Final Milestones

Milestone Forever #1

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the comics produced by Milestone Media back in the ’90s. I loved the art, I loved the writing, I loved the dialogue and characterizations, I loved the idea that they were making superhero comics that looked like something other than a bunch of white people hanging out in spandex. Heck, “Blood Syndicate” got me back to reading comics, after years of ignoring them. And when I heard DC was going to bring all those characters back a year or two ago, I was real excited. It didn’t turn out so well — Dwayne McDuffie tried to re-introduce them during his run on “Justice League of America,” but DC kept taking control of the book away from him so they could promote new crossovers. And then DC announced that, whoops, they were foolin’, and other than Static, they had no plans to use the other Milestone characters for anything.

But the Milestone characters are getting one final hurrah — this very short miniseries, written by McDuffie, with artwork by John Paul Leon, M.D. Bright, J.H. Williams III, and Romeo Tanghal. We start out with a focus on Dharma, near-omniscient precog, obsessed with the only thing he can’t see — how the world is about to end. We catch up with Icon and Rocket, Flashback (still trying to kick her crack habit), Holocaust, still scheming, still trying to take over Dakota’s gangs. Holocaust wants his new Blood Syndicate to help him kill Icon, but he doesn’t know that Icon has allies on the way, including Static, Hardware, and even a bunch of Syndicate members. And former Syndicate leader Wise Son is back, ready to fight Holocaust for control of the gang he helped create. Is the ensuing battle going to be the spark that sets of the global armageddon that Dharma fears?

Thumbs up. It’s great to see all these characters again, even if some of them only show up for a panel or two. The dialogue is pretty good, and the story, set against the end of the world scenario that Dharma has foreseen since his first appearance, is still interesting. If I’ve got quibbles, it’s that there are probably too many characters — understandable, since they are trying to make sure all these people get to appear at least once, but it’s too bad we won’t get to spend more time with more of these characters. I also groused a bit about the consistency of the art — Dogg, for instance, ends up being depicted a lot larger than he was in the original comics, and Kwai has lost her Extremely Dramatic Eyebrows. The whole package is gonna run you $6, for just this first issue, but for Milestone fans, I’m still recommending it.

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3

Diana has just received her power ring and become a temporary member of the Star Sapphires. She sets out to bust up some Black Lantern zombies, particularly the resurrected Maxwell Lord, but she gets interrupted by Mera, Queen of Atlantis, now wielding a red power ring as one of the violently angry, blood-puking Red Lanterns. Of course, there’s a huge battle between the two — Mera’s rage won’t even let her think straight, and Wondy doesn’t want to hurt her anyway. Is there a way to get through to Mera before the zombies take all of them down?

Verdict: Thumbs up. As little as I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this mini-miniseries, I wasn’t expecting much from this final issue, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Character and dialogue hit on all cylinders, and the artwork by Nicola Scott is, as always, staggeringly awesome. Favorite bit? Wondy’s awestruck amazement on what it feels like to wield a power ring.

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  1. voodooben Said,

    February 6, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    “And then DC announced that, whoops, they were foolin’, and other than Static, they had no plans to use the other Milestone characters for anything.”

    Wow. That blows. Especially since they already used Xombi in the BRAVE AND THE BOLd a few issues ago.

    Guess the Milestone universe is kind of like Hypertime – a concept that didnt IMMEDIATELY gel, and is therefore being abandoned. Really would have liked to have seen this as one of the 52 multiverses…but then they couldn’t market Static as a new Teen Titan, could they? What a waste.