Comic Publishers

March 11, 2010

DC Reviews: Milestone Forever #2

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Denys Cowan, John Paul Leon, & ChrissCross
Cover: Stanley “ArtGerm” Lau

“Hardware/Static Shock”: Dharma continues to search for “the one” who will be able to stop him from making a decision that could destroy the world.  If not, he will be forced to make the choice himself, and after years of orchestrating events and manipulating people because he already knew the outcomes, he’ll have to basically step out on a rare act of faith.  To put it simply, the man is scared.  Dharma’s ongoing search focuses on Hardware and Static Shock in two separate tales dealing with what could be their final stories.

Hardware’s story is up first as he’s notified by his lawyer, Augustus Freeman (Icon), that all of his court issues are settled and on top of owning Alva Technologies, he is a very rich man now.  So what does Curtis Metcalf do with this information? Well he’s been taking stock of his life and has come to the conclusion that he was able to escape the cage he was born into…however, he has established a new one for himself over the years and it’s time to get on with life.  So a year later he turns the company over to those he trusts after getting the company to where he wants it, and tells them that he is finished being Hardware. Curtis goes on to state that he has successfully put his past regarding Alva behind him, and then he does something truly difficult: asks his girlfriend Barraki Young to marry him in a way that only Curtis Metcalf can.  She does remind Curtis that he stated that Hardware will always be needed and he already has that part covered.  All I’ll say about that is: Don’t sweat the Technique!

Milestone’s first hero: Hardware

Static Shock’s tale begins at his 10 year high school reunion and the first person he bumps into is Richie, and the two begin to reconnect as only a fanboy would understand. Well later in the evening the festivities are disrupted by Static’s old nemesis, Hotstreak, who is now going by the moniker Firewheel and he’s looking for Static after figuring out he was probably part of that graduating class. Virgil thinks fast and actually finds a costume he hid in the school years ago.  The two go at it and it seems as if Firewheel is still as racist as ever and seems to think that if he finally beats Static this will prove “the white man’s superiority”. Well after Static begins to gain the upper hand while simultaneously making him look ignorant, Firewheel escapes and on a walk home with his friends, Virgil pretty much assumes that he’ll try again at the Homecoming game the next night.

During the walk they stop by the old comic book store and we are introduced to the future of comics (god I hope not) as Virgil is asked not to open the package containing a data drive because it will “lose it’s value,” and that the “old paper ones” are in the back.  Following a lengthy night of Warcraft, Virgil makes it home and after catching up with family it’s time for Homecoming.  And just as Virgil predicted, Firewheel shows up and after a pretty funny change into costume, the two go at it and Static basically makes easy work of Firewheel. It’s then revealed that another 10 years has passed and Static has been talking to his two children about his last outing as Static Shock. Meanwhile, his wife Frieda (finally!) is getting ready for their 20 year class reunion.

Dharma has to come to terms with the fact that neither of these two are the ones who will do what he wants done, so he has to make the move on his own. Iron Butterfly is fearful of what will happen when he awakens Rift (which will be the catalyst of the possible destruction) and is prepared to kill Dharma. But how do you sneak up on a man who can see past, present, and future all at the same time?  He regrettably kills her and begins to make that leap of faith and hopes that he is making the right decision as he amasses the power of Rift. His new found power enables him to bring both the Dakotaverse and the DCU (DC Universe) together, and we see various heroes from both Universes; some alone and some working together.

Static #1

I’ll go ahead and say this now that after re-reading the first issue this is the better of the two books, and it’s probably because I’ve pretty much been a fan of Hardware since day one. In regards to Static, he’s a character that I’ve liked but not as much as other Milestone characters, and just felt that he was over hyped here. Although, with this story I’m beginning to rethink my issue with him…

McDuffie’s Hardware story was a pretty deep piece in regards to the character. The cage metaphor being used throughout hit on multiple levels as Dwayne navigated the final year of Curtis Metcalf’s old life, and brought us back to Hardware #1- all in just a few pages! I’m content with how his end came about, though I’m interested in the few gaps in time and what happened there, but not knowing didn’t distract from what McDuffie was trying to convey.  Static’s story is a bit more on the lighter side of things which was true fanboy fun, and aside from Dwayne’s take on a possible future for comics, I enjoyed every bit of that story.  For some reason I was taken back to Static #2 while reading his part of Milestone Forever and just thought how far the young hero has come and how far Firewheel has not. The fact that Dwayne can come back and write these guys after so long without missing a beat is a testament to knowing your created characters inside and out.  Denys Cowan, ChrissCross, and John Paul Leon helped to put together a great looking book from page to page, and I liked that the Dharma sequences had that old school feel which took me back.

Now that the mini-mini-series is over, I’m concerned that these characters won’t get the push or respect that they deserve while being handled soley by DC.  I say that because Milestone went places with their stories and characters that the Big Two wouldn’t dare at the time, and they still wouldn’t touch on half the subject matter nowadays. I don’t want watered down facsimiles of my favorite Milestone characters, nor do I want half assed attempts at stories that were told by McDuffie and co. years ago.  I’m hoping DC isn’t still holding a grudge against him and makes a serious effort to push these characters into a new decade.  Looking at the 2 covers of Milestone Forever though, DC isn’t doing much to ease my skepticism.  The first issue’s original cover artwork by Admira Wijaya fit the story’s premise with the characters coming into another universe. But someone chose to give it that “urban” feel with the corny ass graffiti back ground, and then again with this issue the exact same thing was done, effectively taking away from ArtGerms great cover.  I guess someone at DC thought that Milestone was just about the color.

If you would like to get up to speed on some of the Milestone characters, a Hardware TPB (trade paper back) goes on sale March 24 and an Icon one is available as well, and hopefully more will be available in the months to come. McDuffie did state that the book was edited again and posted the quotes he wanted used here. So all we can do now is wait and see what DC does with this slew of characters they have been given the rights to use… but in the words of Dharma “What’s done is done. What will be done is done.”

Infinite Speech



  1. “I guess someone at DC thought that Milestone was just about the color.”

    Ooof. But you said it; they really made those covers look bad with monotone coloring…just a really bad choice to do that.

    I’m not gonna lie though man, I tried reading this and couldn’t get through it. I like Static, but only as a Teen Titan.

  2. Milestone had a motto in their books that read Milestone: More than just the color which was a reference to race. My comment “I guess someone at DC thought that Milestone was just about the color.” was a shot at whoever at DC decided to replace the great cover art with that crappy ass “urban” background becuase the characters are predominately Black.

    Someone else dropped the ball by not having a recap page included in both books because I talked to people who had read Milestone books consistantly and they didn’t even remember exactly what was going on when the books “ended” back in 1997 so how would someone who was picking up the book for the first time going to figure out what was going on. Noticing that people who had a history with the characters actually enjoy both books a lot more than those that only know of one or two characters…damn shame.

  3. billy

    Nice review Speech!

  4. Thanks for checking it out Billy!

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  9. […] There was an assumption that when the character was being brought into DC’s continuity with Milestone Forever, and then the New 52, that there wouldn’t be a period of adjustment. Well, even with […]

  10. […] […]

  11. […] reasons why it hasn’t worked (another article for another time) but you can’t have Static Shock without Virgil Hawkins and that’s what has been missing in their interpretations of him for […]

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