A new documentary celebrates the legacy and future of DC's Milestone imprint.

The revival of DC's Milestone Comics imprint continues with the release of the brand-new documentary film called Milestone Generations, which debuts July 29th on HBO Max.

The film, directed by Justice A. Whitaker and narrated by Cliff “Method Man” Smith, features new interviews with Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and archival footage of Cowan's fellow co-founder, the late Dwayne McDuffie. Other key comics industry voices including Paul Levitz and former DC Comics publisher Jenette Kahn are also interviewed, offering insight on the massive influence Milestone wielded during its brief '90s heyday thanks to titles like Icon, Hardware, Blood Syndicate and Static.

milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics

In addition, the film chronicles 2021's relaunch of the Milestone banner by DC and the Milestone Initiative, a program to identify, support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book world.

Co-founder Denys Cowan told IGN during a conversation at SDCC that the documentary offers validation for the trailblazing work Milestone did in addressing the lack of storytellers of color in the comics industry. “It's something I'm very proud of, what we did,” Cowan told IGN.

While representation remains an issue for comics publishers today, the lack of diversity was even more pronounced back in the Bronze Age. Even when African-American heroes like Luke Cage and Black Lightning were launched in the 1970s, white creators often handled the storytelling.

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milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics
milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics
milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics
milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics
milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics
milestone generations: new documentary details the rise and rebirth of milestone comics

In the documentary, Cowan relates a story of how a conversation with comics legend Jim Steranko in 1989 planted the seed in his mind that would help give birth to Milestone.

“I shared this story in the film, how Jim Steranko had been approached by a major comics publisher and asked to create black comic book characters,” Cowan recalls. “Jim came up to me [at a comics show] in New York City and said, “I don't think I'm the right man for the job. Do you know who might be?” And that was like a light bulb going off for me.”

That talk with Steranko, whom Cowan considers a huge influence, showed the artist that the opportunity existed to fill a vacuum in comics. A few years later, Milestone would be created to do just that.

Milestone Generations is available to stream now on HBO Max.

For even more on Comic-Con, be sure to brush up on everything that was announced at the show, and see IGN's picks for the winners of Comic-Con 2022.

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