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'The X-Files Deviations' swaps the Mulder siblings' fates

A new comic from IDW casts Samantha Mulder as the alien-obsessed FBI agent searching for the truth. CNET's Bonnie Burton chats with the creative team Amy Chu and Elena Casagrande.

Find out what happens when agent Dana Scully teams up with agent Mulder...Samantha Mulder.
IDW Comics

What would happen if FBI agent Fox Mulder switched places with his sister Samantha? What if he was the one abducted by aliens as a child?

That's exactly what happens in "The X-Files Deviations," a one-shot comic from IDW Publishing.

The comic is set in a world where a young Fox Mulder was abducted by aliens and never returned, says IDW. Samantha Mulder takes up the "crusade against deception" and won't stop until she finds out the truth about her brother.

"Samantha follows the same FBI career path and obsessions as Fox, but not in exactly the same way," writer Amy Chu told CNET.

The 40-page comic is written by Chu, with art from Elena Casagrande and Silvia Califano. The cover art is by Cat Staggs, and the variant cover is by classic "X-Files" artist Gordon Purcell.

When Chu was asked to write this alternative universe where Samantha was obsessed with UFOs and finding her brother Fox, she took a closer look at what it's like to be a woman working at the FBI.

"I did some research into real life female FBI agents which was very enlightening," Chu told CNET. "Samantha might be similar to Fox but being a woman in a historically male field or institution is very different. Samantha has more of a chip on her shoulder than Fox, for example. And when you have two women partnered up in a male dominated environment, the dynamics are going to change for sure."

While Mulder's role is now played by his sister, Scully wasn't gender-swapped as well. She's still the same Dana Scully who tries to keep Mulder focused and grounded at the task at hand.

"We thought it would be interesting to explore an all female team up," Chu told CNET. "Still, an intriguing concept if we gender swapped everyone. I would love to see Skinner as a woman."

Drawing a comic where the gender roles are reversed is an interesting experience for Casagrande as well.

"The character will react or move differently, but in some ways you just know what she will do," Casagrande told CNET. "I like the idea of seeing how the two women interact differently."

Of course, it wouldn't be a true "X-Files" comic without a few hidden messages and Easter eggs.

"The readers should pay attention to the walls of the different locations," Casagrande told CNET. "The only Easter egg I can spoil now is that the missing people on the map in Sam's office are me, Silvia, and our boyfriends."

"I made our editor happy by planting a little Bowie reference in there," Chu added.

"The X-Files Deviations" retails for $5 and is available at your local comic shop March 9.