DC’s Milestone Imprint, first introduced in the early ’90s, is making a comeback. Milestone Media, originally founded by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Dereck T. Dingle, focused on creating and introducing minority characters in a medium where they were typically overlooked and underrepresented. Early Milestone titles garnered a respectable amount of popularity, with titles such as Hardware, Icon, and its best known property, Static, gaining a constant following. DC has now made plans to relaunch all of the aforementioned titles under their original Milestone banner after an extended absence, with Static season one # 1 scheduled to release June 15.
CBR had the opportunity to participate in a conference with two of the creators of the long-awaited comic, the writer Vita Ayala (Children of the atom, New mutants, Future Batman) and artist Nikolas Draper-Levy (Xogenasys), who discussed a bit about what to expect from their version of this fan-favorite character.
When asked about his number one goal for the character, Ayala said, “I really wanted to be a part of introducing Static and take the character a little bit more into the contemporary realm. I’m a huge fan of the original comics and television show. , and I wanted to take it and put it in our context. He’s a funny, cute, slightly annoying, but really smart black kid, and I wanted to explore what it means to be that kind of character in 2021, and how he survives and maintains his optimism. an incredibly heroic character, but it’s because he sees all these terrible things and wants to make things better. He cares about the people around him and is more concerned with saving his block than saving the world. I wanted to take that forward in the context of a more contemporary era “.
“We are working very hard to give the fans something that is familiar, but also very new,” added Draper-Ivey. “We are telling a story that has not been told before, at least not in this capacity. There comes a time, when you have to realize that you are telling a different story and doing your thing, and you are not your predecessors. You have to respect them and have reverence for what they’ve done, but in the end you have to try to make it yours. I think that’s what we’re trying to focus on. “
“I feel like teenage characters are much more elastic in terms of what they can do,” Ayala explained. “I feel like, as adults, we are kind of a gel in our ways. When you get to a certain point in life, you think, this is who I am, this is what I believe in, and it takes a lot to change. When faced with obstacles, you tend to handle them in a very similar way.
“With teenagers it’s like, that didn’t work, let’s do this,” they continued. “Today I have blue hair, tomorrow I have no hair. That’s what it’s like to be a teenager, and I like that. For people of that age, there are infinite possibilities. They really believe that they are invincible, and all the things that we, as adults, We don’t believe in ourselves anymore. It’s like they’re unlimited, and I like to put myself in that way of thinking. “
“I also like the idea of recognizing adolescents as whole beings and having agency because they should. I am a big believer in the autonomy of a person. I think adolescents tend to be kind of pigeonholed for not being fully mature yet.” . but I think sometimes they know more than we do, “they shared.” Maybe we’re too ingrained. I like being able to put myself in that mindset because I think it makes me a better person in my own life. It makes me realize that not everything has to be exactly the way I think it is. It has to be all the time. “
When asked what the biggest challenge was in capturing the appearance of Static’s powers, Draper-Ivey said: “Trying to find a way to use color to draw attention to certain areas was probably the most challenging. Part Two more challenging was the choreography. I had to make sure everything made sense and the flow was believable without going too crazy. There’s a part of me that wanted to go into the full anime with that, and I had to remind myself that we only had five pages. to make sure it was attractive. I had to sell the stock. “
“Nick likes to pretend it’s not quiet stuff because his style is really dynamic,” added Ayala. “That’s what people expect of him. But I think he brings true humanity to all the quiet moments, like when Virgil is struggling and has a great interaction with his sister in the first issue. It’s a beautiful moment where you can Seeing the brothers being jerks, but you can also tell that they really care about each other. So yeah, Nick is really good at action, but he’s also pretty good at the quieter moments. “
“I wanted to examine who Virgil is as a person,” Ayala said. “He’s usually a very optimistic and happy person even though he’s been through a lot, just being a black kid. When we first see him on this series, he’s been through incredible trauma and not He is very happy. He wanted to find a balance between those two things. He is angry, sad and scared. He literally just saw his classmates die horribly. But he is also the kid who plays video games and reads superhero comics. My goal was to find a way to synthesize those two things and make everything feel genuine. If you recovered and were happy immediately after experiencing all these things, it would be like a cartoon. But if you were super sad all the time, it would be a bummer. So it was really difficult find the balance “.
As for what it’s been like to rebuild the Milestone universe, they shared: “It’s weird, because we’re working as part of a larger unit with some of the original Milestone architects. That’s huge, and it has a way of making you feel very small. I am in the presence of these people who are really the reason why we are where we are now, not only in making this book, but in general. But at the same time, it is an incredible supportive environment and all the discussions I have had with people both in terms of working in Static and also working on other books has been amazing. I feel like a fan, but they have treated me like a teammate. “
“I try to make sure that I’m not doing anything that deviates too much from the original material, but is also in line with what everyone else has planned,” added Draper-Ivey. “But there’s very little resistance when it comes to ideas. I’m really learning how to do all of this, so it’s like what I’m doing with this. I offer suggestions from time to time because I care and I really want to do a good job.”
“We talk on the phone at least two or three times a week talking only about the universe in general,” Ayala revealed. “Nick is incredibly smart about storytelling and about character issues. I don’t think he has the confidence yet, because he hasn’t had that much experience. But he has a really good instinct for it. And he works really hard to get better at it. itself “.
The team also considered whether other characters involved in the Big Bang will appear in the series. “We’ll see, but I can’t confirm or deny,” Ayala joked. “Nick is the one who thinks about those things. As I focus on the here and now, he wonders what is going to happen in seven years.”
“We’ve definitely discussed some things about who might show up,” admitted Draper-Ivey. “But you have to stick with it and see what’s coming. There are some familiar faces that you will see eventually, but I can’t say who it is. But I’ll say I’m very excited.
As for what it means to them to work on a character that means so much to the black community, Draper-Ivey said, “We’re trying to make sure people feel as represented as possible. We’re trying to take everything into account and create the best product we can. It’s very difficult. There’s no other way to put it, and I wouldn’t put anyone else in this seat. It’s a very heavy feeling. “
“Yes, it is a lot of pressure,” added Ayala. “I think Nick is really delivering, and it’s like he’s leveling up on every page. The pressure is tough. But he’s handling it gracefully. It’s really difficult and stressful. But it’s also like, I can’t stop doing I promised myself to myself that I wasn’t going to take any more work because I was tired. And then the universe was like, but what about this? How do you say no to Static? Even if it is difficult, you have to do it. I think it’s an honor and it’s amazing. “
Static Season One # 1 by Vita Ayala, ChrisCross, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, and Andworld Design will be available from DC Comics on June 15.
Read on: Milestone: How the world of Static Shock merged with the DC universe
Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow gives Eddie Brock the powers of another villain
About the Author