Milestone Media was a comic book imprint that was created with the intention of creating a far more diverse universe than those represented in Marvel or DC. This didn't just mean we had a few token hoodrats as opposed to one, but that we got several characters from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and personalities. Icon was a staunch black conservative(a minority within a minority), Rocket was a teenage girl who grew up in the ghetto and had to face the problems that came along with that. Static was similar to Rocket, but was a boy and served as more of a Spider-Man role. Hardware was an angry inventor frustrated with both his manipulative boss and the reality of the glass ceiling. Xombi was Korean scientist who, through nanite induced immortality, encountered numerous supernatural beings who had inhabited the world for centuries. Kobalt was a Cuban vigilante who fit the role of the requisite EXTREEEEEMMEEEE!!!! 90s anti-hero. Race, especially in the case of black characters, was much better handled than someone like Black Panther, who is walking PIS gifted with knowledge of cures for several diseases, but refuses to release them to spite the EVIL WHITE MAN, or Luke Cage, is seriously is just a walking stereotype who will never live down said reputation. Milestone characters were not necessarily dependent on their races, but it was an important factor in Icon. Augustus Freeman was a Black American Republican, making him a seeming paradox to other blacks(or maybe actually opened his eyes about Democrats, but I won't get into that here). His stories, while incorporating more traditional beat-em up Superhero stories, and having sci-fi as a general backdrop, focused more so on politics and society than the other Milestone books. Also, being essentially a black Superman, he was the main hero in the Milestone 'verse, which meant one thing in particular for Milestone if they intended to be the opposite of Marvel and DC in terms of race. It meant not making their premiere black characters a jive talking replay of Dolemite, like Luke Cage. Luke Cage runs the gamut of black stereotypes, from living in the projects, getting involved with thug life, going to jail, having an EVIL WHITE DEVIL beat him in prison, engaging in promiscuous relationships of little value to him(he didn't really seem to care anything about Jessica Jones except getting in her pants, until of course, she got pregnant), and a number of horrific taglines. Now I'm not saying that a black characters should represent all of black"dom" in comics, but when you look at Marvel, and that.....THING is their main black guy? Well, ya know, besides the walking PIS of T'Challa, but the less said about that deus ex blackina the better. Sadly, Milestone ended up folding once the Comic Crash started really affected sales, all of which was caused by a few EXTREEEMMITIES(looking at you, Pouch King), but their characters were absorbed into the DC universe, who had already published them anyway. Sadly, they are VERY sparingly used, with no use of Icon and Rocket despite their inclusion in the Young Justice cartoon, and of course Static's horrible treatment from 2/3rds of his creative team, who intentionally undermined everything that John Rozum, a former Milestone creator and a friend of late Milestone creator Dwayne McDuffie, had already planned/was planning. Screw forcing Cyborg into the Justice League! Don't force these characters, just USE them! And I guarantee you, put some high level runs of Milestone characters out, with love and affection towards what had come before, and many chips will be made in the "Comics/DC are racist" jargon. But it'll take an a character of both popularity and relevance. It might just take an Icon.........(yeah I went there).
R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie