back but got diverted. For a team whose original leader (albeit when it was called X-Force) was called Zeitgeist, I think “zeitgeist” is what it all finally comes down to. The time felt right. Maybe this had something to do with Zeitgeist appearing in Deadpool 2, but the germs of this idea were already festering by then.
Nrama: Who are the players in this chapter of X-Statix?
Milligan: One of the really interesting things about returning to this book is the idea that they’re all older. So when Guy (Mr. Sensitive), Myles (Vivisector) and Dead Girl discover that something’s going down that’s going to need the inimitable attention of X-Statix, the first thing they do is go about adding to their team.
No, the first thing they do is call their agents, but after that, they have to build up the team.
And this is a lot of fun because some of the old members of X-Statix - Tike Alicar, Edie (U-Go Girl) Sawyer, even Phat - they had children. Remarkable children. Old enough to join a superhero team. And it’s to some of these that X-Statix turn.
Nrama: And the logical next question, what are they up against?
Milligan: I have been threatened with the Marvel equivalent of strappado, favored torture of the Spanish Inquisition, if I divulge too much about this - so you’ll forgive me if I’m a bit reticent. Suffice to say it’s enough to have Edie Sawyer not just turning into her grave but crawling out of her grave and warning her daughter, Katie.
Nrama: What can you tell us about this new U-Go Girl mentioned in the solicitation?
Milligan: Of course, there can never be another U-Go Girl. But the young woman who could potentially take Edie Sawyer’s place as X-Statix’s teleporter is her daughter, Katie. When we first meet Katie she is a normal high school kid - normal, except that her mom was once in a superhero team. Normal except she wakes up in the middle of the night and finds herself in a graveyard, being spoken to by Dead Girl. Katie represents everyone who tried to escape from her past, only to see that past catching her up in the rearview mirror.
Nrama: Michael and Laura Allred are also back for this Giant-Sized X-Statix special. What’s it like getting back together with them on this?
Milligan: It’s fantastic. When I first started seeing Mike and Laura’s art for this story it was actually quite emotional. The characters and the “feel” seemed both true to the past yet also so incredibly fresh and new. I am continually amazed by their talent.
Nrama: An X-Statix character made it to the big screen this year with Zeitgeist playing a role in Deadpool 2. Did you get to experience seeing the character you co-created come to life?
Milligan: I’ve seen the film, if that’s what you mean. And it was amusing, seeing this iteration of our character.
Nrama: What’s next for X-Statix, and for you?
Milligan: Let’s get this new X-Statix story out. And then we - and the world - will understand. As for me, I have a number of very exciting projects coming up … but now’s not really the time to talk about that.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can fans of X-Statix expect from this Giant-Sized special?
Milligan: Everything they loved about the original X-Statix and more. Which is to say, a postmodern toboggan ride through our celebrity-obsessed society cut through with pathos, humor and costumes that are tight in all the right places. And a surprising new antagonist.