2:56pm PT by Graeme McMillan
DC to Relaunch Milestone Universe With 2018's 'Earth M'
Twenty-five years after its debut, Milestone Media — the comic book company which focused on diversity on and behind the page — is set to return with a new line of titles from DC Entertainment.
Announced Thursday during a panel at New York Comic Con, the new Milestone projects are being shepherded by the original founders of the company, Derek Dingle and Denys Cowan, with filmmaker Reginald Hudlin — who was invited to join the first generation of the firm — taking a central role.
"The idea is that, when Derek approached Denys and I about reforming Milestone, one of the things we talked about was, we can't just repeat what was done before," Hudlin told the audience. "For us to simply repeat and rehash what was done before was not that exciting to us creatively." The result is the umbrella title of Earth M, a name that reflects the fact that the new Milestone will travel beyond the Dakota City setting of the original comics. "It's a broader, more worldwide view," promised Cowan.
The Earth M line will launch next spring, with the panel introducing the initial wave of five series: Milestone, Static Shock, Duo, Love Army and Earth M. Hudlin and Cowan provide the story direction for the majority of titles, co-writing Milestone and Static Shock and providing concepts for Duo, with Hudlin co-writing Earth M with novelist Alice Russell and penning the miniseries Love Army solo.
Of the five launch series, three are reboots of characters and concepts from the original Milestone line: Milestone features Icon and Rocket, while Duo — written by Greg Pak — is a new twist on the 1993 Xombi series. (Static Shock is a reboot of the original Static series, later adapted for television under the Static Shock title.) Love Army (which Hudlin described by saying, "I don't want to say too much about the concept of the Love Army, other than they are all over the world, they're super-strong, they kick ass and they're a secret organization") and Earth M (which Russell said asked the question, "What is crime?") are both new concepts.
According to Hudlin, "This is literally just the tip of a broad range of characters we're going to be coming out with." He added, "I know we announced it, and then we went back to the drawing board. … We're very proud of this set of books, but wait 'til you see the second wave."
Added Cowan, "It's taken a long time, but it was worth waiting and getting it right."
At the end of the panel — which also featured appearances by artists Kyle Baker and Ken Lashley, who illustrate Static Shock and Milestone, respectively, and DC co-publisher Jim Lee, who is providing covers to Duo — Cowan said, "There's stuff going on in the world. I don't have to tell you what's been going on with us, with our people. It's a time for heroes, and we intend to show you guys as many as we can."
New York Comic Con runs through Sunday at the Javits Center. Follow Heat Vision's full coverage here.