Milestone characters Static Shock, Icon, Hardware return in DC’s Earth-M

Milestone Icon, Rocket, Static and Hardware

With all the talk of DC trying to be more diverse, it seemed like a lot more of the same old same old in terms of their characters. Sure, maybe the art styles were much more diverse, but the new lineup lacked books headlined by characters of color. Thankfully that changed with the return of some of my childhood favorites.

I was thrilled to see the official announcement today from DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee, producer/director Reginald Hudlin and Milestone Media co-founder/artist Denys Cowan celebrating the return of the groundbreaking Milestone universe characters as part of Earth-M.

“We couldn’t be more proud and excited about the opportunity to bring the ‘Dakota’ universe back to DC,” Lee said. “This is a huge step forward for us in bringing readers a more diversified lineup as part of the New DC Universe, and we’re anxiously looking forward to telling new stories that are socially and culturally impactful and representative of the world in which we live.”

Milestone Blood SyndicateCreated in 1993, Milestone Media introduced comic readers to a new more contemporary version hero that while initially focused on black heroes was groundbreaking in its inclusive storylines with gay, lesbian and transgender characters seen in books such as Static (Shock), Icon, Hardware, Blood Syndicate and Xombie.

“Milestone Media was the first company to create a superhero universe full of Black, Latino, Asian, and white superheroes – both gay and straight,” said Hudlin. “Its fan-base was equally diverse. This new relationship will enable us to not only revive classic Milestone characters, but introduce new ones as well. Denys and I have had a great time working with Jim and Geoff as we reinvent the Dakota Universe for the 21st century. We have a lot of innovative ideas – from how the characters are presented to how the books are released – that will excite both new and old fans.”

Earth-M will see the return of Static, Icon, Rocket, Hardware, Xombie and new characters, which will be unveiled in new graphic novels, one shots and miniseries. DC says this is just the first phase and fans can look forward to finally being able to get Milestone action figures and reading a digital Static Shock series.

Whatever action figures DC pumps out, on GP I’m going to have to pick them up. Hopefully they’re of the same quality as their other offerings.

“Milestone Media has a long tradition of bringing multicultural heroes to life and DC Entertainment has always been an industry leader with their innovative approaches,” said Cowan. “Working with Geoff and Jim has been great and Reggie, Derek [Dingle] and I are thrilled to team up with them to bring the Dakota universe of characters back to the fans.”

Milestone Art-by-Bill-SienkiewiczI thought DC missed out on a big opportunity to incorporate the Milestone characters much earlier with the launch of the new DC 52 by not putting Hardware into the Justice League instead of Cyborg.