Milestone Media, the publishing imprint at DC notable for creating characters like Static, Zombi and Icon and promoting the work of African-American comics-creators, has formally announced their publishing return today at SDCC. Original co-founders Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, and Reginald Hudlin will partner with DC Comics to relaunch Milestone as a part of the DC Multiverse, designating their shared universe as "Earth M."

DC announced that characters Static Shock, Icon, Rocket, Hardware and Xombi will all return as part of the deal, which is being referred to as "Milestone 2.0". Both Cowan and Hudlin will work on comics for Milestone, bringing in Jim Lee and Geoff Johns for as-yet-unannounced projects. It's speculated that Hudlin and Lee will work on a 'launch' comic, and Johns and Cowan will form the other principal creative team.

The publishing plans for Milestone include a series of graphic novels --- up to two a year --- as well as a series of one-shots and miniseries. Hudlin told the crowd at today's Milestone Media panel that he has already written over a hundred pages of a new Static Shock story, indicating that the character will be one of the first to reappear. Future plans also seem to include writer Christopher Priest, who worked on the original Milestone comics, but left just prior to launch.

The characters will remain within their own shared universe for the time being, although the founders say there'll be room for integration down the line.

Milestone was a big deal for comics the first time around, and a forerunner of today's uneven attempts to introduce more diversity into superhero fiction. Milestone published comics by creators of color, featuring characters of color. It'll be interesting to see what Milestone 2.0 can bring to comics' shifting landscape. Hopefully, it can carve out a place to develop some great comics, and spotlight creators who might otherwise be overlooked. As Dingle told the crowd:

We have to keep this company alive, we have to maintain diversity in this industry. There have to be more stories to be told.