Since 2015, DC Comics has been talking about the return of Milestone, the comic book line that featured diverse characters like Static Shock and Icon. Now, in 2018 we’re finally getting new comics.
Founded in 1993 by Dwyane McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle, Milestone Comics was a focal point for diversity representation in comics. Sales slumped in 1995 and 1996, turning Milestone Media into a licensing company focusing primarily on Static Shock. Then in 2008, Dan DiDio announced the Milestone Universe would merge into the DC Universe proper, and we did see several of the characters appear in television shows, including Teen Titans, Batman Brave and the Bold, and in Justice League of America. However, it wasn’t until 2015 when Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle actively worked to revive the Dakotaverse, as Milestone 2.0.
Why haven’t we heard anything since 2015? There was a legal case between the estate of the late Dwayne McDuffie, and Richard Hudlin, Denys Cowan, and Derek Dingle, but nothing was mentioned during the panel, and I’m not familiar with the current state of the suit. My guess is it has all been resolved or DC/Warner Bros. wouldn’t be moving ahead with Earth-M.
Richard Hudlin, who looks to be completely hands on with all of the new series, was originally asked to join the Milestone universe in the ’90s, but was too busy with House Party at the time. But in 2015 was approached once again.
“When Derek [Dingle] approached Dennis [Cowan] and I about reforming Milestone, we sat down and talked about it,” said Hudlin at the panel. Hudlin said the group knew it couldn’t just repeat what had come before. “For us just to repeat and rehash what had been done before was not that exciting to us, collectively.”
Earth-M was inspired by Geoff Johns, and Hudlin said they thought the Milestone characters would work best outside of the main DCU.
It will all begin in Milestone, an all-new series written by Reginald Hudlin, with art by Ken Lashley, which is expected to arrive in the Spring of 2018. Rocket and Icon will be featured in this series, and will be a complete reset. “I’ll be a story that Superman would never do,” said Hudlin.
But it doesn’t stop there, as DC Comics revealed four additional series:
- Static Shock – ongoing series from Reginald Hudlin, and Kyle Baker. Virgil Hawkins returns as a 14-year-old kid who loves comics and science, and develops electric powers.
- Duo – Greg Pak introduces us to Jake and Julie Chan, two people sharing one body for eternity. This book is inspired by the Milestone series, Xombi.
- Love Army – This will be a mini-series from Hudlin, that features a secret army of women sworn t protect the planet.
- Earth-M – Hudlin and Alice Randall will introduce a new vigilante character in this ongoing series. Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz will provide the art.
“We know fans have been waiting for the return of Milestone Media and we’re excited to collaborate with Reggie and Denys to build this new Earth M universe,” Lee said in a statement. “This world will reintroduce iconic characters fans know and love—along with new, bold, original concepts—creating a new platform dedicated to inclusion and great storytelling.”
Robert Kirkman (yes, THAT Robert Kirkman) appeared toward the end of the Milestone segment to talk about his upcoming AMC documentary series, Heroes and Villains: The HIstory of Comic Books, that features an episode titled “The Color of Comics,” and features extensive discussion about the history of Milestone.
When we talk about 2018, and the huge surge of new readers that will surely come from it, I believe MIlestone will be a big part of that, as readers will gravitate toward Static Shock as a character they remember from their youth. I’m particularly looking forward to Static Shock, what about you?