Welcoming Milestone to DC with Apprehension
August 24, 2008

Milestone Comics.  I’ll admit, I’ve never read an issue of any of the series.  When they came out, I was burned out from trying a number of independant series only to be disappointed in one way or another.  I also had been through a cost cutting round that left me with no Marvel comics left.  I’d come full circle back to DC.  Now, Static Shock the cartoon? I am a huge fan of that.  The fact that Static teamed up with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Batman Beyond, and the JLU cemented him in the DCU in my mind.

This summer at SDCC they announced that DC had bought the Milestone characters.  (I’d love to ask the man himself Dwayne McDuffie what the details are.  For some reason, when I go to his site, www.DwayneMcDuffie.com, I can log in, but the moment I move from the login page it logs me off again.)

 

One of the first integrations will be one many fans have been asking for.  Static will be joining the Teen Titans.  Not the Titans I like, the 20 something adults, but the remains of the group that used to be Young Justice.  Robin III, Wonder Girl II, and whomever they feel like this month.  Without Impulse and Superboy, the team is seriously missing half the draw.

But before that Icon and The Shadow Cabinet will be appearing in JLA.  I’m psyched.  I’m always open to learning about new and obscure characters (unfortunately, they sometimes get showcase just in time to be killed in the same story – Omen was a character I was looking forward to learning more about in YJ/TT Graduation Day.  The only thing I learned was that she died.)

I’m stoked about this upcoming JLA appearance.  Dwayne McDuffie is writing it.  That tells me we will see his vision of the characters.  I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to write this introduction more.  But I’m also worried.  We are in an era of chaos at DC.  The original Titans are redundant.  The Charlton characters bought 20 years ago have been changed beyond recognition.  I’ve spent 25 years waiting for Black Lightning to be in the Justice League.  What happens when DC decides Static makes Black Lightning redundant.  What happens when the powers at DC decide the Milestone characters need to be revitalized in the near future.  I am almost afraid to get to know new characters these days because in today’s environment they may be gone tomorrow (Isis).  McDuffie will do them proud, but I fear for their future.

I almost forgot.  The toy related part.  Does this mean we can expect Milestone/Static figures in the toylines that arleady exist, or would the licensors need to renegotiate for them?  Me? I’d love to see Static in my Mattel JLU collection.  I’d easily buy Static in Mattel DC Universe classics.  If McDuffie impresses enough of us, even more.  And I could see a whole host of these characters in WizKids HeroClix collectable miniatures game (www.WizKidsGames.com)

Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.

 

 

 

13 Comments »

  • jzachery says:

    Isis was my biggest disappointment in the last few years. Followed closely by the Question. So over comic book death.

    Bring on the Icon characters, just don’t kill them gratuitously, or steam roll me with them.

  • The Tekwych says:

    I don’t see death in the future of the Milestone characters. DC is brining them into the main DCU to shore up their lack of non caucasian characters. Let’s face it, if Vixen weren’t black she would NOT be JLA material. Hardware, Brick House, Third Rail and the rest are far better characters, far more rounded, then most of DC’s ‘A’ list. Icon, another super powered alien orphaned to the earth, is a rich black Republican who started as the child of a plantation slave. Hardware is a scientist and engineer, embezzling money and equipment from the company he works for to prevent the corruption and evil that it’s owners are secretly producing.

    DC needs solid, believable non-caucasian characters and the writers to keep them that way. They also need The Shield, from the Archie line, as a true patriotic, government super operative to finally separate the Boy Scout from ‘The American Way’.

    Maybe, with the addition of Icon and The Shield, Superman will finally become a fully rounded character. Right now even the Big Red Cheese has more depth of character.

    In case it hasn’t become clear, I think DC’s ‘Trinity’ are among their LAMEST characters.

  • jzachery says:

    I don’t think Vixen being in the league has anything to do with her being black. While I agree, comics often use the ‘minority’ card, so teams seem more balanced or whatever, Vixen has evolved to this point. She’s had her fans for years, and she has those fans because her powers are cool, because she’s a fun character, and I think her appearances on the JLU show propelled her forward a great leap in comics.

  • Jim Abell says:

    The only Milestone comics I remember reading were the ones during a big cross-over event where the Milestone Universe and the DCU were merging and the heroes had to seperate them again. I remember those books being a fun read and I hope that Mr. McDuffie can get comic fans interested in them again.

  • The Tekwych says:

    The only reason Vixen ever made it onto JLU was as a foil to stretch out and strengthen the John / Shayera love story. In JLA, DC was so sure of her powers that they took them away in an attempt to get people to feel for her. She is, at best, a ‘C’ list character that DC’s editors are trying to make into something she’s not.

    Kind of like the Archie comics character The Web. Now that could be a cool character but I fear for what version DC will use and to what extent they will change it.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    I did not mean to infer that they would die right away, but that in today’s DC climate, anyone can die. It makes me uneasy every time I open a comic.

    When Flash Wally West’s daughter apparently died at the end of the previous issue of the Flash, my reaction was, “those heartless creators”. It never occured to me that she would not have died. Before the past few years, I never would have thought the death was real and would would have waited for the next issue where we find out that she is fine and someone has been messing with everyone’s heads.

    So I am less inclined to try to get to know newer characters. Why bother learning about the new members of the JSA. They might be dead next month.

    20+ years ago, Shazam Family and Charlton joined the DC pantheon. Now they are unrecognizable. My concern is that down the road the Milestone characters might share the same fate.

  • Robiwan says:

    I’m excited about Static. I always thought it was a fun cartoon. The others could be cool but I do hope they do some redesigning of the costumes. The designs appear very early-90s Liefeldish. Youngblood / X-Force anyone?

    -R

  • The Tekwych says:

    The last time DC published comics about the Archie heros (The Impact line) every character got a major update, several switched genders and one went from an individual to an entire government organization yet most people didn’t complain (unfortunately most people didn’t even notice at the time). In some cases the changes were, IMO, and step forward. One of the reasons I always liked the infinite Universes and Elseworlds was the fact that any story idea, or change to a character could be written off as a look at another universe, and many of those ‘looks’ are among the best story lines DC has published. I would prefer the Dakota universe remain separate but if this will get some of the best characters created in the last 30 years then I’m in.

    The biggest problem at DC right is their inability to create a new character that anyone outside the editorial staff can care about (and most writers and artists are outside the editorial staff). Their one chance to add some ethnicity to the DCU with characters that people will care about will be to use the Milestone and Archie characters and keep the core attitudes and beliefs intact. If we readers don’t connect then the entire purchase was for naught.

    I think Dwayne, Denys, Michael, and Derek did it right. I hope DC’s editorial staff can learn from the characters they will be shepherding and learn to be an Icon, representative of best in each of us.

  • JKL-MD ReFugee says:

    I really dug the Milestone universe. Blood Syndicate, Static, Hardware and Icon were always solid reads – actually still have them in my comic boxes.

    While the Syndicate probably won’t make the cut, I think Static, Hardware and Icon will make for very solid additions to the DCU proper. And figures of these guys would be excellent!

  • DC didn’t buy Milestone, they’re only renting. We worked hard to come up with a business structure that gives Milestone final say over our characters’ use, while still giving DC the editorial freedom they need to smoothly integrate our medium-sized universe into their gargantuan one.

    And to whoever asked, I’ve got plans for the Syndicate….

  • Brian says:

    I remember reading Milestone books when they first came out. They turned out to be some of the most well written books at the time. Not to mention we got a special Colorforms cover on one of the DC crossovers!

  • The Tekwych says:

    Thanks for the info Dwayne, great to know Milestone still has some control over their children. I look forward to more about Third Rail and Brickhouse, Dogg and Please give us more of Icon and DMZ.

    If you do reply back, Will we be seeing the comic book Static, the Cartoon Static, or an amalgam of the two.

    I’ll be on the 4HM for figures right away.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Mr. McDuffie,
    Thank you for stopping by and clarifying that. Loving what you are doing in JLA and looking forward to learning about a whole new “medium sized universe” of characters.

    And if you have any pull in the action figure world, I’d really like to see Static in Mattel’s JLU line and a bunch of Milestone characters from DCDirect. If Meltzer (previous JLA writer) can get a figure of Dr. Impossible, a figure of Icon should be just as easy. I see it now.

    DC Direct
    Justice League of America: Series 4.
    1) Red Tornado
    2) John Stewart Green Lantern
    3) Firestorm Jason Rouch
    4) Icon

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