Milestone’s Timely Return Should Offer Distinguished Competition

“One thing I’ve always loved about the company [is] even the name, Milestone Media. It’s going to be a company that will not just be doing comic books. [We’re] going to be working on a lot of different mediums.”

Reginald Hudlin, “Milestone Media rises again.”

The 90s were a mostly dreadful decade for superhero comics which I thankfully skipped, so I didn’t experience Milestone 1.0 firsthand, but I’ve always been a fan of the creators behind it (R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie) and enjoyed some of the stories I caught up on years later. With Marvel’s movies and (some of) DC’s TV shows making their capes and tights comics irrelevant for me, it’s perfect timing for Milestone’s revival, especially with the Hollywood-savvy, arguably underrated Hudlin onboard.

All Negro Comics #1, courtesy of Tom Christopher
All Negro Comics #1, courtesy of Tom Christopher

It’s interesting how much has (and hasn’t) changed at Marvel and DC since Hudlin took on Black Panther ten years ago and was greeted by a predictable chorus of racist presumptions by the worst of comics fandom. Now, Captain America is black, Thor is female, Ms. Marvel is Muslim, and… I’m sure DC’s done some things on the diversity front but I honestly stopped paying any attention to their comics years ago.

Thankfully, it sounds like Milestone isn’t planning to place all their chips on comics alone because I doubt they’ll find much success in the core comics market. But as part of a broader distribution and media strategy that will hopefully include original graphic novels, webcomics, animation, and, eventually, live-action TV and/or movies and video games, I’m excited about the possibilities.

On a personal level, with my teenage son’s recent discovery of the awful 90s Deadpool, I’m hoping Milestone will become a gateway to new stories and characters we can enjoy together and see ourselves represented in, because Miles Morales is great, but no single character should have to bear that kind of cultural burden.

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