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Milestone Media. First Black owned comic company and first to focus on diversity.

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Slayven

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http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/m/mileston.htm
Milestone was a comic book company owned by African-Americans, with titles whose characters belonged to ethnic minorities. Created in 1992 by prominent comic writer Dwayne McDuffie, artist Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, who had worked on a number of business publications such as the Wall Street Journal, and Michael Davis (who left soon after the company was born), the Milestone line was launched a year later and distributed through a deal with DC Comics. Milestone felt that they needed to launch an entire line of comics because, as McDuffie explained, "If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren't just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can't be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn't all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn't do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that's wider than the world we've seen before."

Piece from an aborted documentary on Milestone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuLg13QbSSM




It had a lot of first. First lesbian couple to headline a book, first transgender headlining character, first superhero to deal with sexual assault in an ongoing basis instead of a "very special issue".
 

LucidMomentum

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It's always a bit sad to see all these comic book companies that fell by the wayside, and what neat concepts they had years before anyone else.

Not to marginalize anyone by saying that diversity and sexual identities in comics is just a neat concept.

But it's nice to see people that try, even with companies like Marvel nowadays starting to handle those sorts of things.
 

collige

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but what's the deal with all the black superheroes with electric powers?
 

TenCentCoast

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but what's the deal with all the black superheroes with electric powers?
Specifically ones with the name Static. I'm interested in that too.
It's always a bit sad to see all these comic book companies that fell by the wayside, and what neat concepts they had years before anyone else.

Not to marginalize anyone by saying that diversity and sexual identities in comics is just a neat concept.

But it's nice to see people that try, even with companies like Marvel nowadays starting to handle those sorts of things.
I'm still not expecting a trans headlining character in a book in this decade. Sadly.
 

Slayven

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but what's the deal with all the black superheroes with electric powers?

Popular theory is because it goes back to the myth black people don't swim. Same reason you see a lot of black cyborgs.
 

Hagi

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I vaguely remember watching the Static Shock cartoon as a kid. That Blood Syndicate tagline is pretty awesome in a I want to read this book to find out what the fuck that means.

Aren't there rumours of the Milestone characters coming back? like recent rumours as I know it's usually a thing circulating in some form.

Popular theory is because it goes back to the myth black people don't swim. Same reason you see a lot of black cyborgs.

They should move onto ice powers so they can just walk on water like Aokiji.
 

Slayven

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I vaguely remember watching the Static Shock cartoon as a kid. That Blood Syndicate tagline is pretty awesome in a I want to read this book to find out what the fuck that means.

Aren't there rumours of the Milestone characters coming back? like recent rumours as I know it's usually a thing circulating in some form.



They should move onto ice powers so they can just walk on water like Aokiji.

Milestone coming back is the new Spawn movie, they keep saying it but no movement.

How about the Equinox the Burning man?

 

Hagi

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Milestone coming back is the new Spawn movie, they keep saying it but no movement.

How about the Equinox the Burning man?

Yeah I've read it's been happening for years.

Hah I love when people have two powersets like that.
 

jph139

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People talk about Static and Icon all the time, but I think Blood Syndicate was the most interesting. A superpowered street gang as anything other than a bunch of cartoon villains still seems incredibly ballsy.

I mean Wise Son is a Black Muslim, Fade is gay, Flashback is hooked on crack... and there's a talking dog! Such a creative, hyper-real sort of cast.
 
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Never read a single Milestone book, none of them made it to my shores in the 90s. Is there a mini-series or a short run that still holds up today? Never been that impressed by McDuffie's work on other properties to be honest be I wouldn't mind knowing more about Milestone since I see a lot of praise for these books online.
 

Slayven

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People talk about Static and Icon all the time, but I think Blood Syndicate was the most interesting. A superpowered street gang as anything other than a bunch of cartoon villains still seems incredibly ballsy.

I mean Wise Son is a Black Muslim, Fade is gay, Flashback is hooked on crack... and there's a talking dog! Such a creative, hyper-real sort of cast.
Don't forget Third Rail and Brickhouse
Never read a single Milestone book, none of them made it to my shores in the 90s. Is there a mini-series or a short run that still holds up today? Never been that impressed by McDuffie's work on other properties to be honest be I wouldn't mind knowing more about Milestone since I see a lot of praise for these books online.

Milestone Forever
 
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Thanks for this thread, Slayven.

Got rid of 90% of my comic books, but kept my Milestone collection to one day pass to a kid that takes interest in comics. Still love Blood Syndicate.

1. Milestone forever is the definitive closing chapter on the milestone story. It's the final thing that Dwayne did that I believe held his personal beliefs on pretty much everything.

2. I never want to see Milestone come back. Ever. It was pretty much Dwayne, Ivan Velez, Jr., and Robert Washington. Without those guys - and ESPECIALLY Dwayne, forget about it. I don't even like how it was handled when they tried mixing it with the DC comics. Short of the Young Justice cameos, Milestone is best preserved in perfect amber of memory. No Geoff Johns, you CANNOT have them no matter how much you claim you like them.

3. little known McDuffie fact. Back in the day, I used to run a comic site and got to know Dwayne once he moved to LA and didn't live too far from me. He invited me to his apartment and let me interview him about a wide range of stuff. Comic projects that hadn't gotten off the ground, etc. The tape was an old SD mini DV tape that got damaged before i could transfer the media. It was one of the few McDuffie interviews out there. However, one of his biggest revelations and one that i'll always remember fondly was when he told me that one of my personal favorite comic books of all time, the Valiant Comics Solarr Man of the Atom mini series, was largely ghost written by him.

Not Jim Shooter.

This was a HUGE shock to me as I was - and am - a Jim Shooter fan. But it did reveal the amount of behind-the-scenes that fuckery continues to happen in comics. Dwayne was that guy that was a MAJOR part of the industry, but didn't get the love he deserved.

And for the guy that said he didn't like Dwayne's work on other titles, just check out the animated series Justice League Unlimted.

R.I.P. Dwayne. He was a personal hero of mine.
 

Bronx-Man

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I visited Harlem a few years back and I saw a stand selling black comics next to the Magic Johnson Theater. It was mostly black characters, Cyborg, Black Panther, but then I saw a couple of Static comics and I was like "Holy crap, he looks so different!" Picked it up and a couple hours later, I was all over the web trying to figure out everything about Milestone. I was hyped as hell to see Icon & Rocket on Young Justice.

R.I.P. to the main man Dwayne McDuffie.
 

Viewt

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I was a little too young to get into Milestone when it started (I was 3 in '92 and I didn't really start reading comics heavily until the early 2000s), but I'll always have lots of love for Static Shock (and the character Static), and an unending appreciation for Dwayne McDuffie.

Justice League Unlimited is one of my favorite shows of all time, and a sizable portion of that is directly because of McDuffie. His contribution to the DCAU is second to only Bruce Timm.

The guy just lived and breathed comics, and always came off really kind and sincere in interviews. He's greatly missed.
 

Slayven

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I was a little too young to get into Milestone when it started (I was 3 in '92 and I didn't really start reading comics heavily until the early 2000s), but I'll always have lots of love for Static Shock (and the character Static), and an unending appreciation for Dwayne McDuffie.

Justice League Unlimited is one of my favorite shows of all time, and a sizable portion of that is directly because of McDuffie. His contribution to the DCAU is second to only Bruce Timm.

The guy just lived and breathed comics, and always came off really kind and sincere in interviews. He's greatly missed.

He is also responsible for Ben 10
 
Aug 25, 2010
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He is also responsible for Ben 10

he contributed A LOT to Ben 10, but that was a Man of Action joint. Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, Rouleau, and Seagle. He came in, not unlike with Justice League, as a story editor who had a VERY strong hand in the direction of the show. His work - and influence - on JLU was a bit stronger. He got a lot of love in the animation world, which was ironic considering that Ben 10 and JLU was his first dive into it.
 

Messofanego

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Eh, I am sure its has super stupid origin, but how came this myth to existance? o_O
Something about not allowing black people in swimming pools.


If no one does it in family, no one picks up on it. It's not cheap, seen as a more elitist sport (especially when pool segregation stopped in 50s so white people started swimming in private clubs to avoid black people). Or parents not being able to swim, so kids don't learn because parents afraid they'd drown.

Actually, it's interesting how big of a part swimming and the water plays in Moonlight.
 

SkyOdin

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Specifically ones with the name Static. I'm interested in that too.
There is mostly just the one Static. The character was originally created as part of the Milestone comic universe. Later on, he was made the staring character of the Static Shock cartoon, based on his original Milestone comic. Eventually, DC comics folded the Milestone characters into the main DC comic universe and made Static a member of the Teen Titans.
 
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