Milestone Media plots its next moves as Icon and Rocket - Season One wraps up

con and Rocket: Season One #6 cover art
con and Rocket: Season One #6 cover art (Image credit: DC)

2021 brought the return of the legendary Milestone Media comic book universe via a renewed publishing imprint at DC with the release of new series for characters Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware. 

Newsarama, along with other members of the comic book press, recently participated in a roundtable interview with Icon and Rocket's co-writers Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills to discuss March 22's Icon and Rocket: Season One #6, the limited series' final issue.

Along with digging into the development of some of the new characters introduced in Icon and Rocket: Season One, Hudlin and Chills discuss the development of the current version of the shared Milestone comic book universe, and even look ahead to the future of Milestone Media in comics and beyond.

Newsarama: Reginald, Leon, how did you come up with new characters such as Xiomara and Lil’ Bit?

Icon and Rocket: Season One #6 page (Image credit: DC)

Reginald Hudlin: We just wanted to create some fun new characters. We’re being a little bit secret here because it is a secret, but amazing group of empowered women who are out to make a difference in the world. When you look at the importance of women in all these fields, so much change is led by Black women whether it's in politics, business, or science.

'Rama: One of the best pages in the series is when Icon and Rocket talk about how their different experiences have shaped them. How do you feel their individual perspectives influence their growth as characters?

Hudlin: That’s the beauty of their two characters. They represent the unity of opposites: male and female, young and old, human and alien, progressive and conservative. That’s the fun of them because Rocket is young, curious, and doesn’t mind asking hard questions and Icon loves that.  I love writing that stuff with Leon because it represents the conversations we have sometimes.

'Rama: Icon may be the first superhero that’s purposefully taken a sidekick and tried to teach her not just how to be a superhero but to also live her life. Is that intentional?

Leon Chills: It is definitely very intentional. Icon obviously takes a liking to her beyond what they do and he sees that she’s in a circumstance where guidance can be helpful. He does what he can to enlighten her in the ways of the world since he’s been at it for over 200 years. He tries to help her succeed in the future because he ultimately hopes he can leave and she can keep the world safe in his absence.

'Rama: It was great to see Icon and Rocket working with Static in issues #5 and #6. How did you plan his appearance in the series?

Icon and Rocket: Season One #6 page (Image credit: DC)

Hudlin: I knew that I wanted to establish that Virgil and Racquel go to the same high school. From there, I started asking questions and thinking, “Do they know each other?” Rocket was cool before she met Icon and Virgil is not. This introduced a very fun dynamic where Static is like, “This is a cool beautiful girl and we both have this other life. It seems like we should at least be friends.” Meanwhile, Rocket is like, “Talk to the hand.” I thought, “Let’s start there and play it through.”

Chills: Issue #5, we knew it would be a pause into their personal lives which would take us to Racquel’s high school and we definitely wanted Virgil to be there as well. From there, it was like, “What would he say in class? How would he approach her?” It was nice to see he had more control over his powers in the hallway scene where he can zap the bullies and not hurt them as much as he did in early parts of Static.

'Rama: The end of issue #6 brings the appearance of a classic villain from the '90s comics and the Static Shock animated series. What can you tell us about his role in future stories?

Hudlin: Very little. We love that our fans check out everything and read the different books and watch the animated series and we want to honor that. Some of the most iconic characters and catchphrases started from the Superman radio show or the Batman tv show. That’s a part of how these characters grow and evolve over time and we want to do the same thing. This new generation of Milestone books will pull from different platforms and be doing different things in each media.

'Rama: How will the Milestone Universe be expanding in comics, cartoons, movies, etc?

Chills: We named the company Milestone Media for a reason. Comic books is the first platform we’re on, but not the last. As you guys know, we’re working on the live-action Static Shock movie, which is going very well. We’re also looking to work on an animated series for one of our characters and we have a young adult book in the works. 

Icon and Rocket: Season One #6 cover (Image credit: DC)

We’re also looking at other platforms for other characters because we love them and we want to connect with our fans on whatever medium they are on. The more we work in different mediums, the more we learn about our characters.

Hudlin: The Milestone Initiative is also something that is crucial for us. In the ’90s, it was a bunch of super successful talented creators coming together: Denys, Dwayne, and so on. However, they also gave opportunities to people who were going to be super successful talents. 

We’ve been doing that for the launch of the new Milestone by giving opportunities to people like Leon to write, Nikolas Draper-Ivy to draw, and so on. Finding the next generation of writers and artists to do The Milestone Initiative and giving them training with some of the best professionals in the business. 

Rocket, of Icon and Rocket fame, ranks among the best female superheroes of all time. 

Latonya Pennington
Freelance writer

Latonya Pennington is a prolific pop culture critic. You can find them writing about comic books for Newsarama and GamesRadar+, and have published comics criticism on sites like WWAC, Comics MNT, and Syfy Wire, among others. Latonya is also passionate about video games, poetry, and fiction, covering all this and more as a freelance journalist.