What it’s all about:
Space, the final frontier, the great unknown and the galaxies far, far away. Even after spending so much money and time, we still have no clue what awaits us beyond the stars. For now, all we know, is that there are planets that seem to be void of intelligent life.
However, in the X-Com series, instead of waiting for us to get to them, extra-terrestrial beings decide to come to us and they certainly do not come in peace. The X-Com series is essentially strategy game where gamers take on the role of the commander of a special task force created by a coalition of funding nations to push back the invading alien force. One of the reasons why it is so well-loved by gamers who love strategy games is because the game doesn’t pull any punches and has quite a steep learning curve. However, once you get the hang of the game and its mechanics, it becomes extremely fun.
Why it’s perfect for a comic:
One of the great things about the X-Com series is that a writer can play around with the timeline. Instead of just setting it in the future, they can draw a little inspiration from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, where the game is set in late 1962 and instead of the more advanced technology that we see in other X-Com titles, this one relies on technology that was available from that era. Seeing as the X-Com group is a special task force, this could tie into how we’ve gotten many of the technology we have today.
From there on, the comics can continue the activities of X-Com all the way up to the future. Sort of like how Men in Black plays out. Instead of it just being a futuristic organisation, a writer can explore its roots, endeavours and evolution over the years. Maybe they can even throw in some friendly aliens and not just ones that aim to wage war against humanity.
Speaking of throwing in other aliens, maybe the comics can also explore other various organisations that oppose X-Com, much like EXALT, which was introduced in one of the newer titles, XCOM: Enemy Within. EXALT is a covert paramilitary human organisation that embrace the alien technologies and outlast their invasion so that they can rule the world instead. Other than an organisation like EXALT, maybe the comic can introduce organisations that are actually controlled by aliens, just that no one knows as they have found a way to disguise themselves in human skin or the humans working there have been subjected to mind control or better yet, the humans actually worship the aliens as gods or deities.
While the main focus of the comics should be on the entire X-Com organisation and team, they can also probably focus on maybe one or two main characters. Such as their thoughts on the aliens and also a look at their psyche after that they have been through. Maybe throw in a little Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as these men and women would have seen some disturbing things during their time of service. Or, they can focus on characters that go through the MEC Trooper modification, which sees them exchanging organic limbs for robotic ones, how this changes them and how they cope with not being “normal”.
At the end of the day, an X-Com comic series will have to walk a fine line between reality and science fiction. If writers draw inspiration from movies such as Men in Black, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds, Cocoon and The Thing, then they’d be on the right track.