Princess Diana X-Statix Art, Banned By Marvel Comics, Now Auctioned

Once upon a time, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred were introducing a new mutant character to their post-modern Marvel comic book X-Statix, intended to be the back-from-the-dead Princess Diana. Then a) my All The Rage column posted the news b) the Daily Mail and Daily Express got hold of the story and c) made up a comment from Buckingham Palace condemning it. Nevertheless this got the likes of Elton John to put pressure on Avi Arad to put pressure on Marvel Comics to drop it. So instead the character was rewritten and redrawn to be a princess of another European country, back from the dead.

But among the current collection of original art being auctioned off by Heritage is one of the original pages from that story before it was censored. The asking price is $800 but it could go far north of that…

Michael Allred's Original Princess Diana Art, Banned By Marvel Comics


Mike Allred X-Statix BANNED VERSION PRINCESS DI ANOTHER DAY #13 Page 12 Panel Page Original Art (Marvel, 2003) NOTE ON THESE PAGES: Some of the faces were redrawn on separate art board and attached as panels. It is all still original Mike Allred pencil and ink art, just so you are not surprised."Di Another Day." She's back! Everyone's favorite Royal, PRINCESS DIANA, is back from the dead and on her comeback tour… and it's up to the X-Statix to keep her alive… again! Can our mutant super-team protect Di from a nasty crew of mutant Euro-trash dead set on sending her back where she came from? Can the fame-hungry crew possibly stand taking a backseat to Ms. Spencer's white-hot celebrity? And Where does a certain wall-crawling super-hero fit into all of this? Or that is the way it ORIGINALLY was going to go!!! You are bidding on the 11 X 17 inch original artwork from X-Statix #13 page 9, featuring the X-STATIX TEAM and the return of Princess Diana by famed The Atomics, Red Rocket Seven, The Geek, and most notably Madman artist and writer Mike Allred. Peter Milligan would be resurrecting Princess Diana to join X-Statix in the story called "Di Another Day". Milligan said "Diana is perfect for the comic, which hopes to make a satirical commentary on today's celebrity crazed culture, because she is 'someone famous for being famous'". A spokesman for the Royal Family called the book "utterly appalling". Only a few days later, Marvel got cold feet and said "upon reflection, the company has decided to remove Princess Diana and all references to the Royal Family from the five-part X-Statix series". So, Diana became Henrietta, her hair black instead of blonde, and the now six-issue storyline would be called "Back From The Dead". So now, get your ORIGINAL Mike Allred art with the ORIGINAL Princess Di featured, tiara and all, before it was all covered up in the printed version X-Statix art of controversy page TODAY!!! SIGNED BY THE ARTIST HIMSELF, MIKE ALLRED!!!

A few years after it all went down, Mike Allred recalled,

"J. Bone is the hero in this scenario. If he wasn't on board to ink, I would have imploded with all the stupid changes we were forced to make. Ah, what could have been. And so you know, and I want everyone to know, no one in Marvel proper wanted to shut us down. Everyone fought the good fight–but a couple of bonehead 'higher ups' share holders or some such, wielded their power on us little comic book makers and destroyed what could have been the most stunningly powerful comic story this year. As it is now it's just a typically excellent Peter Milligan story (despite all the arbitrary changes). Yeah, I'm still bitter. I thought this was all behind me, but seeing the actual books come out is really stinging… The first three issues were changed the most to remove any and all connection with Di and Co. Paste-ups, re-pastes, plastic surgery–colored and re-colorerd (Henrietta was red-head for a while–but even that was too close to Di ?!). With the fourth issue of the six-issue arc it finally became its own thing with fewer and fewer changes (mostly on the covers which came first). It rips me apart just to think about it. Peter's ingenius ideas would have been declared revelatory (hmm-maybe it's a good thing we were cut off at the knees then). Oh well, onward and upward."

Here's how the artwork above ended up looking like.

Michael Allred's Original Princess Diana Art, Banned By Marvel Comics

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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