The creative giants behind DC Comics' relaunch of the Milestone comics initiative descended on New York Comic Con Thursday with a boatload of news and reveals for the crowd. Milestone, an imprint launched in 1993, was meant to give black and other creators of color a voice in the super hero industry, letting them tell stories about characters who reflected their personal life experiences.
When it relaunches in spring 2018, the new initiative will be called "earthM," which co-founder and artist Denys Cowan calls "a broader, more worldwide view" of life for these heroes than we've ever seen in previous Milestone stories. That's part of making sure they make this latest attempt at Milestone fresh.
"We can't just repeat what was done before," said Reginald Hudlin, who is writing, co-writing, and spearheading most of the development on the new earthM initiative. "When Milestone was founded, it was meant to be about doing things that hadn’t been done. We had heroes of color, black, brown, Asian, latino, and we had gay heroes, before anyone else was doing it. Jim Lee has been a champion of what we wanted to do. As Milestone was expressing the time it was in, these new books will reflect the times we’re in today."
Lee, as co-Publisher of DC Comics, has been championing the iniative significantly, giving the creators, including Hudlin, Cowan, Kyle Baker, Derek Dingle, Greg Pak, Alice Randall, and Ken Lashley, a wide berth from which to create the stories they wanted to tell.
"I've known Reggie a long, long time," Lee said, telling an anecdote about Reggie expressing interest in developing an early Image Comics title shortly after their founding. "I'm really happy to help these Milestone guys bring it back. It's been 25 years! A long, long time."
At the panel, they revealed the first five titles that Milestone will publish, starting in spring of next year. The series are Milestone, Static Shock, Duo, Love Army, and Earth M, all exploring iconic characters from the original universe in significantly new ways. Here's some teases of what they had to say about the series at the panel, with hi-res images are in the gallery below.
Finally, the significance of Milestone and its impact on the superhero industry will be explored in Robert Kirkman's documentary series on AMC, exploring the Secret History of Comics. Kirkman showed up to introduce about a five-minute preview of the episode, called, "The Color of Comics," which includes brand-new interviews with the founders, Christopher Priest, and archival footage of the late Dwayne McDuffie, one of the original co-founders.
That footage prompted Cowan to point out that while he's not in the initial announcements, "of course, Christopher Priest will be a part of what we're doing, and we'll have more to announced about his involvement soon."
Check out the gallery below for all the hi-res art they showed off at the panel, and stay tuned for much more about earthM!