Sunday, February 27, 2011

Milestone Media Co-Founder Dewayne Mcduffie Dead at 49

Milestone Media Flagship Character ICON

It is appointed once for Man to die and after this the Judgement.  The Holy Bible

Blessed are they that are in that 1st Resurrection for they shall see God (IAM) Rev 13

I never met Dewayne Mcduffie face to face or had a conversation with him but I knew him.  He Friended me  on my Facebook .  (Smile) I knew him though, I knew him intimately through his art and through his writing.  I am an avid comic book collector specializing in Afrikan American Comics and Characters. 

In the 90's I was a huge fan of Marvel Comics The Silver Surfer, The Fantastic Four, Every X Men title in existence with the exception of Excalibur and Spider Man. Every Title except Spiderman 2099.  Yeah, I'm a Proud Comic book nerd.

Marvel Comics had a few Black Characters like the Fabulous Falcon,Power Man Luke Cage , Night Thrasher, Rage, Black Panther and Female Characters like Nocturne ( She was so lame). Marvel didn't use Black Characters that much and when they did sometimes they were kinda lame.  Power Man AKA Luke Cage or Cage is almost 40 years old and there have been three different attempts to give him his own comic. His dialogue at times seemed to be stolen from a Superfly movie, his costume was comically lame. Big Black Dude with a loud canary yellow shirt, collar open, chest hair exposed, Big Afro, with a metal band around it and a chain instead of  a belt. This lasted til the 90's!  There were writers who gave good efforts but Damn! Milestone Comics spoofed Cage with a ccharacter called Buck Wild!

The Falcoln was as smart as Captain America and would lead the Avengers but again, Damn! The Black Panther was a Genius Afrikan Royal who used his Brains, Brawn, Afrikan Spirituality and Charisma to kick major booty. White Writers didn't know how to do justice to the characters and so they languished.

DC Comics were not much better.  Every Black Character was a Black something or somebody! Black Lightning anyone! John Henry Irons (Steel).  The Cyborg (Teen Titans) was half machine, with half a huge Afro. It was in this long term enviorment that Denny Cowen and Dewayne Mcduffie created THE MILESTONE BIBLE which was an artbook of Multi Racial characters.  DC Comics loved it and wanted to buy the characters, but Dwayne and his partners had other ideas.  Milestone Comics was born in a partnership with DC Comics.  That's right they started their own company! They hired artists and writers of color that are now working in the industry. Whoo Whoo!

I grabbed a bagged copy of Static # 1, went home and read it and immediately went and grabbed ICON, BLOOD SYNDICATE, and HARDWARE and every other issue they had on the shelves.  The art was so-so but the writing was awesome. I'm a story guy and these guys knew how to tell a good story.  The characters were revolutionary and history making but not just for revolutions and history sake.
Marvel Comics had Northstar, a Gay Male Superhero. Other than announcing it Marvel did little with Northstar beyond announcing him.  Milestone had Fade. (Blood SyndicateFade, was a Puerto Rican Gangster who was like a ghost.  He could become more solid in the proximity of his Sister.  Fade was closeted but Fade's conflict was truly a part of the story. Fade's Sister "Flashback" could go back in time three seconds. She saved the Blood Syndicates behind numerous times this way. She could fly but is fighting a crack addiction. Static's first time was shown in Static # 25.  Some Comic stores threatened not to carry the issue because it dealt with a teen aged character having sex in a natural way. The comic did not seek to present the issue in a negative light. 

ICON was an alien who took the form of an Afrikan American Man. He'd lived through slavery, was hung, had fought in wars and now lived as Augustus the Fourth, a high powered conservative lawyer. Rocket, an inner city youth, told Augustus that it was time he got involved with his people's plight; To BE an ICON! Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas read Milestone Comics and wrote the creators to say he favored ICON. ICON was a pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, up and coming country club Nigga.  Rocket was a conscious youth. A Single Mom who fought alongside him and challenged him to get involved. She challenged him not just BERATED him.

Milestone Media Comics did not last a long time but the characters were incorporated in the DC Universe and can be seen there today.  DC got a whole lot of color.

Dewayne, you will be missed Brother. I thank you for great reading that I will cherish.

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

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