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WarnerMedia, DC and Milestone Announce The Milestone Initiative

The Milestone Initiative

Today at DC FanDome, Milestone Media Company, LLC co-founder Denys Cowan and Milestone Media producer Reggie Hudlin announced The Milestone Initiative, a new program from DC, Milestone Media, and WarnerMedia in collaboration with Ally.

With an aim to identify, support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry, The Milestone Initiative gives fans in the U.S. the opportunity to apply for The Milestone Initiative Development Program, which includes a one-week in-person training seminar in DC’s Burbank, CA offices, followed by an eight-week virtual technical training course through the prestigious Kubert School, where participants can hone their storytelling skills and become part of the next wave of great comic book writers and artists.

The Milestone Initiative is the inaugural program from DC’s Next Generation DC, a talent recruitment, mentoring and development program designed to increase access and opportunities for writers, illustrators, and creatives from underrepresented communities across the globe to contribute to DC comic book content, expand representation and tell authentic stories featuring some of the most recognizable characters in comics.

Co-founded in 1993 by artist Denys Cowan, writers Dwayne McDuffie and Michael T. Davis and Black Enterprise EVP/Chief Content Officer Derek T. Dingle, Milestone Media was created to address not only the lack of superheroes of color in comics, but also the lack of storytellers of color creating the content. In collaboration with DC, Milestone Media created the fictional city of Dakota, and some of the most unique and innovative characters in comics, such as Static, Icon, Hardware, Blood Syndicate and others.

Milestone Media stepped away from comics in 1997, but after adding award-winning producer Hudlin (73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, 52nd NAACP Image Awards, Django Unchained, Marshall) to its team, Milestone Media rejoined forces with DC this February. The relaunch began in May with the release of the Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition one-shot comic, before relaunching the line this Summer with updated and contemporized versions of their core line of characters – Static Season One, Icon and Rocket Season One, and Hardware Season One.

At a time when comic books are at the center of pop culture, creators in the field are largely homogenous. According to Zippia, Black comic book creators make up only 4.9% of writers and 3.4% of artists. Asian creators make up only 4.2% of writers and 8.4% of artists, and Hispanic or Latinx creators make up 7.1% of writers and 11.7% of artists.

To amplify The Milestone Initiative Development Program, WarnerMedia’s ad sales division will create a full slate of content in collaboration with Ally, a digital financial services company committed to advancing economic mobility and empowerment for underrepresented communities by providing funding, mentorship and access to opportunity that individuals need to succeed.

WarnerMedia’s new franchise-first approach brings IP like Milestone to the heart of partnership opportunities, providing brands with a way to connect to passionate fan bases inspired by the franchises’ zeitgeist.

The Milestone Initiative will span linear, digital and social touch points, while incorporating elements of social good, equity and inclusion along the way. Distributed across WarnerMedia’s ad-supported ecosystem, the campaign includes documentary-style videos and interactive digital assets to inspire a new generation of creators and far-reaching audiences. WarnerMedia reaches 77% of multicultural audiences in the U.S. – a total of 69 million people – across its digital and linear platforms.

To learn more about The Milestone Initiative Development Program and submit an application, fans can visit the website at www.dcuniverse.com/milestone.

Milestone’s Blood Syndicate Returns in 2022, Plus an Animated Film and Compendium!

The announcement of The Milestone Initiative in collaboration with Ally as part of DC’s Next Generation DC program was one of many mind-boggling announcements to come from this all-day celebration of DC and its passionate fans. In a discussion moderated by actor Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific, “Arrow”), Milestone producer Reggie Hudlin and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan shared more details about the future of Static, Icon and Rocket, Hardware, and the Dakota Universe.

After confirming that writer Randy McKinnon (Safety) is currently writing the script for the Static Shock feature film in production with Warner Bros. and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, Hudlin and Cowan dropped the bombshell that Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are working on a Milestone animated movie based on a screenplay by Hardware Season One writer Brandon Thomas. In addition to his Milestone work, Thomas is writing several Aquaman-focused series for DC: Aquaman: The Becoming, Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target, and the 2022 Aquamen series (co-written with Black Manta series writer Chuck Brown), in addition to a two-part Outsiders story in Batman: Urban Legends as part of DC’s Batman: Fear State comic book event. Thomas has also written several critically acclaimed series such as Excellence, and Noble, in addition to his own creator-owned series, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury.

This will be the first time that the city of Dakota will be featured in animation since the beloved Static Shock animated series which aired from 2000-2004; episodes are now available to watch for free with a subscription to HBO Max.

As the conversation turned to Milestone publishing, Reggie and Denys enthusiastically shared news that Milestone fans have been eagerly awaiting since DC FanDome 2020: an all-new Blood Syndicate comic book series is in the works for 2022. A writer and artist on the title is still to be announced, but both Milestone execs both talked about how Blood Syndicate has been the book that Milestone fans have been clamoring for, even as they received incredible praise for the current series, Static Season One, Icon and Rocket Season One, and Hardware Season One.

Regarding the current series, both Cowan and Hudlin not only confirmed that the characters will be appearing in each other’s current titles, confirming a connected “Dakotaverse,” but that “Season Two” plans for these titles are underway.

In addition to the new periodical series and a Milestone anthology releasing in February 2022, as a part of DC’s Black History Month celebrations, Cowan revealed his cover for Milestone Compendium One, available February 1, 2022. This massive, 1,300-page softcover is a must-have tribute for Milestone and comic book fans, as well as the perfect gateway for new fans to discover the legacy of the Dakotaverse and its greatest storytellers, including Cowan, the late Dwayne McDuffie (also a Milestone co-founder), Ivan Velez, John Rozum, Frazer Irving, M.D. Bright, and more.

The compendium collects issues #1-12 of Blood SyndicateHardware #1 -12, Icon #1-10, Static #1-8, Xombi #1-8, and Shadow Cabinet #0.

Preview: Static: Season One #3

Static: Season One #3

Written by: Vita Ayala
Art by: ChrisCross

The government believes the super-powered teenage “Bang Babies” of Dakota are out of control…and they’re too dangerous to be allowed on the streets! When his classmates start disappearing, Virgil Hawkins wants to do the right thing and expose what’s going on…but is there any way to do so without Static getting snatched up himself?

Static: Season One #3

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

King Spawn #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Action Tank #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – A young boy wakes to find himself on the other side of the solar system. Sounds like an interesting start to this series aimed at young readers.

Amazing Fantasy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic with a fun start and amazing art. We’re hoping for more.

Barbaric #3 (Vault Comics) – The series has been fantastic and a great spin on classic fantasy stories featuring a certain barbarian.

Dancing Plague (Selfmadehero) – The true story of when hundreds of Strasbourg’s inhabitants were suddenly seized by the strange and unstoppable compulsion to dance.

Darkhawk #1 (Marvel) – An all-new Darkhawk? We’re intrigued.

Echolands #1 (Image Comics) – J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein deliver a mythic epic featuring cyborg elves, gods, retro rocket ships, and more! The art so far has looked amazing.

Icon & Rocket: Season One #2 (DC Comics/Milestone) – The first issue had a great feel about it delivering some hope at the end that has us looking forward to more.

King Spawn #1 (Image Comics) – Todd McFarlane has big plans for Spawn and that includes expanding the universe with new comics. How this series will differentiate itself from the main one is unknown but we’re intrigued to see.

Ninjak #2 (Valiant) Read our early exclusive review.

Suicide Jockeys #1 (Source Point Press) – After a catastrophic mission, the leader of a monster-fighting unit must pull the team back together.

Superman ’78 #1 (DC Comics) – We love this film and are hoping it delivers a magical experience like the movie.

Superman vs. Lobo #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – Lets face it, these two together has potential for some comedy.

Transformers: Shattered Glass #1 (IDW Publishing) – The highly anticipated “Mirror Universe” version of the Transformers is here!

Winter Guard #1 (Marvel) – With a spotlight in Black Widow, it’s always interesting to see what Marvel does as far as tie-ins.

Preview: Icon & Rocket: Season One #2

Icon & Rocket: Season One #2

Written by: Reginald Hudlin
Art by: Doug Braithwaite

Who is the mysterious Xiomara? She’s an attorney with a unique set of skills…and if you’re Raquel “Rocket” Ervin, she’s who you want in your corner when the United States government comes knocking on your door, asking questions about your friendship with the all-powerful alien known as Icon! A secret identity doesn’t get you far when every intelligence operation in the world is hunting you…

Icon & Rocket: Season One #2

Review: Hardware: Season One #1

The latest series from the rebooted Milestone is here and it delivers another new tone, look, and direction for the universe while tying into what’s already been released. Hardware: Season One #1 features amazing visuals in what amounts to an extended chase scene.

Story: Brandon Thomas
Art: Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz
Color: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Rob Leigh

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

comiXology
Kindle
Zeus Comics
TFAW


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Preview: Hardware: Season One #1

Hardware: Season One #1

Written by: Brandon Thomas
Art by: Denys Cowan

Curtis Metcalf was the brightest shining star of Alva Industries, a brilliant scientist mentored by Edwin Alva since childhood…until the failures of Alva technology at the “Big Bang” disaster threatened to destroy the company, and Alva needed a scapegoat. Now Curtis is on the run from the Dakota police department…but a man as smart-and paranoid-as Curtis takes precautions. With a nearly indestructible suit of armor and remarkable inventions that he never handed over to Alva, Curtis stands determined to do much more than clear his name…he’s going to take the fight back to Alva himself!

Hardware: Season One #1

Review: Hardware: Season One #1

Hardware: Season One #1

I know very little about Hardware. I know the design but having never read the original comics, my knowledge is lacking. From what I can tell, the character has an Iron Man vibe about him and I’m not too far off after reading Hardware: Season One #1. While that initial take is very surface level, thankfully the debut issue delivers a thematic depth that’s so much more.

The third release in the relaunch of Milestone, Hardware: Season One #1 features a multi-layered read. It’s one that can be enjoyed for the at times fantastic art and action or its deeper themes.

Written by Brandon Thomas, Hardware: Season One #1 is tied directly to Static: Season One. Curtis Metcalf is being blamed for the release of gas that has given numerous individuals powers. Some claim he’s done it on purpose so those individuals could rise up against oppression. The Dakota Police are pursuing Metcalf forcing him to don a suit of armor and go on the run. The debut issue is mostly that.

Thomas keeps things simple as Hardware must dodge the police or take them out before they catch him. Despite that simplistic narrative, Thomas delivers so much more. Thomas puts Metcalf’s opposition in not just the Dakota PD but also his mentor and owner of the company he works for. Their relationship and interactions scream an exploration of modern race relations and at times evokes a master/slave mentality. Thomas makes the conversation and scenes between the two uncomfortable at times as it drips white supremacy and underlying racism on Alva’s end.

Denys Cowan‘s art is as impressive as expected. With inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, color by Chris Sotomayor, and lettering by Rob Leigh, there’s a grittiness about the art that matches the “man on the run” concept of the first issue. There’s times the exact details of what’s happening aren’t quite clear but the art still impresses. The style really nails down the story that Thomas has crafted as it emphasizes Curtis’ desperation and the chaotic nature of what’s happening.

Hardware: Season One #1 is another solid start for the Milestone line. The issue nails its tone and delivers a frenetic opening that has the reader along for the ride. Even when the art is a bit confusing, it’s still engaging with a beautiful style that nails the issue’s tone and narrative. Milestone is quickly shaping up to be everything we’d hope and this is a prime example of what that is.

Story: Brandon Thomas Art: Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.65 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Campisi #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Avengers Tech-On #1 (Marvel) – Marvel has been teaming up with various companies delivering new spins on their characters. This one delivers a “high tech” take that includes collectible figures available for order.

Batman ’89 #1 (DC Comics) – The classic film gets a new series continuing its wonderful world. Yeah nostalgia!

Big Apple Diaries (Roaring Book Press) – In this heartfelt diary-style graphic memoir, a young New Yorker doodles her way through middle school – until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack leaves her wondering if she can ever be a kid again.

Bunny Mask #3 (AfterShock) – This horror series has been intriguing and the previous issue’s ending really caught us off guard as to where this series is going.

Campisi #1 (AfterShock) – A mafia hitman must take on a dragon who has encroached on their territory.

Count Draco Knuckleduster #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – The cosmic series has a classic Kirby vibe mixed with 70s psychedelics and we’re down for it.

Defenders #1 (Marvel) – The Defenders are a classic team and every new itteration is interesting. We’re intrigued to see what this latest version is like.

Hardware: Season One #1 (DC Comics/Milestone) – Milestone’s return has been solid and we want to see this world grow!

I Am Batman #0 (DC Comics) – John Ridley continues his vision for Batman!

Pennyworth #1 (DC Comics) – From television series to comic!

Rainbow Bridge (AfterShock/Seismic Press) – AfterShock moves into young reader territory with this graphic novel debut. Check out our review.

Run Book One (Abrams Comicarts) – The second series telling the amazing life of Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis. It’s the next chapter in the history of civil rights.

Savage Circus #5 (Heavy Metal) – The series has been awesome carnage. It’s just over the top action and a hell of a lot of fun.

Unbelievable Unteens: World of Black Hammer #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – The world of Black Hammer spins out even more with this meta team superhero saga taking place between two different worlds.

Almost American
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