Yesterday’s announcement of Milestone 2.0 was broken in the Washington Post, but principles Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan did a more extensive interview talking about what they have planned. Talking with Albert Ching at CBR they noted “We’re Not in the Nostalgia Business”, which is a pretty good platform to build from. While the details are still sketchy, they confirmed that they have some projects in the works with DC, among other publishers, although there was a long legal tangle to unravel.
“We’re working with DC on stuff,” Cowan said to CBR. “We’re currently speaking to a number of different publishers about a number of different projects that they want to do with us. DC’s an important partner for us. We’re exploring everything that’s being put in front of us. It’s been a very busy, exciting time. Hearing people’s enthusiasm about Milestone has been very encouraging to us.”
“Obviously Milestone and DC have a great history together,” Hudlin added. “We’re going to be doing more projects together. but we’re going to be doing business with a lot of different companies. Other publishers, other media companies.”
Other than the “Static Shock” live-action series, the details of exactly what the new Milestone is working on remain to be revealed. But Hudlin said there are “several other deals in motion” and more news will be coming “pretty soon,” as the revived company looks to structure itself based on “maximum flexibility for maximum creativity.”
The return of Static Shock, a particularly sturdy character who has remained entertaining through many guises, is a great example of why comics—and the whole vast construct of Superhero Media that has taken over theaters and TVs—will benefit from a company that has a fresh and different viewpoint, with new characters the reflect the world as it is. And Hudlin and Cowan get that.
“We’re not just going to be a legacy company,” Hudlin said. “Yes, there were some fantastic creations made, and we’re going to certainly revive those characters. But we’re not just going to revive them. We’re going to make them relevant for this generation.”
“We’re not in the nostalgia business,” Cowan added. “We feel, if anyone wants to read those books, those books exist. You can go out and find those books and read them. If you love those characters as they were then, those characters exist as they were then. But in order to reintroduce them, there’s going to be some necessary adjustments made to these iconic characters.”
Derek Dingle, always an integral part of the Milestone company but the least known to the comics publis, discussed another aspect with the Washington Post:
This “also becomes an opportunity to mine some [new] talent,” Dingle tells Comic Riffs. “We’re going to find a new group of creators who are knowledgeable and grew up with digital [formats]. It is part of their DNA in terms of what connects them from a digital standpoint, from a social-media standpoint, and I think there are all these tools out there to get our stories told, and to promote our characters, that [are] going to make it a very exciting era for Milestone.”
If Milestone 2.0 is looking to tap into the pool of black creators out there, I think it’s safe to say that this will be the secret weapon of the line. There are so many talented and eager people who are looking to get their stories out. Comics need fresh voices and viewpoints. Milestone is important because, just to put it simply, there aren’t enough black creators getting work at major companies. Two years ago I wrote a piece called “Why aren’t there more black writers in the comics industry?” and the situation has improved incrementally, if at all, since then. As I’m overly fond of saying, the way to be inclusive is to include people, and it makes us a better industry. We all need these heroes.
So yeah, exciting news.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.