Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans (Studies by Jeffrey A. Brown

By Jeffrey A. Brown

What do the comedian ebook figures Static, undefined, and Icon all have in universal? Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their lovers offers a solution that is going some distance past "tights and capes," a solution that lies in the venture Milestone Media, Inc., assumed in comedian e-book tradition. Milestone used to be the brainchild of 4 younger black creators who desired to half from the mainstream and do their tales their very own approach. This heritage of Milestone, a "creator-owned" publishing corporation, tells how good fortune got here to those mavericks within the Nineteen Nineties and the way comics tradition was once multiplied and enriched as lovers have been captivated by means of this new style. Milestone all in favour of the African American heroes in a city known as Dakota. rather quickly those black motion comics took a company place within the controversies of race, gender, and company id in modern the USA. Characters battled supervillains and occasionally even clashed with extra well known superheroes. entrance covers of Milestone comics usually bore confrontational slogans like "Hardware: A Cog within the company laptop is ready to Strip a few Gears." Milestone's creators aimed for extraordinary tales that addressed racial concerns with out alienating readers. a few opponents, despite the fact that, accused their comics of no longer being black sufficient or of purely advertising Superman in black face. a few felt that the tales have been too black, yet a wide cluster of readers applauded those new superheroes for fostering African American delight and identification. Milestone got here to symbolize an alternate version of black heroism and, for a number of admirers, the correct of masculinity. Black Superheroes supplies information about the founding of Milestone and stories at the safe area of interest its paintings and its snapshot accomplished on the market. Tracing the company's background and discussing its creators, their works, and the fanatics, this booklet gauges Milestone along different black comedian ebook publishers, mainstream publishers, and the heritage of costumed characters. Jeffrey A. Brown is an assistant professor of pop culture at Bowling eco-friendly nation college. He has been released in reveal, Cinema magazine, African American evaluation, magazine of pop culture, Discourse, and magazine of renowned movie and tv.

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What these readers wanted were great superhero stories and art. They wanted new heroes. A Milestone Development 17 When the Milestone poster promising dramatic things to come began appearing in comic book stores across North America it was, for some, a first glimpse at a new universe of superheroes, while for others it was the beginning of the much anticipated launch of Milestone’s line of comic books featuring ethnically diverse heroes. In this chapter I want to introduce Milestone Media, the comics, the characters, and, behind the color pages, the men who feed the fantasies of adolescent boys around the world.

As subsequent chapters will explore, all of these interpretive points lead Milestone fans to weave an understanding of masculinity that differs from the standard perception held by many other comics fans, a concept of masculinity that privileges intellect as much as it does naked muscular power. As the case of Milestone and its fans demonstrates, we can best understand the process of media reception used by comic book fans as an active strategy. It is not necessarily active in the sense of being oppositional or counter-hegemonic but in the sense of being a negotiation of meaning premised on a wide but limited range of meanings made possible between the producers, the readers, and the comics.

Norman 1993, 68–69) 32 A Milestone Development tural nationalism, to the point of their being accused of promoting racism against whites and other groups, Milestone has tried to avoid the stigma inherent in ‘‘message comics’’ in favor of emphasizing cultural diversity. From the very beginning the Milestone creators have made clear that their comics are meant to be entertaining stories that seek to promote racial understanding as a consequence of portraying hitherto underrepresented groups as complex and diverse people.

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