D.R. Bickham

The Milestone Comics era has returned with a new series of titles featuring many of the characters first introduced when the company began in 1993. An imprint of DC Comics, Milestone’s mission was to introduce minority and marginalized characters into the world of comics. comics and was spearheaded by legendary creators such as Dwayne McDuffie and Reginald Hudlin. The company’s best-known property is the superhero Static, who, like the other Milestone characters, has been integrated into the main DC universe. The Electric Wielding Hero has recently won his own series, Static season one, and several other Milestone properties are following suit, including fan-favorite character Icon.

In celebration of Icon and Rocket Season OneIn its upcoming debut on July 27, CBR participated in a panel discussion with three of the creators working on the comic: the venerable Reginald Hudlin (Black Panther), Leon Chills (Shadow Force) and artist Doug Braithwaite (Punisher). The series revolves around the enormously powerful alien icon who lives as an African American after assuming the guise of the slaves who found him in the 19th century. In the present day, young Rocket convinces him to become a hero with her as his partner.

Related: REVIEW: Static Season One # 1 Is An Electric Relaunch For The Hero.

One of the first questions asked of the creative team was directed at Hudlin, asking if a significant amount of time would be spent developing the slavery aspect of Icon’s origin story. “Icon has been on Earth for 150 years,” Hudlin responded. “We will not be telling stories single about his early childhood during slavery in America. Its history will span decades and we will show it in many amazing places across the map. “

The conversation shifted to the possibility of other characters from the broader Milestone universe appearing on the series, and again Hudlin, who is the series co-writer with Chills, was quick to respond. “Anything can happen,” he replied. “We have a lot of plans for many seasons with Icon, Rocket, Static and Hardware, and we are introducing new characters and new stories. Still, we haven’t finished writing everything yet, so I can’t say decisively. What’s going to happen. But I can say that you will see a lot of interesting things as we go through the series. “

Related: Icon: How Milestone’s Black Superman Influenced A True Supreme Court Justice.

After mentioning that he has plans for the broader Milestone universe, Hudlin shared the conversations he had with the creators of the other books that are also being relaunched, particularly Static season one Y Hardware. “Milestone was initially successful because it was cutting edge,” began the veteran writer. “If we were to reproduce that success, we had to be avant-garde for this generation. This meant finding new voices like Vita Ayala and Nikolas Draper-Ivey who write and draw. Static and Brandon Thomas, who writes Hardware.

“Denys Cowan and I had a pretty solid vision of what we want these characters to do and how to reintroduce them to the world. But we are so happy to see these writers take those initial ideas, run with them, and take them to new and exciting places. It’s a great team of people working towards the big picture we have in mind so that all the characters and stories intersect at certain times. At the same time, you can read each individual series and enjoy them without losing track of what’s going on. But we think that as you read, you will want to see the other books. “

Although co-writer Leon Chills and artist Doug Braithwaite were silent for much of the discussion, they both chimed in when the issue of Rocket’s status as Icon’s partner was broken, particularly the question of whether they were taking a non-traditional approach. Braithwaite confirmed that everyone viewed the relationship differently. Chills expounded: “Rocket doesn’t feel like a traditional partner. She has more agency than the regular partner, and she questions and challenges Icon in a way that I haven’t seen from other partners. It definitely feels more like a partnership, with them on their feet. of equality, that she being his buddy. “

As the artist on the series, Braithwaite was asked if there were any nuances to be aware of when considering the finite beginning and end of the series. “I’m just telling the story as succinctly as I can and making the points that Reggie and Leon are trying to make stand out to readers, old and new,” replied the artist. “There is a bit of pressure in that regard. This is a very strong piece of writing, and I think it is a very important project to work on.”

“That is why I am so excited to be working with Doug,” added Hudlin. “In the world of comics, the artist is really the director. Leon and I get the work done, but Doug is the person who brings it to life. He always meets or exceeds our expectations for storytelling, and he’s a pleasure to collaborate with. ” After thanking Hudlin, Braithwaite spoke more about the synergy between him and the writers. “It’s easy for me to visualize and interpret what the writers are trying to convey and what they want to see on the page. The characterizations are really strong and I love them.”

As the discussion drew to a close, the creators were asked which comics they read for their own pleasure. “I’m a huge Mark Millar fan so I’m always going to read whatever he’s posting,” Hudlin said. “I also really enjoy Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook Legion of superheroes, and I will always come back and read the classic Jack Kirby for inspiration again. “Braithwaite quoted the legendary writer and artist as well.” I tend to go for the classic Kirby project collections from the 60s and 70s. Those stories bring back the best memories and I love reliving those experiences. “

Icon and Rocket Season One is written by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills and with illustrations by Doug Braithwaite. The first issue goes on sale July 27 from DC Comics.

Read on: Static’s first superhero battle has disastrous consequences.