From TV to comics: The X-Files

“Gutter of Horror” is a Brazilian column from Dinamo Studio website about horror comics. This is a translated version of the articles.

The X-Files was a phenomenon that redefine TV landscape in the 1990s and also fed a new UFO craze in western culture. So of course the huge success of the TV show would expand to other medium, including comics.

In case you don’t know (if that's possible), The X-Files follow FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully while they investigate inexplicable cases – usually involving paranormal and the macabre. The TV show ran for 9 seasons from 1993 through 2002 and returning for 2 more seasons between 2016 and 2018 spanning several comic adaptations through the decades.

The first series

The X-Files had its first comics back in 1995, just 2 years after the shows’ premiere. Published by Topps Comics, the title lasted until 1998, running between the second and the fifth season. The first issue was #0 and adapted the pilot episode to measure the potential of the title and the original intention was to adapt the shows’ episodes - but the idea was scrapped. Instead, issues #1 to 12 was part of a single story with several minor arcs and after issue 13 the title began to alternate between one-shots and short story arcs of 2-3 issues.

The title was initially written by veteran comics writer Roy Thomas with contributions of other writers and artists (Charles Adler, of Walking Dead fame, being one of them) and lasted 41 issues plus a Graphic Novel called “Afterlight” and some specials. Topps also published adaptations of X-Files – The Movie and “Groud Zero” (a book based based on the TV show) as a 4-part miniseries.

The Wildstorm run

In 2008, Jim Lee’s Wildstorm (before it was assimilated by DC Comics) took a ride on the release of the movie X-files – I Want to Believe and published a 7-issue miniseries based on the TV universe. The fisrt 3 issues were written by Frank Spotnitz, notable writer and producer on the show (currently known for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle)

Seasons 10, 11 and beyond with IDW

In 2013, before FOX Network decided to revive the show on TV, IDW brought it back, continuing the adventures of Mulder and Scully right after the end of the story (that technically was the end of the show in 2002, but in theory it was 2008’s “X-files – I want to believe” movie)

This time, the title had the involvement of the creator of the show, Chris Carter, that contribute with stories for several issues, with the main writer being Joe Harris. Harris also wrote several one-shots that took place during this tenth season along with veteran writer Karl Kesel.  The arc that was called “season 10” lasted 25 issues, followed by “season 11” with 8 issues. Those stories were considered canon by Chris Carter until the revival on TV, that had a season 10 and season 11 with a completely different story and mythology.

But the journey of the two agents didn’t end there. IDW has released several one-shots and miniseries based on x-files, including X-Files: origins which explores the teenage lives of Mulder and Scully, and a series that follows the new revival show and lasted 17 issues. IDW also put Mulder and Scully in several crossovers with other TV and movie characters that the publisher has the rights to, like the vampires of 30 days of night, The Ghostbusters, Teenage Ninja Turtles and even Transformers.

The revival of X-files in TV was short, but the adventures of Mulder and Scully are very alive and well in the comics.

Rafael Algures is a Bachelor of Philosophy specialized in Neurosciences of Language. He is also a copywriter, content and science writer, and a comic book creator. His latest work, “Gutter of Horror: Transition”, a short horror comic about Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence are available at Amazon – digital and paperback.