You may be forgiven for not being aware of Milestone Media, given the DC imprint has been very, very quiet for a number of years. In 2020, though, it’s all too important with ‘Black Lives Matter’ that proper representation be given to both minority characters, but also the people of colour behind them. Many of you may remember the character Static, if not for the four season long cartoon ‘Static Shock’, then perhaps the character’s appearances on ‘Justice League Unlimited’. Fans and newcomers of Milestone Media alike, will enjoy the coming months as DC prepares to revive the imprint with a bang!
At the 11th hour, WB postponed a number of DC FanDome‘s panels last month, with a further event, dubbed ‘DC FanDome part two’, to take place on the 12th of September. This is all in addition to ‘Batman Day’ on the 19th, it’s a big month for DC! During DC FanDome, legendary writer and journalist Marc Bernardin sat down with Jim Lee, Milestone producer Reggie Hudlin, Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and legendary voice talent Phil LaMarr. The panel discussed the past of Milestone Media, and the future, celebrating the late Milestone co-founder Dwayne McDuffie and revealing some upcoming news and teasing future projects.
During the second part of DC FanDome, fans will be able to purchase Milestone Returns #0 for free (free for 24 hours only, so don’t miss out!), written by Greg Pak with a cover by Denys Cowan (coloured by Chris Sotomayor). The issue promises to “re-introduce fans to Milestone characters such as Static, Icon, Rocket, Duo and others.” The panel announced an all new Static Shock digital first comic series starting in February, written by Reggie Hudlin and illustrated by Kyle Baker, set to be released as a graphic novel at a later date. Also announced was the Reggie Dudlin penned and Denys Cowan pencilled team-up series titled ‘Icon & Rocket’, with more titles to be revealed at a later date. Future projects, including animated and live action tv series and films were teased, and it was confirmed DC would be bringing the classic 1990s and 2000s material back to print, starting with digital releases on Comixology and other digital platforms.
Milestone was founded in 1993, and was a creator owned universe led by entrepreneurs, artists and writers Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle. They licensed their creations out to DC Comics, who published everything exclusively. Unfortunately, the line, featuring Static, Icon, Hardware, Blood Syndicate, Shadow Cabinet and Xombi, shutdown in 1997. The universe was revived in 2010 for a follow-up limited series ‘Milestone Forever’, and DC later again licensed some of the characters for use in the New 52 comics, Young Justice animated television series, Injustice and DC Universe Online videogames in more recent years. In 2015 DC announced a new deal with Milestone to relaunch the entire brand, but the relaunch was postponed several times and ultimately indefinitely following disagreements between the surviving owners of Milestone Media and the widow of the late Dwayne McDuffie. McDuffie’s estate filed a lawsuit against Milestone in 2017, which later settled out of court. In 2017, hot on the heels of DC’s own Rebirth relaunch, Milestone and DC announced plans to relaunch the entire Milestone universe as ‘Earth-M’ within the DC Multiverse, with a one-shot ‘Milestone’ to be written and illustrated by DC top brass Geoff Johns and Jim Lee respectively. This too, was postponed amid rumours of a fresh grievance between McDuffie’s estate and Milestone Media. It appears as though this one-shot has been cancelled but elements of it are to be carried over to the 2021 revised launch.
Dwayne McDuffie unfortunately passed away at the tender age of 49, due to complications following routine heart surgery. McDuffie is best known for his work in animated television and film, as well as writing extensively for both DC and Marvel, co-founding Milestone Media and creating Milestone’s flagship characters, Static and Icon. McDuffie’s television and film credits include 2002’s ‘What’s New, Scooby-Doo?’, Teen Titans, Static Shock, Justice League, Ben 10, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, All-Star Superman and Justice League: Doom. McDuffie worked with Milestone and DC Comics until his death in 2011.
The following stories will be free to purchase for 24 hours during the second part of DC FanDome. Be sure to check back for links on the 12th of September!
- Static Shock (2011 – 2012) #1
- Static Shock (2011 – 2012) #2
- Xombi #1
- Xombi #2
- Hardware: The Man in the Machine (2010)
- Icon: A Hero’s Welcome (1996)
- Icon Vol. 2: The Mothership Connection (2010)
- Milestone Returns #0 (2020)
Words: Graeme Small