Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 232 pages
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A history of the trailblazing comics that broke color barriers and portrayed African Americans in heroic storylines What do the comic book figures Static, Hardware, and Icon all have in common? Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans gives an answer that goes far beyond "tights and capes," an answer that lies within the mission Milestone Media, Inc., assumed in comic book culture. Milestone was the brainchild of four young black creators who wanted to part from the mainstream and do their stories their own way. This history of Milestone, a "creator-owned" publishing company, tells how success came to these mavericks in the 1990s and how comics culture was expanded and enriched as fans were captivated by this new genre. Milestone focused on the African American heroes in a town called Dakota. Quite soon these black action comics took a firm position in the controversies of race, gender, and corporate identity in contemporary America. Characters battled supervillains and sometimes even clashed with more widely known superheroes. Front covers of Milestone comics often bore confrontational slogans like "Hardware: A Cog in the Corporate Machine is About to Strip Some Gears." Milestone's creators aimed for exceptional stories that addressed racial issues without alienating readers. Some competitors, however, accused their comics of not being black enough or of merely marketing Superman in black face.
 

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Black superheroes, Milestone comics, and their fans

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Brown's effort is well intentioned, but it will leave readers confused. Its main thrust is to offer "an examination of contemporary comic book fandom as it relates specifically to the texts ... Read full review

Contents

New Heroes
2 A Milestone Development
3 Comic Book Fandom
4 The Readers
5 Reading Race and Genre
6 Reading Comic Book Masculinity
7 Drawing Conclusions
Appendix
Notes
Works Cited
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Jeffrey A. Brown, Bowling Green, Ohio, is an associate professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University. He is the author of "Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans" (University Press of Mississippi).

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