DC Fandome is back with a lot of DC news including some big news about Milestone including:
- The return of Blood Syndicate in 2022
- Milestone Compendium One, a massive, 1,300-page collection
- The Milestone Initiative: a program for young creators
- A Milestone Animated movie is in the works, written by Hardware: Season One writer Brandon Thomas
In a discussion moderated by actor Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific, “Arrow”), Milestone producer Reggie Hudlin and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan gave more details about the ongoing stories of the Dakota Universe and “Season Two,” confirming more crossovers in the shared universe.
Fans have been clamoring for the return of Blood Syndicate, the team book about a gang of vigilante superheroes, since Milestone returned. Created by Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr. and Denys Cowan, the original series ran for 35 issues. The new creative team has yet to be announced but the book will be back in 2022.
The Milestone animated film by Thomas is in addition to the Static Shock feature film currently in development with a script by Randy McKinnon (Safety) and producer Michael B. Jordan. Thomas is also working on Aquaman: The Becoming, written in conjunction with the Black Manta series from writer Chuck Brown.
Cowan hinted that the new animated film will be about “more than one character,” giving a wider look at the Dakota universe.
The Milestone Compendium will be released in February for Black History Month, and will include issues #1-12 of Blood Syndicate, Hardware #1 -12, Icon #1-10, Static #1-8, Xombi #1-8, and Shadow Cabinet #0.
The program is aimed at identifying, supporting and elevating emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry. Creators will be able to apply for The Milestone Initiative Development Program, which includes a one-week in-person training seminar in DC’s Burbank, CA offices, followed by an 8-week virtual technical training course through the prestigious Kubert School, where participants can hone their storytelling skills.
It’s also the first program from DC’s Next Generation DC, a talent recruitment, mentoring and development program aimed at giving creatives from underrepresented communities across the globe a chance to contribute to the DC universe.
This is obviously a big step in DC’s ongoing talent development programs, and will be supported by an ad program developed in conjunction with Ally, which also aims to advance economic mobility and empowerment for underrepresented communities by providing funding, mentorship and access to opportunity that individuals need to succeed.
Much more in the PR below. And don’t forget to check out the rest of our DC Fandome coverage.
“The Milestone Initiative Development Program is the perfect project for debuting Next Generation DC,” said Daniel Cherry III, Senior Vice President and General Manager, DC in a statement “Our current lineup of Milestone titles have released to great critical and sales success, expanding the loyal fanbase, while at the same time inviting new readers to experience the ‘Dakotaverse’ and its heroes. For many black and diverse artists and writers, Milestone is part of their comic book DNA, Cherry continued, “and we are thankful to partner with Ally to help these new voices be heard in addition to adding to Milestone’s legacy.”
At a time when comic books are at the center of pop culture, creators in the field are largely homogenous. According to Zippia, Black comic book creators make up only 4.9% of writers and 3.4% of artists. Asian creators make up only 4.2% of writers and 8.4% of artists, and Hispanic or Latinx creators make up 7.1% of writers and 11.7% of artists.
“From its earliest years, representation, impact and mentorship have always been at the heart of Milestone Media, and we’re proud and excited to partner with DC, WarnerMedia and Ally on Next Generation DC and The Milestone Initiative, cultivating the next great wave of diverse storytellers,” said Milestone co-founder and iconic artist Denys Cowan.
To amplify The Milestone Initiative Development Program, WarnerMedia’s ad sales division will create a full slate of content in collaboration with Ally, a digital financial services company committed to advancing economic mobility and empowerment for underrepresented communities by providing funding, mentorship and access to opportunity that individuals need to succeed.
“The Milestone Initiative is a powerful extension of Ally’s overall commitment to financial and social inclusion,” said Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Ally. “It is very much in line with our other programs, all of which provide rich, immersive experiences that create pathways for success in grossly underrepresented fields. Programs like our annual Moguls in the Making business pitch competition for HBCU students and our work with the University Growth Fund to drive diversity in venture capital are about opening doors that have previously been closed to many Black Americans. We are proud to be a part of empowering and elevating diverse creators, and increasing representation of these storytellers to reflect the diversity of our communities.”
WarnerMedia’s new franchise-first approach brings IP like Milestone to the heart of partnership opportunities, providing brands with a way to connect to passionate fan bases inspired by the franchises’ zeitgeist. “Across the unique marketing programs and brand storytelling we offer to our partners, our goal is to galvanize fans and create marketing platforms that bring a brand’s ethos to life,” said Michal Shapira, Head of WarnerMedia Marketing Solutions and Brand Studios. “We look to align with a brand’s mission in a way that demonstrates creativity, cultural relevancy, and most importantly, character, while generating outcomes that achieve their goals and objectives. We are very fortunate that our partner Ally is as passionate about the Milestone mission as we are.”
The Milestone Initiative will span linear, digital and social touch points, while incorporating elements of social good, equity and inclusion along the way. Distributed across WarnerMedia’s ad-supported ecosystem, the campaign includes documentary-style videos and interactive digital assets to inspire a new generation of creators and far-reaching audiences. WarnerMedia reaches 77% of multicultural audiences in the U.S. – a total of 69 million people – across its digital and linear platforms.
To learn more about The Milestone Initiative Development Program and submit an application, fans can visit the website at www.dcuniverse.com/milestone.
 Source: Zippia. 2021, September. Comic Book Artist and Writer Demographics and Statistics in the U.S.
Source: Nielsen Media Impact, January 2021-May 2021, average monthly cross platform reach A18+. Multicultural based on (Race: Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native) OR (Origin = Hispanic). Based on Live+7 Day.)
1,300-Page Milestone Compendium One, Black History Anthology
Scheduled for February 2022
The announcement of The Milestone Initiative in collaboration with Ally as part of DC’s Next Generation DC program was one of many mind-boggling announcements to come from this all-day celebration of DC and its passionate fans. In a discussion moderated by actor Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific, “Arrow”), Milestone producer Reggie Hudlin and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan shared more details about the future of Static, Icon and Rocket, Hardware, and the Dakota Universe.
After confirming that writer Randy McKinnon (Safety) is currently writing the script for the Static Shock feature film in production with Warner Bros. and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, Hudlin and Cowan dropped the bombshell that Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are working on a Milestone animated movie based on a screenplay by Hardware Season One writer Brandon Thomas. In addition to his Milestone work, Thomas is writing several Aquaman-focused series for DC: Aquaman: The Becoming, Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target, and the 2022 Aquamen series (co-written with Black Manta series writer Chuck Brown), in addition to a two-part Outsiders story in Batman: Urban Legends as part of DC’s Batman: Fear State comic book event. Thomas has also written several critically acclaimed series such as Excellence, and Noble, in addition to his own creator-owned series, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury.
“This has been the thing that Milestone fans have been dreaming about for a long time, and we’re happy to give it to you, finally,” said Cowan. He also assured fans that this feature would be about “more than one character,” hinting that this will include a host of fan-favorite Milestone characters. This will be the first time that the city of Dakota will be featured in animation since the beloved Static Shock animated series which aired from 2000-2004; episodes are now available to watch for free with a subscription to HBO Max.
As the conversation turned to Milestone publishing, Reggie and Denys enthusiastically shared news that Milestone fans have been eagerly awaiting since DC FanDome 2020: an all-new Blood Syndicate comic book series is in the works for 2022. A writer and artist on the title is still to be announced, but both Milestone execs both talked about how Blood Syndicate has been the book that Milestone fans have been clamoring for, even as they received incredible praise for the current series, Static Season One, Icon and Rocket Season One, and Hardware Season One.
Regarding the current series, both Cowan and Hudlin not only confirmed that the characters will be appearing in each other’s current titles, confirming a connected “Dakotaverse,” but that “Season Two” plans for these titles are underway.
In addition to the new periodical series and a Milestone anthology releasing in February 2022, as a part of DC’s Black History Month celebrations, Cowan revealed his cover for Milestone Compendium One, available February 1, 2022. This massive, 1,300-page softcover is a must-have tribute for Milestone and comic book fans, as well as the perfect gateway for new fans to discover the legacy of the Dakotaverse and its greatest storytellers, including Cowan, the late Dwayne McDuffie (also a Milestone co-founder), Ivan Velez, John Rozum, Frazer Irving, M.D. Bright, and more.
The compendium collects issues #1-12 of Blood Syndicate, Hardware #1 -12, Icon #1-10, Static #1-8, Xombi #1-8, and Shadow Cabinet #0.
To learn more about The Milestone Initiative visit the website at www.dcuniverse.com/milestone and follow the #DCMilestone hashtag on social media. The DC FanDome website has all the latest news on this event for DC super fans, so check out www.dcfandome.com, and follow @DCComics on social media. The DC Universe Infinite digital subscription service has a great collection of original Milestone series, for a free trial, check out www.dcuniverseinfinite.com.