For several years, we’ve heard about the Milestone universe returning to print, and I’m happy to say they’re back!
WHAT IS MILESTONE?
Before we talk about what’s happening, it’s important to know just who Milestone is!
Here’s some information from Wikipedia:
>>Milestone Media is a company best known for creating Milestone Comics, which were published and distributed by DC Comics, and the Static Shock cartoon series. It was founded in 1993 by a coalition of African-American artists and writers, consisting of Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. The founders believed that minorities were severely underrepresented in American comics, and wished to address this.<<
Here’s another important paragraph:
>>Although Milestone comics were published through DC Comics, they did not fall under DC Comics’ editorial control; DC retained only the right not to publish any material they objected to. Milestone Media retained the copyright of their properties and had the final say on all merchandising and licensing deals pertaining to them. In essence, DC licensed the characters, editorial services, and creative content of the Milestone books for an annual fee and a share of the profits. Dwayne McDuffie said that DC held up this agreement even though some of Milestone’s storylines made them “very uncomfortable” as they were from perspectives that DC weren’t used to.<<
One last bit of info! Who were the characters in the Milestone universe?
>>In 1993, Milestone Media launched its first four titles: Hardware, Icon, Blood Syndicate, and Static.… A year later, Milestone Media published its first company-wide crossover, Shadow War, which spawned two more titles: Shadow Cabinet and Xombi. Another ongoing series, Kobalt, was introduced later. Milestone also participated in an intercompany crossover with DC, called “Worlds Collide” in which Metropolis-based superheroes from the DC Universe and Dakota-based superheroes from the Dakotaverse interacted temporarily.<<
Sadly, the Milestone books have come and gone over time, and there have been many rumors that “Earth-M” would be back. There has been behind-the-scenes concerns that have contributed to the characters returning to the stands, but in a recent interview, Dennis Cowan said that, “Well, that situation has been resolved to all parties’ satisfaction. So we’re all happy and the person that had an issue with us is happy. We’re all together; we’re all friends; we’re all good. And DC and Milestone were going forward with their plans after a very long delay and, just when we were starting to pick up everything again, is when the pandemic hit.” Cowan also said that although no announcements can be made, progress continues on bringing Milestone back.
Honestly, I’ve missed this universe!
MORE DIVERSITY IN COMICS
I have bought every Milestone comic that has been released, and I’ve enjoyed every one! The characters are interesting and thought-through, the stories have been engaging, and I’ve loved seeing superheroes through such a diverse perspective.
I have long felt that simply putting a person of color into an existing uniform is, well, less than they deserve. We need more heroes, not to replace the ones who exist. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell new stories, develop new universes, and go where no comics fan has gone before, to coin a phrase.
Static’s adventures on the small screen have also been great, in my opinion. Never mind that the same guy who voiced the barrel-chested Green Lantern John Stewart also created his voice! He’s a fascinating character who can show, at the very least, stories from a different point of view, and that’s something comics and, really, the world could use right now.
Granted, it’s not that this is something brand new. I always like to point out Legend of the Mantamaji has been around for several years, and it’s exactly what I like when it comes to diversity in comics. Great storytelling, well-developed characters, and a positive look at a diverse world. What’s not to like?
HARDWARE FAN HERE!
The Milestone character I liked best was Hardware, who has been described as “a genius inventor named Curtis Metcalf who builds a suit of armor to battle against organized crime. As a hero, Hardware is a mix of Iron Man and Batman as well as an allegory for class warfare as Curtis learns that the man he saw as a father figure sees him as little more than a cash cow.”
He was a very realistic person to me, a flawed guy but still heroic. He was surrounded by all-too-real people as well, so he is one I am seriously hoping we see back in action soon!
I do like the other people on “Earth-M” as well, so I’m happy to see them return to the printed page as well. Should they be part of the “main” Earth in the DCU? I’m open on that one! No matter how they do it, I want DC to “make mine Milestone!”