The End of An Era? Memories of Milestone Comics

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This week’s issue of Milestone Forever closes the door on another reality. That reality began in 1993 when the characters of the Milestone Media imprint injected a whole new breed of superhero into the comics market. Characters like cocky inventor genius Hardware, omniscient Machiavellian manipulator Dharma and energy-absorbing strongman Third Rail didn’t have to stand in for all black, Indian or Asian people when they appeared. The multiplicity of ethnically diverse heroes and villains in the fictional city of Dakota meant that a broader range of storytelling possibility was available, too.

Milestone wasn’t just ethnically multicultural, either. Donner and Blitzen from the Heroes title were the first openly lesbian couple I can remember seeing in superhero comics and several comics featured other gay and transgender characters in their stories.

But, that’s all gone now. Things haven’t gotten better since Milestone published its last comics in 1996. Even while they’re becoming blockbuster summer tentpole movies, superhero comics present an even more lonesome landscape for those looking for characters of color.

If Milestone’s new to you, then you can go here and here to learn more. For those who remember, someone has to mourn when a universe fades and I’m electing me. Forthwith, a very personal remembrance of my favorite Milestone Media moments. Spoilers ahead…

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