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Top Five Coolest Milestone Characters

Milestone, the comic book company, might not have lasted THAT long (a little under five years, right?), but there were a lot of great characters created in those years, and the following are who I think are the five coolest.

5. Edwin Alva

One of the problems I had with Hardware was the fact that the most fascinating character in the comic was not, in fact, Hardware, but Hardware’s NEMESIS!

Curtis Metcalf was “discovered” at the age of 12 by Edwin Alva, head of Alva Technologies, who was known to be the greatest inventor in America. He paid for Curtis’ education in return for Curtis coming to work for Alva after school. Curtis did so, and created many items that made Alva millions. However, when Curtis went to ask for a cut of the profits, Alva cut him down and pointed out that Curtis could not even leave, as he had a non-compete clause!

Looking for dirt on Alva, Curtis discovered he was also a major crimelord!! Seeing that Alva was above the law, Curtis took some of his inventions and began to fight Alva as Hardware!

However, during the whole time, Curtis was still working for Alva, and we would see Alva often. Dwayne McDuffie has said that the series was ABOUT their relationship, which was cool – except that Alva was just so much more interesting than Curtis.

Famous inventor/business man who was also crimelord? That’s awesome.

And his reaction when he finds out that Curtis is Hardware?

Brilliant stuff.

4. Tech-9

He would easily be higher on the list except for one thing.

He only appeared in two issues.

You might say, “That’s nuts, Brian! How cool could he be if he only appeared in four issues?”

Well, my answer would be, “Very cool!”

Tech-9 was the fun, charismatic leader of the Blood Syndicate. After successfully defending his leadership from Holocaust in #4, Tech-9 suddenly died.

It was one of those examples of how being “different” is not always a good idea. Blood Syndicate was still a good comic, but it was never as good as those first few issues, particularly the first two. Tech-9 vs. Holocaust is one of my favorite single issues of comics – period.

Thanks to Dan Coyle for refreshing my memory of the issue Tech-9 died in. I thought it was after the big fight in #2 (as a sort of “wow, we’re so happy and – BAM – dead” things), but it was in #4.

3. Frieda Goren

Frieda Goren is the best friend of Virgil “Static” Hawkins.

Their friendship was one of the strongest aspects of the Static comic book.

A boy/girl relationship that’s PLATONIC? Awesome. The cover of the comic above is where Frieda sneaks Virgil his costume by wearing it herself under a trenchcoat. Kinda silly, but still funny.

Dwayne McDuffie rules.

2. Rocket

Raquel Ervin was living a typical teenaged life in the crime-ridden ghettos of Paris Island. But she had the potential to do so much more, and upon meeting Augustus Freeman IV (who was actually an alien), she finally met that potential.

She convinced Freeman to use his alien powers to become a superhero called Icon, with Raquel becoming his sidekick (using a kinetic-energy asorbing belt).

Soon into the series, as seen on the cover above, Raquel discovered she was impregnated by her ex-boyfriend. She kept the baby, although she quit being Rocket for awhile.

Truly a breath of fresh air, as far as comic characters go.

Dwayne McDuffie rules.

1. Static

Virgil Ovid Hawkins.

Such a cool character that he got his own popular TV show AFTER his comic had been cancelled for a couple of years!!

Basically, Static is a 90s verison of Spider-Man. Reading Static will be very familiar to readers of Ultimate Spider-Man. They’re very similar books.

His origin issue (#2) is, along with Blood Syndicate #2 (how weird is it that they’re both second issues?), one of my favorite single issues in comics.

Smart, funny but also painfully dorky in his “secret identity,” Virgil is a great character. I’d love to see him have a comic book again.

Dwayne McDuffie rules.

28 Comments

I’m glad that others are giving milestone its due. I was an avid Staic fan and I really beleive he coud hold his own if he (and his supporting characters) were somehow ‘ported to to the DCU.
(Maybe Superboy’s reality-altering punches could have made it so).
Now if only Dr. Mirage could get some love as well…

I liked Xombi. But Icon was probably favorite of the Milestone books. I do give kudos for the DCU doing the Worlds Collide crossover. Some of it wasn’t that bad. Still, Static would be a great addition to the DCU in the Titans.

Perchance to dream….

I couldn’t even have named five Milestone characters.

I disagree with a lot of this. I think at least 3 or 4 out of the 5 should have been from Blood Syndicate. I agree with Static though. As for Frida (I believe that’s the actual spelling) and Virgil being platonic, McDuffie only co-wrote the first two issues or something, thankfully. He returned to the series to do the Static Shock miniseries and immediately did the hack move of making their relationship sexual. So McDuffie really shouldn’t receive credit for keeping them platonic. Personally I read everything Milestone did but the books written by McDuffie. I also think he dragged down the Justice League cartoon.

I’ll second Xombi as an interesting title. And Denys Cowan’s artwork on Hardware was great. What’s he doing now?

I’m also surprised that Static’s first two names are Virgil Ovid. That’s pretty geeky.

Oh, and what about Holocaust? he was great.

Holocaust was #6 on my list. Wise Son was #7.

So I did like the Syndicate! Just not as much as the characters I mentioned. And I also still think the two best issues were #1 and #2. Removing Tech-9 did not create the interesting dynamic I think Velez thought it would. It just made the book miss a great character.

And it is Frieda in the comic. I don’t know if that’s the right way to spell it or not.

Static was my favorite of the books and the one I paid the most attention to. I kinda think it was a bit of a mistake on their part to make the cartoon tie-in mini be a continuation of the cancelled series rather than mirror the show closer, especially visually. That and the cartoon costume is cooler looking.

I think I blocked out the mini-series. I do not remember anything from it. Virgil got together with Frieda?

That’s silly.

You’re right by the way Brian, the first 2 issues were the best. I don’t think the book ever recovered. Wise Son wasn’t cutting it. Even worse was then they pretended to bring him back and it was a hoax.

Wise Son, in and of himself, was interesting.

But his leadership was just booooooooooooring.

Agreed Brian. You know what it was like? (May be an obscure reference) On Spenser For Hire, the character Hawk was really cool. But when he got spun off to his own show and was at the forefront, he suddenly became really booooring. I think Wise Son was the Hawk to Tech Nine’s Spenser

It was just like, “Hey, I wonder how interesting it would be to see how a non-born leader does replacing a born leader.”

And the answer was, “It really isn’t all that interesting.”

Man, did I love Milestone. I picked up Static and Blood Syndicate at the time they came out, and got Icon and Hardware later. I was really impressed with Hardware when I read it more recently. These books were so freaking good!

I believe Ivan Velez wrote a bunch of Static issues that were pretty strong, and I thought he did Syndicate too. He later did some Extreme Justice issues, but those were truly horrid.

Er… didn’t Tech-9 die in issue #4 of Blood Syndicate?

I loved the Milestone line. Icon was my favorite book of everything I was reading at the time, and the first couple years of Static were great, too. Geoff Johns dropped hints about putting Static in the Titans, but unfortunately, it’s still never happened.

I only picked up the occasional Milestone issue back when the line was being published… it was the early 1990s, and there was soooooooo damn much to read. The market was glutted. Looking back, I wish I’d dropped a few books and followed Static, since I think the cartoon is fantastic. Who owns the rights to the characters nowadays? It would be great if some of the material could be reprinted in TPBs.

Xombi was the best Milestone book. I wish John Rozum was working in comics. He was great.

Static was a great book. I wish that they would collect this book.

I remember reading the “Worlds Collide” crossover, and being a) underwhelmed with the way the writer of ‘Icon’ handled Superboy (he went from being innocently flirtatious to a leering degenerate, basically) and b) really liking Hardware, both as a character and a series. Oh, and c) really liking the scene where Superman fought the Blood Syndicate, just because it was so true (Superman basically stands there taking the hits while trying to explain himself, because he’s just that tough.)

I’ll be re-reading “Worlds Collide” soon, as well as reading the “Shadow War” crossover, so I’ll keep an eye out for the characters you’ve mentioned above.

Er… didn’t Tech-9 die in issue #4 of Blood Syndicate?

Was it #4?

That’s good to hear! That means I can re-read #2 without having to see him die at the end (as I thought he died that issue), because I really enjoyed that issue.

I did like the joke in Worlds Collide that Superman is a comic book character in the Dakota-verse, and so EVERYONE knew he was, EVERYONE made fun of his mullet, and EVERYONE found Lois Lane surprisingly hot.

And Static was such a comics geek he knew Superboy didn’t have a belly button.

Oh and Static was the best. He should get his own ongoing, I don’t care if it’s set in Milestone, or DCU, or DCAU, Wildstorm, Vertigo, whatever!

What, no love for Buck Wild? Sweet Christmas!

I loved Buck Wild, but I don’t think he is good enough to make a top seven coolest characters list.

Remember, Milestone had some awfully cool characters!!

I remember everything in Milestone going down the crapper all at once. Ivan Velez left a great run on Static just when his storyline was going great, then the Blausteins took over and wrapped it up terribly. Ivan’s run on Blood Syndicate ended pretty abruptly as well, after a few issues of awful art. Post-Velez Static was pretty bad too.

Tom Galloway, hey! Remember me?

Oh, and Buck Wild said “Sweet Easter.” The other guy who resembled him was the one who said “Sweet Christmas.”

Blood Sydnicate was the shit and will always be the shit. Holocaust was bad as hell and I hated that Tech-9 actually kicked his ass that shit was hard to believe. Moreover, Blood Sydnicate was the best comic ever and I greatly miss it and dude Holocaust would kick everyone ass.

Of the Syndicaters, Third Rail always seemed pretty uninteresting, and Boogieman and Masquerade aren’t as interesting in retrospect as they seemed at the time– but I think every other core member of the team was among the better comics creations of the 90s. Tech was cool and all, but Fade, Flashback, and Wise Son were, for my money, the real character triumphs of the series. Fade and Flashback had genuinely original, not-seen-before-or-since powers that were well-thought out and well-written– how often does *that* happen? I’d certainly rank any of the three over Alva. Donner, Blitzen, and Iota were up there, too. (Loved the scene of Static trying to teach Blitzen to run on water.)

I disagree with Freda, Alva, and Tech-9 making this list. You had Holocaust, the son of the female mayor of Dakota, who turned his back on the Blood Syndicate and became a big baddie. DMZ who only spoke once. Aquamaria, Twilight, Xombi, Iron Butterfly, Fade, Icon, Buck Wild, Rocket 2, etc. I thought Static’s mother was a better character than half the characters on the list.

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