DC comics Milestone reborn
By Sheldon Fisher
Milestone Comics, the landmark comic company established by a coalition of African-American artists and writers, is set to be reborn in early 2021 with the creation of DC’s all-new “Earth M”.
“Earth-M”, formerly known as the “Dakotaverse”, is a parallel Earth in DC comics and home to the Milestone stable of characters; the innovative cast of heroes and villains, whose socially relevant concepts and stories, made waves in the comics world of the early 90s.
According to dccomics.com, “Milestone’s return to publishing will be led by an all-new Static Shock digital comic series scheduled for February 2021”.
Milestone Media, formerly Milestone comics, is a comic book publishing company distributed through DC Comics. Founded in 1993 by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle, Milestone was created to give voice to underrepresented minorities in the American comics industry and was the first to create a universe full of white, black, Asian, Latino, as well as gay and straight heroes.
Best known for producing titles like Hardware, Blood Syndicate, Icon, and Static- who received his own animated series in the 90s, Milestone served as a huge inspiration for both readers, upcoming writers, and artists alike. “ But it’s not just about characters—a big part of Milestone’s legacy, and the trio’s plan for its revival is in fostering diverse talent as well.” Said Joshua Rivera of Entertainment Weekly.
Through an exclusive arrangement with DC, Milestone managed to gain a good deal of success and media attention with its titles; Static Shock being one of their most prosperous and long-standing. Even after Milestone’s decline in the late 90s, Static and several of their other characters would continue to make appearances over the following years in the DC proper.
Co-founder McDuffie died in 2011, at the age of 49, and since then, his fellow founders have been working hard to resurrect Milestone. On August 22, 2020, DC announced at the DC FanDome Hall of Heroes, their plan for Milestone to return to DC publishing.
Among the panel were Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan, Milestone partner and producer Reggie Hudlin, DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, and moderator Marc Bernardin. They were also joined by a special guest, the voice of Static in the Static Shock animated series, Phil LaMarr.
According to DC Publicity, “The panelists discussed the origins and history of the groundbreaking imprint, as well as the indelible impact and legacy of McDuffie. Hudlin also discussed plans to create multimedia opportunities spotlighting Milestone characters, including feature films, animated movies, and podcasts”.
The Milestone Universe’s relaunch is said to first kick off with the revival of previous content in a number of collected editions, available for digital purchase. This will precursor future projects, including a Static Shock graphic novel written by Hudlin and art by Kyle Baker, with another Milestone fan favorite, Icon and Rocket written by Hudlin with art by Cowan.
Overall, a maximum of two “Earth-M” titles will be published annually as hardcover graphic novels, accompanied by an undetermined number of one-shots and miniseries; spotlighting acclaimed creative talent. Milestone’s return will bring back not only the classic cast of ethnically diverse Milestone characters but new multicultural heroes and villains as well.