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…
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Last month, Milestone returned with Static and now we get to see the line and world expand with Icon & Rocket: Season One #1. The series launches the classic hero and sidekick team-up and delivers a debut that’s a bit classic in its delivery with an updated setting.
The series takes us from the tragic trip that saw the alien known as Arnus crash on Earth. Taking on a human guise, he was raised among humans but over the years he decided his adopted home was beyond saving. Instead, he kept his gifts to himself living an isolated life. Enter Raquel Ervin, a bright young woman, who fell into the wrong crowd and crossed paths with Arnus, now going by Augustus Freeman. Thus setting up the duo known as Rocket and Icon.
Written by Reginald Hudlin, Icon & Rocket: Season One #1 is an entertaining start. The debut has some classical elements to it feeling like a mix of classic Superman and Batman in varying ways. But, it also looks to challenge the superhero genre. Augustus is an individual with immense power and chooses not to use it. He sees the negativity in his actions that removing one problem will create a vacuum for another to fill. It’s an interesting approach to the “why don’t superheroes solve xyz problem?”.
I haven’t read previously released comics featuring the duo so coming in fresh to the series, it feels engaging to me. While it’s a generally slow beginning (showing modern decompression in its storytelling), it also builds to its finale delivering a glimmer of hope. It’s interesting in that way as we see subtle shifts from a cold, negative, start to a slightly classic finale that shines a beacon of light.
The art is solid. Doug Braithwaite‘s pencils deliver a lot of detail that begs the reader to linger on pages to get the great story. Joined by Scott Hanna and Andrew Currie on ink, Brad Anderson on color, and lettering by Andworld Design, the comic looks fantastic. It delivers a somewhat dour mood without being depressing. The look and style has a darkness before the light aspect about it. The comic could easily have featured a much more over the top and violent opening but the art captures the scared nature of its assailants and downplays the actions in some ways. These aren’t hardened criminals but petty thieves who stumble and make a horrible mistake. The art captures the emotional journey of its initial focus.
Icon & Rocket: Season One #1 is a solid debut for me. Without knowing a lot about the series, it’s a start that has me wanting to come back to read more. There’s a retro feel in some ways but also a touch of modern comics. It’s another success for Milestone which is finally back and delivering the quality we’ve been waiting for.
Story: Reginald Hudlin Art: Doug Braithwaite Ink: Scott Hanna, Andrew Currie Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Andworld Design Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Long ago, the stranded alien known as Arnus gave up hope of returning to his home planet. Tragically, he’d also realized that his adopted home of Earth was beyond saving. Content to waste away his long life in a human guise, Arnus was past caring…until the day a young woman named Raquel Ervin crashed into his life. Soon she’d convinced him to put his incredible power to work again as the heroic Icon…and to transform her into his sidekick, Rocket! But an innocent question on Rocket’s part—“Why can’t we do something about the drugs on my corner?”—quickly sets a chain of events in motion leading to the pair becoming the most hunted beings on Earth…and they’re not just being pursued by Earthlings, either!
Writer, director, and producer Reginald Hudlin (Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite unleash a tale of power and responsibility that will stretch from the boardrooms of corporate America to the jungles of South America and the depths of deep space! If you’ve ever thought there were certain things that a superhero story just couldn’t do, it might be time to start thinking differently…
Black Cotton Star is the latest comic to turn film as ZQ Entertainment has acquired the rights. Reginald Hudlin will direct the film from a script by Deric Hughes and Benjamin Raab. Hudlin will produce with Prime Universe’s Adrian Askarieh, and ZQ heads Ara Keshishian and Petr Jakl. Martin J Barab will be exec producer.
Black Cotton Star tells the story of three African American soldiers in World War II who are sent on a suicide mission to retrieve the first ever American flag which was stolen by a Nazi Commander. The graphic novel was written by Yves Sente with art by Steve Cuzor. Both will executive produce.
Black Cotton Star was published by the Belgian publisher Dupuis and in the US by Pegasus Books with Europe Comics handling digital publishing.
Since the digital launch of Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition, fans everywhere have been waiting for more information regarding the return of the Dakotaverse to DC. At WonderCon@Home 2021 we got some more of what’s to come as storytellers Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan with the very first appearance of the Static Season One team of artists CHRISCROSS and Nikolas Draper-Ivey for a fun discussion about what’s to come for the heroes of Dakota, moderated by the voice of Static Shock and Green Lantern John Stewart himself, Phil LaMarr!
DC has kept it pretty quiet as far as the creative teams behind the Milestone relaunch but we now know who will be handling the first three series.
What’s interesting also is the use of “season” to describe the release, a change from the traditional “volume”. Season is a much easier concept for non-regular comics readers to understand as it shifts the understanding of releases more towards television releases indicating DC may have a much wider audience in mind when it comes to marketing the relaunch of Milestone.
The new series creative teams and debut dates are:
Written by Brandon Thomas Art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz Covers by Mateus Mahanini Debuting August 15, 2021
Written by Vita Ayala Art by ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey Covers by Khary Randolph Debuting April 11, 2021
Icon and Rocket
Written by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills Art by Doug Braithwaite Covers by Taurin Clarke Debuting June 27, 2021
There’s four new digital comic relases on comiXology. Get new comics from Harlequin and DC Comics. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases below.
Milestone Returns (2021-) #0
Written by Reginald Hudlin Pencils ChrisCross, Denys Cowan, Jim Lee Inks Juan Castro, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Bill Sienkiewicz Colored by Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Chris Sotomayor Cover by Denys Cowan Purchase
At long last – the return of the legendary Milestone Comics imprint has kicked into high gear! This jumping-on point one-shot features twenty-four all-new pages chronicling the events of the Big Bang – the police-brutality protest gone wrong that changed the face of the city of Dakota forever, by unleashing a wave of superpowers across its population! As the world watches, a bullied teenager will become the hero known as STATIC… a framed scientist will go on the run as the superweapon HARDWARE… and a stranded alien will meet an ambitious young woman who will transform his life, and remake the pair as the all-powerful ICON & ROCKET!
Also included is the 17-page primer story originally released during the world-famous DC FanDome event, further expanding on our heroes’ origins and where they’re going next… and setting up an entire world of allies, enemies, and surprises!
The original Milestone changed the face of superhero comics forever, introducing the industry to a wave of Black talent who still shape the conversation… and the new Milestone intends to raise the bar! Get on board here!
Truth & Justice (2021-) #8
Written by Danny Lore Pencils Ray-Anthony Height, Adriana Melo Inks Ray-Anthony Height, Joe Prado Colored by Wil Quintana Purchase
Save Yourself Part 2 – John Constantine and Papa Midnite have a long and strained relationship with each other and their past is about to catch up with them!
Laura, a chef, is hurriedly cooking a lunch to entertain her uncle’s business client and soon discovers that the client’s new president is her ex-husband, Jason. How did an unsuccessful artist become the president of a big company? When the memories of his betrayal and her ill-fated marriage come back to haunt her, Laura flees. But her uncle pleads with her to forget about the past for the sake of his troubled business. Is there more to the story of her tragic marriage than Laura is aware of?
Written by Charlotte Lamb Art by Kuremi Hazama Purchase
Elle se réveille dans une magnifique maison en bord de mer, un homme qu’elle n’a jamais vu est endormi juste à côté d’elle ! Elle n’arrive pas à se souvenir comment elle a pu atterrir ici et elle réalise peu à peu qu’elle a perdu la mémoire. Alors qu’elle prend conscience de son malheur, l’homme à ses côtés lui explique qu’il est Muir Igram, le propriétaire de l’hôtel dans lequel elle se trouve, et qu’il souhaitait l’aider quand il l’a vue allongée sur la plage, inconsciente. Acceptant son aide, elle travaille pour lui en tant que secrétaire, mais au fur et à mesure, elle commence à se dire qu’elle ne retrouvera peut-être plus jamais la mémoire…
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Following 2020’s panel at DC FanDome Hall of Heroes, DC has announced more details on the return of the fan-favorite Milestone universe of characters from the city of Dakota.
Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0
The excitement kicks off February 26 with a digital-first “extended cut” of the Milestone Returns #0 one-shot. Originally available only during 2020’s DC FanDome Hall of Heroes and Explore the Multiverse, this updated edition also arrives in comic book stores on May 25. Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0 combines the original 17-page comic with an additional 24 pages of completely new material written by Reginald Hudlin and drawn by artists Denys Cowan, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Bill Sienkiewicz, and more.
This added content includes a retelling of the events of the Big Bang, the police-brutality protest that unleashed a sudden wave of superpowers in the city of Dakota. This $4.99 “director’s cut” also features content introducing the full new creative teams behindStatic,Icon & Rocket, and Hardware, the digital-first series spawned by this new Big Bang, along with a reveal of their issue #1 covers.
In addition, DC’s future plans include the long-awaited launch of Earth M, a new line of comics conceived by Cowan and Hudlin, which will include the return ofDuo, introduced to readers in Milestone Returns “#0, and other characters who will also appear in Milestone comics.
Static Digital-First Miniseries
Following in April, fans can expect new adventures of Dakota teenager Virgil Hawkins in a six-issue Static digital-first series.
In this monthly miniseries (20 pages per issue), bullied nerd Virgil is gifted with incredible electromagnetic powers in the wake of the Big Bang. Now he finds himself caught between an over-militarized police response to Black kids getting special abilities and some of those kids who are using those powers in dangerous and destructive ways. But when the bullies who terrorized him before the Big Bang show up with powers of their own, can Static be the hero that Dakota needs?
Static launches Monday, April 12. Each 20-page issue will be available on participating digital platforms for $3.99.
Icon & Rocket Digital-First Miniseries
The return of Augustus Freeman and Raquel Ervin is also in the works, with a new series featuring Icon and Rocket.
What happens when superheroes actually make a difference? When Raquel Ervin broke into the home of a wealthy Black lawyer, she didn’t expect to learn that he was a nearly omnipotent alien, lost in despair of ever returning home—and he didn’t expect that she would inspire him to emerge from the shadows and become a force for change on the planet he’s trapped on. What starts out as a simple request to stop the drug trafficking in her neighborhood turns into a mission to eliminate the drug trade worldwide. However, this act of heroism has unexpected consequences, making the pair the two most wanted criminals in the world when actually stopping crime leads to the collapse of the global economy!
The debut issue of this six-issue monthly series (20 pages each) arrives June 21 for $3.99 per issue.
Hardware Digital-First Miniseries
The relaunch of Milestone would not be complete without some mention of Curtis Metcalf, and beginning August 23, the first wave of new Milestone stories climaxes with the return of Hardware in a new digital-first series. This six-issue monthly series features the return of legendary artist and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan with Bill Sienkiewicz on the character that completes the foundation of Milestone and the Dakota universe, both past, and present.
All his life, young prodigy Curtis Metcalf was told he was special, and that he would save the world. But it turns out that Alva Industries wanted his beautiful mind for something a lot less noble than that—and his technology has made him the fall guy for the tragedy of the Big Bang. But Curtis is smart enough to not go out like that—and smart enough to steal his inventions back from Alva and start the process of remaking the world his way.
New issues of this series will be available each month for $3.99.
DC announced during their FanDome event that StaticShock was getting the movie treatment. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Michael B. Jordan and Outlier Society will produce the film.
Jordin joins Reginald Hudlin on the project. Outlier Society is Jordan’s Warner-based banner.
In a statement, Jordan said:
I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around black superheroes; our community deserves that. Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with Reggie and Warner Bros on this initial step.
Static is 15-year-old Virgil Hawkins who gains electromagnetic powers and becomes a costumed crusader.
Static first appeared in Static #1 in 1993 as part of the Milestone Comics imprint. Milestone was a comics imprint founded in response to the underrepresentation of minorities in comics. The comic imprinted the Dakota Verse, filled with minority superheroes and characters. Static was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. When Milestone folded, Static eventually joined the regular DC Universe.
Milestone is currently being revived by DC. Hudlin will be writing a new Static Shock digital comic series that launches in February 2021 as well as a graphic novel with art by Kyle Baker.
Static has also appeared in other media including his own animated series which ran for four seasons and 52 episodes.