One of the most exciting traditions DC FanDome is developing is to blast out huge announcements about new Milestone projects, and this year has one of the best: Brandon Thomas, writer behind a whole crate of Aquaman comics (including the critically beloved Black Manta series with artist Chuck Brown) and the hit relaunch, Hardware Season One, has penned an animated feature based in Milestone home Dakota City.
“This has been the thing that Milestone fans have been dreaming about for a long time, and we’re happy to give it to you, finally,” said legendary artist, Milestone co-founder, and Hardware Season One artist Denys Cowan during the publishing line’s FanDome panel. Cowan told viewers that the Milestone animated movie would feature more than one character, hinting that the movie would establish the same broad scope of Dakota City that made the comics universe a fan favorite.
That same comics universe has been resurgent since the first FanDome: digitized versions of the original comics have been making their way onto DC Universe Infinite, the DC Comics binge read app. And the whole line has been updated for modern times, with Season One relaunches for Icon & Rocket, Hardware, and Static releasing to great acclaim.
The new Milestone publishing line is set to expand next year as well: the Milestone team is currently working on a Blood Syndicate book. The creative team has yet to be announced, but Icon & Rocket Season One has been hinting at introducing the super powered street gang, so news should be coming soon.
Cowan and Milestone producer Reggie Hudlin also confirmed during the discussion that Season Two of the Milestone Universe would be forthcoming. It’s not especially surprising – fan response to the announcement of Season One of the Milestone Universe was so strong that the books were moved from digital only to simultaneous print and digital releases.
The biggest announcement (well, in the literal sense) of the Milestone panel is that February sees the release of a 1,300 page (!) collection of classic Milestone comics. Milestone Compendium #1 includes the first 12 issues of 1993’s Blood Syndicate (by the late Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr, Trevor Von Eeden, and ChrisCross); the first 10 issues of Icon from the same year (written by McDuffie, with art by M.D. Bright); the first 12 issues of Hardware (mostly by McDuffie and Cowan); the first 8 issues of Static (by McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and the late great John Paul Leon); the first 8 issues of Xombi (by John Rozum and Joe Brozowski; and Shadow Cabinet #0 (by McDuffie, Washington, and Leon). This doorstopper of a book is scheduled for release on February 1, 2022.
It’s a perfect way to get yourself caught up on the original Milestone universe, even as DC continues to build a new one. And they’ll be building that in part with The Milestone Initiative Development Program, a nine week storytelling training seminar with DC partnering with WarnerMedia Access in a mission to “support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry” done in tandem with the Kubert School, “where participants can hone their storytelling skills and become the next wave of great comic book writers and artists.”
“From its earliest years, representation, impact and mentorship have always been at the heart of Milestone Media, and we’re proud and excited to with DC, WarnerMedia, and Ally on Next Generation DC and The Milestone Initiative, cultivating the next great wave of diverse storytellers,” said Milestone co-founder and iconic artist Denys Cowan.
And the time is now for creators who are looking to participate in the program. Applications for The Milestone Initiative opened on Oct. 16 and will close on Nov. 14. According to official materials, “the submission process requires prospective artists and writers create a new piece of creative material based around a themed prompt. Other application elements include essay questions, creative portfolios, and resumes.”
You can apply and submit for The Milestone Initiative here.
With all of these exciting announcements, Milestone may become a household name in the world of superhero publishing.