Marvel's "Battle of the Atom" crossover hit all corners of the X-Men books, but there were a few characters the series didn't catch up with -- including everyone's favorite green mutant blob, Doop. Originally a member of X-Statix, Doop now serves as a professor at the Jean Grey School -- and the "All-New Doop" miniseries by Doop co-creator Peter Milligan and artist David Lafuente serves as a primer to what he was up to during the time-spanning events of "Battle of the Atom."
To get a better idea of Doop's shenanigans during "All-New Doop," Peter Milligan joined X-Position to discuss his plans for the series, including the draw of coming back to the character, Doop's crush on Kitty Pryde and whether or not some of Doop's old teammates from X-Statix might make an appearance.
mr_infinite kicks off this week's X-Po with some quick questions about the draw of Doop as a character.
I'm a huge fan of your work with Doop in "X-Force"/"X-Statix". What was the draw for you in coming back to write him again?
Hi, mr_infinite. The truth is, I always found Doop a fascinating character. But he was usually a background or periphery type. He was weird, he was sometimes light relief. But I always thought there was more to him, other unseen aspects. This story is my opportunity to explore some of the unseen and lesser known contours of Doop.
Though he's appeared in a lot of comics since, I always felt Doop was at his strongest when paired with the other X-Statix members. How do you think writing him is different when they're not around?
The key thing is, now he's not in the team, now he's relieved of all the terrible responsibilities he had as a team member (documentary making, absurdist commentary), he's freed up to be himself, and to go for what he wants out of life. Which in the case of "All-New Doop" happens to be Kitty Pryde.
Timothy is up next with a question about the unseen parts of "Battle of the Atom."
What other parts of "Battle of the Atom" will we see that we didn't get to see before?
Hello, Timothy. Excellent question, because one of the things that excites me about this story is the opportunity to show all the aspects of "Battle of the Atom" that didn't make it onto the page. Indeed, one might say that it's impossible to fully know or appreciate what went on in "Battle of the Atom" until you've read "All-New Doop."
The bottom line is Doop probably feels that most of the really key events of "Battle of the Atom" came about through his intervention. We'll see what really happens when young Scott and Jean escape from the X-Men and how close they came to disaster. And one of the things I really wanted to see more of was Kitty and Iceman/Bobby Drake. Why did they really split up? What do they really think about each other now? All will be revealed.
cora reef wants to know more about Doop's newfound ability to speak English.
Dear Mr. Milligan, one of the biggest parts of Doop's character is that he only speaks Doopspeak. Why have him speak English at the end of "All-New Doop" #1?
Hi, Cora. Doop will still speak Doopseak, when he has to or wants to. But I want to see Doop grow a bit in this story, emotionally and linguistically. Though to the outside world Doop might appear as a pretty absurd, crazy character in his own mind he is a supreme pragmatist, and the truth is to get what he desires he knows that he is going to have to be understood a little better.
The last time you wrote the character for any extended period of time was with Mike Allred on art. What do you like about David Lafuente's art that keeps the spirit of the character?
Obviously, Mike is incomparable. But what I love about David's work is that he isn't trying to be a second rate Alllred. He's bringing his own flavor and style to the character, and it's an amazing flavor and style. It's different from Mike but I believe completely keeps the spirit of Doop and Doop's strange marginal world.
Peter wants to know more about Doop's crush on Kitty.
The Kitty/Doop pairing seems a little odd to me. What was the draw of giving Doop a crush on Kitty?
Hi, Peter (love the name, by the way). Yes, the pairing is a little odd. Which is exactly why I chose it, Doop being nothing if not the bold cartographer of odd landscapes.
Kitty seems to be a pretty serious-minded character, a character who wants to be in control (at least that's how I read her). So I loved the idea of this kind of person finding themselves the object of a strange being like Doop's affection. And as for Doop, I knew I wanted him to fall in love with one of the X-Men (I toyed with Wolverine but figured they were probably "friend-zoned" so couldn't be romantically linked). Kitty seemed a real mountain to climb. And I always thought there was something attractive and interesting about her. And as Doop is an extension of one part of me, he thinks she's attractive and interesting too.
What do you think of the work done with the character since you stopped writing him?
I think it's mixed bag, probably. There have been some very good stories and I really like the continued and growing relationship with Logan. That works for me.
Kim is up next, and wants to know more about the motivation/goals for both "X-Statix" and "All-New Doop"
"X-Statix" was such a fun, different book when it came out! Was that one of the original goals of the series? What about for "All-New Doop," what are some of your goals for the series?
Hullo, Kim. I very much wanted "X-Statix" to be a new fresh take on the entire X-Men mythos.
There are a number of goals for "All-New Doop." One was to get to know more of Doop and his world. Doop lives mostly in the margins and I wanted to explore that concept. I've always been interested in what happens just before a scene begins, and what's going to happen when the scene ends. In the margins of the story, if you like. We usually only see a selected part of the narrative. This book takes you into the margins beyond the scene and shows you a really well known story ("Battle of the Atom") from a different perspective.
Why do you think Doop has found such a following in the X-Men community?
This is one of those perennial questions, right up there with "Is there a God?" and, "What happened to that bloody book I was reading?" I think with Doop that one of the secrets of his popularity is that he is a largely amorphous blob of dubious sexual, political and linguistic orientation. Which means that people can impose their own idea of what they want from him on him. Either that or what the world really needs now is a hero that looks like a potato.
Tyler rounds off this X-Position with hope for an appearance from some of Doop's ex-teammates from X-Statix.
I'm really hoping for some cameos from your "X-Statix" run. I know spoilers are a thing, but is there anything you can tease for those "X-Statix" fans out there?
I can't be too specific but there is a cameo planned. Still trying to agree a few things but I'm hoping for one of the old team to show up. I'll reveal more when I can.
Special thanks to Peter Milligan for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, Jason Aaron joins X-Position for his final issue in the X-Men universe for a while -- this week's "Amazing X-Men" #6. Have a question for Jason to reflect on his time with Marvel's Merry Mutants? Send your questions over via e-mail with the subject line "X-Position or in a 140 character question via Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!