Early in the 1990s, a company was started by black comic book writers and artists to better represent minorities in comics. This company was Milestone Media. Milestone had a distribution deal with DC Comics, while maintaining creative control and ownership of any of the characters created by Milestone.
Milestone debuted four titles in 1993: Hardware, Icon, Blood Syndicate,and Static. A trading card series dubbed Milestone: The Dakota Universe also debuted that year. Dakota was the main city, and base of operations, of the universe Milestone created.
I remember walking into my comic book store, and seeing these new comics focused on blacks. I was excited. It was a fresh take, and something that was more relatable to me. I enjoyed the Hardware and Icon titles the most. Hardware was a cross between Batman and Iron Man, and Icon was the Milestone equivalent of Superman. These books were just more enjoyable to me than a lot of the more mainstream stuff. Unfortunately, Milestone debuted at a time when the comic book industry was about to crash, and their titles never reached the levels that they were capable of. It also didn’t help that they weren’t promoted in stores or in the industry the way Image comics and some of the other companies were promoted. By 1997, Milestone canceled their titles and concentrated on other media interests.
That main media interest was the show Static Shock, which aired on the Kids WB. I loved this cartoon. It was action packed, and really was relatable for my kids. It was one of the best shows on the Kids WB. Static Shock aired for four seasons.
Milestone’s characters have now been integrated into the DC universe. They have appeared in comics, and in cartoons. Milestone was a great idea that just had some bad timing.