X-Files comic books — in the ’90s, four color tales of Agents Scully and Mulder heated up the comics charts and nabbed scores of cash on the back issue market before the comics industry and publisher, Topps, took a turn for the worse…along with the whole “X-Files” franchise. Now in November, DC’s Wildstorm imprint looks to reignite the series’ comic popularity with a miniseries featuring something the ’90s comics never had: a direct tie to the show’s overarching mythos.
“They are connected with a part of the mythology that we introduced but did very little with at the beginning of season five,” said writer Frank Spotnitz, a longtime scribe for the series and co-writer of July’s “I Want To Believe” film. “We introduced this corporation Roush and so that was part of the mythology that we could have gone a lot deeper with but never got the chance. So the next two books connect with Roush. And I’m going to take a little break from writing comics after this and get back to my screenwriting career, but at some point I hope to get back to write more and do more with the mythology.”
But while Spotnitz’s direct exploration of the show’s most successful period will only last a few months, the series will continue for five issues after that, presenting new stories of Scully and Mulder in classic form mixing it up with FBI Deputy Director Skinner, conspiracy nuts The Lone Gunman and the villainous Cigarette Smoking Man, all of whom appear in upcoming issues.
“It’s just fun to play with again,” he explained. “This is kind of an interesting thing about the comic books – in my imagination anyway – [it's] that they’re sort of ‘out of time.’ The situation is the situation that we found between seasons two and five of the series. And yet, they’re wearing clothes and using technology that is contemporary of today. It’s not like they’re period pieces. It’s sort of like they’re unstuck from time. I look at them as if that situation in ‘The X-Files’ were still going on today; a sort of parallel universe to the one that we have in the movie.”
With that last movie underperforming at the box office this summer, long time X-Philes will be glad to know that the creator’s plans for future comics series will continue to play in the show’s glory years with new stories focusing on various mythological elements not fully developed in the show. And if Spotnitz has his way, those tales will be penned by both past “X-Files” writers as well as some of his big name comic writing pals, including Brad Meltzer and Brian K Vaughan.
“We have some writers from the TV series who have expressed interest like John Shiban and David Amann, but they all have busy television careers. But in the meantime I’d love to see some other established comic book writers try their hand at the ‘X-Files.’ And that’s what’s great about comic book series is you’re a lot freer to explore and experiment and do things that are out there.”
And if readers get behind the expanded in-continuity comics treatment “X-Files” is getting, Spotnitz doesn’t rule out more series based on his friend Chris Carter’s universe of TV series. “I think it’s a great idea; I still love all those titles. Every single show we did with Chris at 1013 I have great affection for. Especially ‘Harsh Realm’ and ‘Lone Gunman’ I think ended before their time. And I have to tell you, everywhere I go people are always asking me if there’s going to be a ‘Millennium’ movie or something, so I suspect there’s a hardcore audience out there that’s still wanting it.”