In what may be one of the biggest announcements from the Big Two this week, DC Comics and Milestone Media have announced a renewed partnership that will see beloved characters like Static, Icon, and Hardware returning to the DC Universe. As reported by Comic Book Resources, the deal plants the Milestone characters on “Earth-M” within the newly re-established DC Multiverse. Plans currently include several graphic novels, mini-series and one-shots from original Milestone creators Denys Cowan and Reginald Hudlin and DC’s own Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.
“We have to keep this company alive. We have to maintain diversity in this industry,” said Milestone co-founder Derek T. Dingle regarding the move. Reginald Hudlin added; “It was a call that we could not ignore. We had to do it. This has been a very complicated deal to put together. Their patience, their perseverance, has been incredible.”
Milestone has a long and complicated history with DC Comics. The heroes were prominently featured in Dwayne McDuffie’s run on “Justice League of America,” as well as several of DC’s animated media properties. “Static Shock” was a launch title under the New 52 banner but was cancelled after only 8 issues, amidst a storm of controversy surrounding John Rozum’s treatment at the hands of editorial. After seemingly severing ties with DC, Milestone Media relaunched under the “Milestone 2.0” banner, which seems to carry into the deal with DC.
Multiversity’s own DC3 were extremely excited that Static was included in the “Divergence Sneak Peak” for “Justice League United,” only for the character to be subsequently removed from said preview image. Perhaps, rather than censorship due to legal questionability, Parker and Foreman were just slightly ahead of the curve. Regardless, this is extremely exciting news for fans of both DC and Milestone. The “DC You” initiative has indicated a renewed dedication to diversity in superhero comics for the company, and the inclusion of the Milestone characters is a major boon. Here’s hoping we don’t get a repeat of the most recent “Static Shock.”