DC ROUND-UP: MILESTONE RETURNS #0, it’s finally happening!

By Zack Quaintance -05/25/2021 12:00 pm

THIS WEEK: After years of waiting, Milestone Returns #0 arrives in shops this week, marking the revival of the Dakato-verse.

Note: the review below contains spoilers.  If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Milestone Returns #0

Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Artists: Denys Cowan, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Bill Sienkiewicz, ChrisCross, Juan Castro, Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, Jimmy Palimotti, Don ho, Khoi Pham, and Scott Hanna
Colorists: Chris Sotomayor, Wil Quintana, Alex Sinclair, and Hi-Fi
Letterer: AndWorld Design

This week’s marquee release, Milestone Returns #0, has been a long time coming. Indeed, DC Comics first announced the revival of the severely-underrated Milestone line’s Dakato-verse characters as far back as New York Comic Con 2017. Now, the first of the new comics has arrived, making its way to shops in this 40-plus page print format.

The book that’s hitting shops this week is bifurcated: half of it is the Milestone Returns: Fandome Preview published in conjunction with that event last year, while the other half is a new story titled The Big Bang. There’s some overlap between the two pieces, with The Big Bang basically re-doing some of the Static Shock vignette, this time with the work of Nikolas Draper-Ivy, one of the artists who will be illustrating that series when it arrives in earnest. And you know what? It’s all fine. It’s The Big Bang story that’s really for sale here, with the Fandome Preview feeling like a nice curiosity and a fun extra.

Teamed with legendary Static creator Denys Cowan, Draper-Ivy puts forth a stylish and modern take on the character. The story — written by Reginald Hudlin — opens at a Black Lives Matter protest in which militarized police and authoritarian forces (complete with giant shields and tanks) are tear gassing peaceful protestors. And it is in this context we get our first glimpse at Static’s updated design, at the interests that will drive the book, and at the themes that will presumably be present throughout all of these new Milestone comics. It’s all very poignant and exciting, paying homage to some of the most underrated superhero comics ever made while also updating them for today.

From there, Milestone Returns #0 moves to some of the Dakota-verse’s other characters, including Hardware, as well as Icon and Rocket. Totaling 24 pages in story, The Big Bang is a fantastic primer and tease for the new Milestone comics that are to come, enough to motivate readers to dive back into the old books (now available on comiXology for the first time) while also stoking anticipation for the new books this summer, the first of which is Static: Season One #1, slated to arrive in June from the creative team of writer Vita Ayala, artist ChrisChross, and Draper-Ivy.

So yes, the wait for these new Milestone comics has been a long one, and, hell, even the initial announcement of these most recent books was a little confusing, with them first being billed as digital-first releases before now transitioning to coming out same day online as in print. But in an ideal scenario, the new line will help to cement Milestone’s important legacy within the comics industry, while seeding a revival for the characters and the comics, one that will carry these stories into the future as superhero comics continue to change (ever so slowly) to better reflect the diversity of the country. Milestone Returns #0 is certainly a great start.

Verdict: Buy