The last two weeks have been historic in the world of comics (at least to me they have). Before I tell you why, let me give you a very brief history.
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY…
I grew up on comic books. But, as much as I enjoyed them (a lot) I noticed that there weren’t many characters who looked like me and stood for truth and justice.
Fast forward to 1993 where Milestone Media, owned and operated by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle made history by launching four comic book titles which had African American and other ethnic characters (Icon, Hardware, Static, and Blood Syndicate). DC Comics was their distributor and eventually, additional character storylines were created as well (Shadow Cabinet, Xombi, Heroes, etc…)
I was immedatiately drawn to Icon, Static and Hardware. Blood Syndicate was a little too raw for me, but here were characters – not perfect – but noble, who looked like me. And as much as I loved Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman and a host of other characters - I was immediately drawn to Icon (and Rocket), Static and Hardware. What I discovered from these titles was that as important as the character’s ethnicity was to me, the well written storylines made them endearing. And I could relate, because between them all, they showed that the African American Experience was not a “one-size fits all” occurrence.
But then they went away… After a number of years, the company closed up shop - but the cartoon Static Shock came as a result of their success, and that ran for at least four seasons.
Years have passed with no Icon, Static or Hardware… until today. Milestone Media and DC have teamed up again and folded the Milestone Characters into the DC universe.
The past two weeks have been historic because Static, Icon, Hardware and members of the Shadow Cabinet are back – right along side of Superman and the rest of the DC universe characters.
The storylines look interesting and I’m looking forward to future issues. When I think about comics and other literature, what comes to mind is that we all want to be represented, in the larger story of life, by someone who is qualified to represent our experiences, our hopes and our dreams.
Hopefully the storylines will do justice to the breadth and depth of the Milestone characters. The future is yet to come.
-Allen Paul Weaver III-