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DC Comics ‘wasted my time’ with Milestone deal, McDuffie says

The Brave and the Bold #24

The Brave and the Bold #24

After announcing last summer that the Milestone heroes would be merged fully into the DC Universe, the publisher seems to have pulled back on its big plans for the properties.

The Shadow Cabinet appeared near the end of writer Dwayne McDuffie’s abbreviated run on Justice League of America, and Hardware and Static have been featured in The Brave and the Bold and Teen Titans. But beyond that?

“At this particular time, we have Static in the Teen Titans, and we’re looking at a storyline that might be built around Static later in the run,” DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio said in an interview posted yesterday. “But right now, no other plans.”

The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise to Milestone fans, or McDuffie himself.

“Plans for a Static monthly were scrapped by DC last spring,” McDuffie, co-founder of Milestone Media, wrote yesterday on his forum. “Based on their actions, they never really wanted to publish the Milestone stuff, they wasted my time. We could have done a little deal for them to use Static without me having to spend so much money on lawyers.”

Milestone was founded in 1993 by McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle in an attempt to increase minority representation in comics.  Through DC Comics, the company published such titles as Hardware, Blood Syndicate, Icon and, perhaps the most successful, Static (which in 2000 spawned the animated series Static Shock). Milestone closed its comic division in 1997.

Blogger Rich Watson, who summarized the recent roller-coaster relationship between McDuffie and DC, questions what this latest turn says about the publisher’s “level of commitment to its black audience.”

“DC is content to have its black superheroes appear in team books and the occasional mini-series, but an ongoing series is — what? Beneath them?” Watson wrote. “And Static, a character that has proved itself not just in comics, but on television as well, can’t get a series either?”

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47 Comments

how well did Black lightning Year one sell? if a mini isnt doing too well, why turn it into an ongoing?

That’s a shame, Shadow Cabinet was an absolutely wonderful book and beautifully drawn.

Mysterious Stranger

August 25, 2009 at 9:55 am

*sniff-sniff* I smell a $#!t-storm a-brewin’.

Seriously, why can’t DC Editorial get their $#!t together? They seem to get things going really well, get folks hyped up and then they foul it all up with bonehead moves like this. I’ve been reading the JLA series and liked seeing the Milestone characters interacting there. I had really hoped we’d see more of them and was actually excited about possibly buying more DC comics. The JLA story, by no means a great story, was a good opportunity to really kick off something fun with the Milestone characters. Instead they’re taking the most popular character, wedging him into a team book and sending the rest of the characters back into limbo. Why not do some one-shots like the Red Circle characters are getting? Or how about taking away one of the Final Crisis minis and using that slot for a Milestone mini? Something, ANYthing to use these incredible characters that they seemed so excited about a couple years ago.

Maybe its an ownership issue? DC owns the Red Circle characters and will get to keep all the profits from those sales. With the Milestone characters maybe they’d have to cut McDuffie in and not make as much as they’d like? Could this all boil down to corporate greed? Whatever the case may be, DC is slowly losing me as a reader one bonehead editorial decision at a time.

Wow. I was looking forward to lots more appearances from the Milestone characters in the DC books, as well as their own one shots, minis, crossovers and ongoing series.. This is a major disappointment to me. Hopefully Mr. McDuffie and his people can re-negotiate the terms for the Milestone characters, so that Static can still be used for Teen TItans if that’s all they want, and another company like Marvel can publish them on a regular basis, as well as the reprints of older material..

How about I introduce another, more rational, angle into this conversation:

It’s very possible (and likely) that DC isn’t over the Milestone characters or their African American audience. How about DC is instead totally over Dwayne McDuffie and his poor attitude and media-flaming mentality. The souring of the working relationship between DC and McDuffie and the fact that McDuffie is a large part in the recent deal to incorporate Milestone characters into the DCU has unfortunately negatively impacted the progress of reintroducing the characters. But to say that DC doesn’t care about African American readers is both a ridiculous and very dangerous statement by this Watson and other faceless bloggers.

>Blogger Rich Watson, who summarized the recent roller-coaster relationship between McDuffie and DC, >questions what this latest turn says about the publisher’s “level of commitment to its black audience.”

I think that rather misses the point. It’s not about having black characters for a black audience.
It’s about presenting a realistically diverse cast of characters for a multiracial audience… including the thirtysomething white guy like me…

…and my Anglo-German-Puerto Rican son…

…and the man other “hyphentated” identities I live, work, pray and read with throughout the week… none of which can be summed up in simplistic “black” or “white” categories.

So, DC Comics is giving another creator the shaft. It is doing it so often that when it doesn’t happen, that’s news.

I think the best thing to do is for them to take the Milestone characters back and maybe try to build an audience outside of the United States similar to what the 99 has accomplished in the Middle East/Arab community.

We’re all faceless here, lito83, and McDuffie would be, too, if he didn’t voice his well-founded opinions as a creator and contributor to DC as a comic book universe and corporate business. That he had to retain lawyers’ services when DC decided to use his characters again . . . Who among us can understand the frustration of putting time and talent into a product, have it receive mainstream attention, then have a corporation consume it and treat it like a disposable fad? For every “flame” McDuffie has posted or cited somewhere, there’s HOURS’ worth of deliberation and strife going on behind the scenes, stuff we fanboys never see and that I personally can barely understand. This is a creators’ rights issue, charged with racial overtones — the stuff of true artistic controversy, and it’s just as interesting to watch as a slugfest in the funnypages!

Sorry, but as a Black man I have a hard time jumping to the conclusion that DC’s decision is anything about a lack of “commitment to its black audience” and is anything other than a simple business decision.

@Kalorama

Well as a black man, I completely agree with kevin, mcduffie, and others. There has always been reasons and excuses, some legitimate, most of them not, as to why they appear to have a lack of commitment towards the black audience. In the end, with the red circle and others receiving ongoings and other ordeals, I cannot see this as anything other than leaving the black audience in the dirt. While we are neglected to primarily reading about straight, caucasian, strong jawed individuals saving the day.

If DC shelved the Milestone characters (except Static) b/c of the dust up with McDuffie over JLA, they are being very unprofessional. If you want to say McDuffie was also unprofessional to complain online, fair enough, but two wrongs don’t make a right. This isn’t a fifth-grade schoolyard. This is business, where adults are supposed to make decisions based on business factors, not hurt feelings.

I think it is also entirely possible that this has nothing to do with McDuffie, and is instead another instance where DC got excited about a project, then changed their minds. That has happened several times over the last few years. There were the last-minute changes to Infinite Crisis (remember those rushed pages in the last issue?), the Death of the New Gods/Countdown/Final Crisis disconnect, etc. It might be that they just changed focus again and the Milestone characters don’t fit in. Or of course it could be a combination of both, or something entirely different that we’ll never know about.

Whatever the reason, the opportunity to do stories with these characters is lost for the foreseeable future, and that sucks.

Regarding Watson’s statement at the end of the piece, to be fair, DC can’t sell ANY books starring any sort of character. Superman and Wonder Woman are struggling to sell books, and events and creators matter a lot more than characters in the current market.

DC DID give Vixen and Black Ligthning minis (which both sold very, very poorly, maybe because they waited so long to launch ‘em). That said, it’s curious they’re going to be pushing Red Circle ongoings…surely a Static/Hardware book has as much a chance of not getting canceled as a Shield/Web one (I forget which Red Circle character is backing up which one).

I don’t put much stock in the “But Static was a cartoon!” argument though. The direct market couldn’t care less about books that are based directly on cartoons and/or feature characters that have or had their own cartoons.

I am a McDuffie fan, but his complaining online again about his dealings with DC – is just another reason they were right to kabosh the deal with him. Him complaining about DC Editorial’s interference on JLA is what lost him the book, as he should have. If you or me complained about our bosses doing a crappy job online – and he found out about it, we’d be out on our asses in no time, why did McDuffie expect to be treated any different than that.

And let’s be honest, the MILESTONE books – while critically acclaimed for the most part – were NEVER big sellers, not even a big crossover with the SUperman books which were HUGE at the time.

McDuffie complaining about the expense he used in securing lawyers – was just a business decision on his part to deal with DC. No one forced him to do that, it was about securing an agreement between Milestone & DC – lawyers should have been involved.

And most of all, just because DC does not want to deal with McDuffie – does not make them racists or wanting to ignore the black market, it just means that they don’t want to deal with McDuffie. And even though Static did have a cartoon – I’d bet you that most of the general public have no idea who the character is at all.

Whenever anything like this happens, there seem to be ugly reactionists who immediately jump to the conclusion that these decisions are “racist” or motivated by race. As a minority reader, and someone who follows the DCU very carefully, I do not view the current state of the books to present any type of slight to me or any other group. Decisions like this are based always on business, and frankly, McDuffie has not helped his case any by being a massive thorn in the side of DC. Plus, the critical response to most of the re-introduction of the Milestone characters was not very positive, as can be evidenced by a simple search of reviews of that part of McDuffie’s JLA run. The DCU is crowded enough, complicated enough, and the decision to lay these characters in limbo is most likely a combination of business and DC wanting to focus on major properties. No publisher is going to please everyone all the time. DC has recently placed two female homosexual characters in lead roles in a major legacy book, so the argument that they show no commitment to representing a more diverse world has no real foundation. They don’t please me with every decision they make, either, but I feel people need to be more thoughtful before throwing out bigoted accusations.

This comes across more like an issue between McDuffie and DC and not an issue over race. DC/Marvel or anyone will sell what sells regardless of race. Still it is shame this did not work out better, but DC is overloaded with all the characters they can’t make work now.

@Paul

In a world devoid of human emotions, what you say may be true. But the simple and longstanding fact of the matter is that personal feelings and relationships have always come into play in the world of business and, as long as that world is run by human beings with feelings and emotions, they always will.

None of which is to say that the bruised feelings over the Justice League thing did come into play (because, really, who knows). But if they did it would neither be a surprise nor out of the ordinary.

Those using the Red Circle character launch as supportive evidence of some kind of conspiracy on DC’s part need to take some things into account:

(A) The Red Circle characters don’t have much relevance/recognition among most of today’s audience. The Milestone characters do. Some might think that would be an advantage for the Milestone characters but it’s not in this instance because, (as some have noted) in their most recent (and still generally well-recalled) incarnation, the characters were not big commercial successes. However, there’s no real existing audience perception/opinion about the Red Circle characters, making it a bit easier to repackage them in a new/different way that might have more commercial appeal. That’s a much tougher deal with Milestone because if they change the characters too much, the (relatively small) audience that already likes them will get turned off, but if they don’t change anything, then they’ll be trying ti sell something that the vast majority of the audience has already passed on. Rock, meet Hard Place.

(B)J. Michael Straczynski. He’s really the driving force behind the acquisition and revival and getting him on board is one of the reasons DC entered into the deal. He’s a “hot” writer with a following, coming off a well-received, successful revival of a character that had kind of faded. They wanted him in the D.C. fold and this was the way to do it. McDuffie, on the other hand, didn’t have the kind of cachet Straczynski does and so wasn’t able to control the terms. Again, it’s just business.

I wrote a bit on the subject earlier today: http://bit.ly/8yq33

Boiled down, though, I’m irritated and unsurprised at the news. DC is, as ever, a business focused on making money, and if that means a top-down approach to telling stories and creating characters, frustrating creators, and pushing pablum, that’s going to happen. It is what it is, but I don’t like it at all. As McDuffie said, if they just wanted Static, they should’ve just gone for Static instead of wasting our, and his, time. That’s what happens in an industry where the characters are more important than the creators, though.

Both DC and Marvel need complete changes in regime. Didio is an idiot and so is Quesada.

“nothing personal– just business..” riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight… corporate apologists slay me.. why go throught he rigmarole of licensing an entire line of characters, when, effectively, DC was only just interested in one? Arguably, because that would prevent Milestone from publishing the characters elsewhere, if they’re locked into a years-long contract where DC has the first right of refusal.. whoops..

the DC universe is “crowded enough.. complicated enough”… okay, so why the heck are the Red Circle characters getting a major push?

McDuffie’s only sin is being frank when everyone else is expected to just shut up to get along.. people say they hate political correctness, but being honest when you feel disrespected is “whining”– whatever–

I wonder how long will it be before we see on the other message boards, fandudes carping “bleh, I never liked/always hated Milestone/ never saw what the big deal was—‘whoo, we’ve got black heroes! They hit white villains!’ how about just creating quality heroes, not PC clones of other heroes, or stories where it’s just throwing race in people’s face?” Internet flameage continues..

This is why I don’t read DC anymore at all. COME ON JOE Q, get this guy over to Marvel.

lito83, DC doesn’t care. Static SHOULD HAVE HIS OWN BOOK PERIOD. Don’t give me that B.S about Dwayne…that is a LAME excuse.

“nothing personal– just business..” riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight… corporate apologists slay me.. why go throught he rigmarole of licensing an entire line of characters, when, effectively, DC was only just interested in one? Arguably, because that would prevent Milestone from publishing the characters elsewhere, if they’re locked into a years-long contract where DC has the first right of refusal.. whoops..

Of course, it goes without saying that what you’ve just described is, in fact, a common business tactic: buying up assets to keep them out of the hands of competitors. So, again, just business. And even if it is personal . . . so what? The two are not and never have been mutually exclusive.

“McDuffie’s only sin is being frank when everyone else is expected to just shut up to get along.. people say they hate political correctness, but being honest when you feel disrespected is “whining”– whatever–“

I don’t recall anyone accusing McDuffie of committing a sin. He has ever right to express his opinion. But the simple, common sense fact of the matter is that you can’t go around publicly biting the hand that feeds and expect to keep getting fed.

So far, the RED CIRCLE line hasn’t been exactly impressive. My feelings are that we’ll probably see most of the line dissapear before a year has passed.

That being said, while I did enjoy the MILESTONE books when they first came out – they were barely a blip for most people. It was cool that STATIC had some small amount of popularity due to it’s cartoon feature, but even then the run was only 2-3 years long.

I really think that DC had the intention of folding the MILESTONE characters into the DCU, but I think in the end the fact that McDuffie was attached to them – and he was starting to be very vocal online and elsewhere about how he was treated during his JLA run, etc etc etc – made the MILESTONE just not worth the trouble. I also think that McDuffie was under the impression that the MILESTONE characters would become THE MAJOR PLAYERS within the DCU – and unfortunately, both Marvel & DC have not had too much success launching “new” characters within their lines that were not somehow related to or spun out of their top-tier books.

And STATIC in Teen Titans is cool, but I kind of feel DC could have just as easily slid Jakeem Thunder from the JSA into the same part.

“McDuffie’s only sin is being frank when everyone else is expected to just shut up to get along.. people say they hate political correctness, but being honest when you feel disrespected is “whining”– whatever–”

Par for the course in the neurotic, contrarian, intellectually and emotionally-stunted world of internet fanboys.

McDuffie was working for DC when he made those comments, but not in the same sense as your typical salaried desk jockie. He was a self-employed freelancer that had been contracted by DC to deliver on specific assignments. As a freelancer, the quality and reception of his current work was (and is) vital to his reputation and ability to secure future work. If the work was being sabotaged by DC, such that it was detrimental to McDuffie’s professional reputation as a competent artist and craftsman, he was sure as hell justified in speaking up about it and letting the world know who was really responsible. This situation runs both ways, and it continues to disturb me how many fanboys rush to the defense of corporate management, no matter what the real subtleties of the situation may be. Is it that they’ve so totally internalized the franchise mentality of the entertainment they consume, in which the license is king and creators are disposable, or do they just feel the need to rationalize and defend their own passive cubicle-rat existences through attacking anyone with enough of a backbone to actually be a real man and stick up for themselves?

“Of course, it goes without saying that what you’ve just described is, in fact, a common business tactic: buying up assets to keep them out of the hands of competitors. So, again, just business. And even if it is personal . . . so what? The two are not and never have been mutually exclusive.”

True. It’s basically what DC did with Captain Marvel back in the day. So maybe they’re biased against people with squinty eyes, too.

Hey, remember when the Legionnaires was multi-racial, and then they hit the reset button, and Legion of Super Heroes went back to being an all white cast? I do.

Caleb said: “Regarding Watson’s statement at the end of the piece, to be fair, DC can’t sell ANY books starring any sort of character. Superman and Wonder Woman are struggling to sell books, and events and creators matter a lot more than characters in the current market. ”

More editorial stupidity from DC… I want to read Supes and Wondy books, but I don’t because they just aren’t very good these days. Of course, taking Supes, Wondy and Bats “off the table” constantly (or putting them in a convoluted, pointless & overblown series like Trinity) doesn’t help a bit. Some readers might be enjoying that stuff, but the masses who went to enjoyed The Dark Knight last summer, or watched JL/JLU on TV, aren’t going to go for that. They want the iconic heroes. And, frankly, so do I. Hell, is All-Star Wonder Woman ever going to happen?

“Events” have caused me to cut my buying down considerably, and while I agree that it’s become a creator-driven market, I don’t think that’s helping either. I think Grant Morrison, for instance, has done some great work in the past. But not for some time. He’s bascially been allowed to reshape the DCU to his own liking, and I don’t like what he’s done to it. So I’ve quit reading their books for the most part. It’s not just him, but he’s probably the most obvious example.

To me, it’s the characters and the stories that matter. There are writers I really enjoy (Vaughan and Brubaker come to mind immediately), but as long as the characters are being written well and the stories compelling, I usually don’t care who’s writing the books. I just can’t behind a DC that’s taking iconic characters out of their books, killing off other favorite characters, reviving characters that should’ve stayed dead, and acquiring other minor characters from other companies (I mean Red Circle, not Milestone) when they can’t handle their main properties in a satisfying manner.

So Didio’s screwed the pooch with Milestone too. Act surprised. Personally, I commend McDuffie for going public with his gripes. His hands were tied on JLA, and he was never going to succeed with the crap Didio was forcing upon him.

The current comics mainstream is only creator driven when it comes to very small handful of writers, with Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns being the prime examples at DC. Most superhero comics are very editorially-driven right now, with the multi-title/multi-creator events being the prime example of this approach. It’s a shame, because McDuffie had already knocked the Justice League concept out of the park over and over on JL/JLU, both with obscure characters and “iconic” takes. DC tied his hands when they just should have gotten out of his way.

If DC’s current direction were truly creator-driven, you’d be seeing a lot more A-list talent working there than Morrison and Johns (not to imply they’re the only ones, but you get the idea.)

If DC’s current direction were truly creator-driven, you’d be seeing a lot more A-list talent working there than Morrison and Johns (not to imply they’re the only ones, but you get the idea.)

Oh I just meant the direct market was creator-driven, not the publishers. Put Black Lightning in a (pretty terrible) Final Crisis tie-in written by Morrison and it sells like hotcakes; put out an extremely solid standalone miniseries by creators who aren’t Morrison, Johns, Millar or Bendis, and it sells a fifth as well.

If DC is going to do ongoings that star black characters, they’re going to need something like Brad Meltzer writing Bronze Tiger or Cyborg for the first 12 issues or something like that.

That’s how it looks to me, anyway.

But then, they keep launching DOA books like the Red Circles, Magog and a Red Tornado mini that it’s hard to believe more than 100 people on earth would want to read, so it’s not like I understand how they make their decisions. I’m just saying I don’t think the market would make a hit out of a book starring any of their black characters, because there aren’t enough fans of any of them (or any character save Batman and maybe, at present, Hal Jordan) will follow regardless of other factors (creators, whether it’s “important”).

DC is just being DC and trying to turn back the clock to the Silver Age. They are being disrespectful to anybody that enjoys diversity and kissing the butts of fans that resist real change.

Here’s one quick point about the Red Ciricle books: one of them is being written by one of two African-American women that DC now has writing series. The other is on Teen Ttians. DC also has female writers and artists of different ethnicities on other books, Gail Simone being the most prominent. Is there a Top Ten publisher with more women making books that DC?

I’m less inclined to think that any of this has anything to do with Milestone characters and more inclined to think that they didn’t want to deal with McDuffie anymore and had no real ideas for the line absent his involvement.

People need to stop acting like what happened with McDuffie on JLA was the result of some kind of intentional attempt to sandbag him. It wasn’t. It was just the way the comic business works and always has. Very, very few creators get full free reign when it comes to handling corporate-owned characters. McDuffie happens not to be on that short list. Editorial input (call it “interference” if it makes you feel better) is par for the course.

If they didn’t want to deal with McDuffie anymore they wouldn’t be using Static in Teen Titans. If they wanted to wash their hands of dealings with McDuffie they would have stop using ALL the Milestone characters. It seems like they just really wanted Static.

“McDuffie was working for DC when he made those comments, but not in the same sense as your typical salaried desk jockie. He was a self-employed freelancer that had been contracted by DC to deliver on specific assignments. As a freelancer, the quality and reception of his current work was (and is) vital to his reputation and ability to secure future work. If the work was being sabotaged by DC, such that it was detrimental to McDuffie’s professional reputation as a competent artist and craftsman, he was sure as hell justified in speaking up about it and letting the world know who was really responsible. This situation runs both ways, and it continues to disturb me how many fanboys rush to the defense of corporate management, no matter what the real subtleties of the situation may be. Is it that they’ve so totally internalized the franchise mentality of the entertainment they consume, in which the license is king and creators are disposable, or do they just feel the need to rationalize and defend their own passive cubicle-rat existences through attacking anyone with enough of a backbone to actually be a real man and stick up for themselves?”

Well put McKrinkle, let’s not forget how notoriously dysfunctional DC editorial is known to be, please note the previously mentioned Countdown/Death of New Gods/Final Crisis disconnect. Didio when one of your two A-List talents asks you to leave something be for the sake of the story to be told, do it, don’t say well we had to have a story to explain how they died. Morrison explained that in two sentences, you didn’t need eight issues to tell anyone. Poor McDuffie should have seen the interference that Paul Dini had with Countdown, Dini, another guy who gets it on the animation level, forced to bend for the brainless throw it at a wall to see what sticks editorial.

“I also think that McDuffie was under the impression that the MILESTONE characters would become THE MAJOR PLAYERS within the DCU”

I honestly think you’re right. I think when DC announced that the Milestone characters would be implanted into the DCU, McDuffie thought that meant they would have similar roles in the new universe that they had in the old one. Like Icon would be of Superman-level importance in the DCU. Didn’t happen, obviously.
The Milestoners showed up and we were all just expected to automatically care. They were running around like they actually mattered.

I’m not prepared to launch into what happened to Dwayne being right or wrong because I don’t have enough information but I will say that from a purely comic-book-reading point of view, I’m not that bothered by the scaled-back involvement of the Milestoners because they are not interesting characters. At least, they haven’t been so far. (Ok, I like Static but all of my affection comes from the cartoon, nothing from the comics).

(Now, you could argue that they haven’t been given a fair chance to become interesting and that’s a valid point. But still….)

This is why I think it is a huge mistake for all of these characters from other “universes” to get integrated (yes, I’m aware of the irony of that word being used, given the insinuations many have made – I don’t agree that it”s racial – I just think DC is run by morons, or at least people who are hamstrung by corporate interests) into an already existing “universe”.

Why in the hell do we care about the Milestone characters interacting with DCU characters? I think it dilutes their importance and relevance to do so. I honestly don’t get why McDuffie does not just try to put the band back together and move over to Image or IDW or Dark Horse or anywhere that will allow them to make good comics instead of be beholden to a corporate giant.

The saddest thing, for me, is that I missed the boat on Milestone back when they first appeared and I was looking forward to reading the stories in these new trades that are coming out. I guess they will not continue now and that’s a shame.

@babybro

Maybe you should check-out “Unknown Soldier” if you’re looking for an African-American Hero of the book.

Anyways, “Static” should have his own monthly, put the former Blue Beetle creative team on it. I mean if you’re going to make craptacular monthlies that get cancelled in 12-issues like “Vigilante” and “Magog”, THEY WILL BE CANCELLED BELIEVE ME.

If they can put crap like that out, I don’t see the harm in making “Static”, “Black Lightning” and “Firestorm” (HEY THERE YOU GUYS COMPLAINING ABOUT DC IGNORING THE BLACK AUDIENCE.) monthlies too. They all get canceled eventually

I think it’s worth pointing out that McDuffie wasn’t ‘complaining’ about DC management online, he was simply responding openly to questions from fans asking him why he’d made this or that decision in JLA. The fact that, most times, the honest answer boiled down to, “I had an idea, but editorial told me to change it,” is not his fault.

The fact that the honest answers made DC editorial look bad is not his fault either, he wasn’t trash-talking. Hell, most of the time, when people responded to his posts with comments like, “That must be so hard / make you so mad,” he tended to respond that this was simply the reality of working on a high-profile team book, which he’d known going into it, rather than playing the martyr.

If DC are going to make decisions that embaress them if they come out, the fault must surely lie with them, not the person who mentions those decisions.

Rockscissorspaper

August 27, 2009 at 10:51 am

There are a lot of ignorant/uninformed fanboy talking out of their (expletive deleted) here. If DC was so upset with McDuffie they wouldn’t have offered him another book in the same call that they fired him from Justice League. He hasn’t said which book it was out of respect for the person who writes it, but he turned them down because he figured he’d have the same editorial interference issues that he had with JLA.

Saying that McDuffie is somehow being a “thorn in DC’s side” by being honest about the situation in a post on his OWN message board is idiotic at best.

Based on their appearance in JLA, the Milestone characters came off like one dimensional black me-too versions of existing characters.

I know full well that they are terrific characters with a lot of good ideas behind them, as I collected Milestone back in the day. Hardware was my favorite. But they literally just appeared from nowhere in JLA and people are supposed to get excited? They had zero personality in their introduction story (a surprise given McDuffie wrote it). To make it worse, Ed Benes art saw them all drawn as palette swapped white characters. One coloring mix up and Icon could have been Superman. How about bringing in Denys Cowan to introduce the characters??

(Slightly off topic, but Denys Cowan’s run as the artist on Steel with Priest was terrific – look it up on eBay, Steel #34-52!)

Bottom line was DC didn’t get anyone excited for Milestone’s return with poor marketing (something they maybe learned from and corrected given the Red Circle hype), and McDuffie phoned in an awful story.

I have to agree with one thing; the appearance of the Milestone characters was lackluster. I wasn’t interested in them in their first appearances, and I was looking forward to learning how they fit into the normal DCU. Instead, what we got was a kitbashed team pile-up where nothing is ever satisfactorily explained about anyone or anything. I still fail to see why, if the JLA was aware of the Shadow Cabinet characters, why they would simply let them leave given the indications of them being little more than crooks working for the greater good (I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but when all the background you get is primarily throwaway lines about kleptomania and murder, makes me wonder why the Outsiders aren’t chasing these people at least.)

So aside from fans, there was no expectation or build-up for the characters, save for the implication that they’re criminals who are (this time) on the side of the angels. Why should I care about them now?

must it be always about the race? isn’t it possible that dc didn’t see a future in a static ongoing series, sales-wise?if static sold that well, milestone wouldn’t have be closed.dc shouldn’t have commitment to ANY race at all, black white yellow whatever…they should only have commitment to tell good stories, and good characters….i read some milestone stories and both them and the characters weren’t that good, i’m sorry to say… and haven’t a lot of books with white characters been canceled? should we say they’r note comited to the white race?my country ,or people from my nacionality, never ever appeared in any dc or marvel or milestone books, what, shall i acuse them of lack of commitement to my country, and since i’m at it, to all the countries in the world that don’t appear in comics?? hey martian manhunter is dead, dc must really hate green people…. really, as soon as mcduffie starts saying it’s a race thing, i stoped caring… i’m glad obama doesn’t play the race card every time some one doesn’t agree with him… a lot of people should learn his example

These nerds don’t deserve good characters or stories so no big loss if they cannot see the intrinsic value of characters like Static or Hardware. Let them continue to play in this shrinking sandbox while they complain on one hand that there is nothing new in comics, while they refuse to support new quality product. McDuffie could probably do better with these types of characters in the other media that are embracing these sorts of stories, movies and TV. There is a bigger and more lucrative audience there too.

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