Milestone classics Hardware and Icon make digital debut ahead of DC's 2021 relaunch

(Image credit: DC/Milestone)

DC has begun releasing Milestone back issues online as part of their broader partnership with Milestone Media leading to the relaunch of the line in 2021.

The first eight issues of the 1993 ongoing series Hardware are available now digitally, for the first time. 

(Image credit: DC/Milestone)

"This first-ever Hardware collection introduces inventor/engineer Curt Metcalf, who begins his adventures by breaking free of his employer, businessman Edwin Alva, who refused to share the profits from Metcalf's many creations," reads DC's description of the book. "Discovering that Alva is tied to organized crime and learning that no law enforcement agency would touch him, Metcalf created the high tech Hardware armor that enabled him to take on his corrupt boss."

This arc, titled 'The Man in the Machine,' is by the late writer Dwayne McDuffie with artists Denys Cowan and J.J. Birch. This arc was last reprinted in 2010.

The first two arcs of McDuffie and artist M.D. Bright's Icon ongoing series is scheduled for digital release on October 6 and 13, respectively.

(Image credit: DC/Milestone)

Originally launched in 1993, Milestone was a standalone superhero universe created and owned by four Black writers and artists - Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. They licensed their creations out to DC, who published it under an imprint called Milestone. The major characters/titles in it were Static, Hardware, Icon, Blood Syndicate, Shadow Cabinet, and Xombi. The line eventually shutdown in 1997, however a follow-up limited series titled Milestone Forever was published by DC in 2010.

More titles from the Milestone back catalog are expected to be released digitally ahead of Milestone's formal relaunch with a new Static Shock series in February 2021.

The publisher hasn't announced any plans to reprint these Milestone stories in print.

The Milestone heroes are some of the most impactful black superheroes in comic books.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)