Milestone Media’s publishing future became clear due to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) International 2015 news. DC Comics and Milestone Media announced a partnership as Milestone marked more than 20 years since its inception. Currently this covers comic books, but since DC Entertainment also does movies, TV and more, that relationship could expand.
Marvel Comics’ comics industry growth recently has been in due in part to a massive number of Secret Wars tie-ins, but moreso the mega-success of its Disney parent company acquired Star Wars properties. Marvel also publishes Disney proper properties as well in comics, but their success has been dwarfed by Marvel’s Star Wars and related comics.
DC’s publishing path is different. While DC Comics in the past has bought other companies and properties, e.g. Charlton Comics, Fawcett Comics, WildStorm and others, that does not appear to be part of their future plans. It looks like more creator-owned comics via Vertigo Comics, which announced a massive rollout at SDCC 2015 of new titles in the last 3 months of 2015, and likely more coorperative partnerships like with Milestone Media and its co-pubishing of mini-series with IDW like Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes, Star Trek / Green Lantern and another SDCC 2015 announced Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles / Batman.
When the DC Comics New 52 launched, DC Comics did try to make an ongoing Static Shock (a Milestone Media property) series work as an ongoing, to mixed reviews and not enough sales to continue. DC Comics and Milestone seem to be going with a limited series approach with Milestone Media properties that makes the storylines finite, caters to collected edition sales afterwards and makes the properties seem special. I think this format might just work.
It will be interesting whether a fandom that overtly claims on social media that it wants diversity will support these diverse comics.
When Milestone Media was founded in early 1990s it partnered with DC Comics for its diverse Dakotaverse. 2015 rekindles that relationship in a big way including having Milestone Media properties occupy Earth M in DC Comics / DC You’s post-Multiversity / post-Convergence multiverse, and have top writer Geoff Johns and top artist Jim Lee contribute to a few of these limited publishing offerings alongside the Milestone founders and original creators and, hopefully, some new blood like artist Ken Lashley.
Below is the news release concerning Milestone Media and DC Comics publishing plan.
Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan Team Up With Jim Lee and Geoff Johns to Bring A Lineup of Culturally and Ethnically Diverse
Characters Back to DC Universe with Original Graphic Novels, One Shots, and Miniseries
During DC Entertainment’s (DCE) early morning press gathering, DCE Co-Publisher Jim Lee, producer/director Reginald Hudlin and Milestone Media co-founder/artist Denys Cowan (DETECTIVE COMICS) announced the creation of “Earth-M,” which will be home to the “Dakota” universe of characters from 1993’s Milestone Media and a host of all new characters.
For fans, this means the return of favorite Milestone characters like STATIC SHOCK, ICON, ROCKET, HARDWARE and XOMBI, along with new heroes and villains, yet still retaining the same kind of contemporary and socially relevant tone of storytelling that made Milestone such a groundbreaking imprint in the early 90’s.
“We couldn’t be more proud and excited about the opportunity to bring the ‘Dakota’ universe back to DC,” said Lee. “This is a huge step forward for us in bringing readers a more diversified lineup as part of the New DC Universe, and we’re anxiously looking forward to telling new stories that are socially and culturally impactful and representative of the world in which we live.”
Arriving as hardcover graphic novels, up to two “Earth-M” titles will be published annually, as well as a yet-to-be-determined number of miniseries and one shots. These books will feature all-star creative talent, including Milestone principals Hudlin and Cowan, as well as DCE top guns Lee and Johns. This agreement also means a revival of Milestone content as collected editions, both in print and digital format.
“Milestone Media was the first company to create a superhero universe full of Black, Latino, Asian, and white superheroes – both gay and straight,” said Hudlin. “Its fan-base was equally diverse. This new relationship will enable us to not only revive classic Milestone characters, but introduce new ones as well. Denys and I have had a great time working with Jim and Geoff as we reinvent the Dakota Universe for the 21st century. We have a lot of innovative ideas – from how the characters are presented to how the books are released – that will excite both new and old fans.”
Original graphic novels, one shots and miniseries are just the first step in an overall Milestone revival, eventually expanding to include action figures and an upcoming STATIC SHOCK digital series.
“Milestone Media has a long tradition of bringing multicultural heroes to life and DC Entertainment has always been an industry leader with their innovative approaches,” said Cowan. “Working with Geoff and Jim has been great and Reggie, Derek [Dingle] and I are thrilled to team up with them to bring the Dakota universe of characters back to the fans.”
What do you think of this news?
Tags: DC Comics, DC You, Milestone, Milestone Comics, San Diego Comic-Con, SDCC, SDCC 2015