Anonymous submitted: What have you been reading in the Dakotaverse? Any surprises the second time around, good or bad?
I’ve been reading Hardware, Static, Icon, and Blood Syndicate (including a lot of stories I haven’t read in the past) and Shadow Cabinet, Heroes, Kobalt, Deathwish, Wise Son, and My Name is Holocaust (most I’ve never read).
It confirmed my love of Hardware. You see a guy who begins life as a disgruntled employee taking on his boss’s illegal activities and ends up finding some semblance of peace while conquering some inner demons, outer threats, and working with those he opposed. You see character growth, and it really is the most personal book from Milestone. Hardware is, at its core, Mr. McDuffie’s reflection of the world around him and how he was the man in a shell.
Loved Icon all the way through, though Raquel’s pregnancy seemed like it went on forever. The truth behind the Big Bang attack was a great political story arc.I’m just upset that there wasn’t an actual ending to that series and Static, which I’ll talk about later.
Shadow Cabinet was essentially Milestone’s Justice League book with a great cast of characters doing things they really didn’t want to do to save people they didn’t really like nor understand. Great inner conflicts throughout that book.
Blood Syndicate still impresses me, even 20 years after it debuted. Raw, youth-driven series that wasn’t cute by any stretch about kids with phenomenal powers who are afraid to lose what is theirs and will do anything to protect it (all of which came to a head in The Long Hot Summer arc).
Deathwish was an interesting story to say the least. Dark as hell, gritty, violent, and in the end, quite sad. Great read. Kobalt seems like an smart Image Comics book in the era when the Image characters were vapid, extreme, and ultra-violent. A hero who reluctantly has to do a favor for a friend, which ends up being the vigilante hero training a teenager to become a hero. It’s not pretty, but the ultraviolent hero and his faithful young page goes on an all-out war against the underbelly of Dakota’s criminal empires. Overall, a fun book.
Wise Son and Holocaust were decent books going deep into both character’s lives. Definitely darker than the book that spawned them.
Static was great. Of all the Milestone books, this was strangely the one I’ve read the fewest issues of. The shop I used to get my comics from never carried them, and the one time they did was during the World’s Collide miniseries with the Superman books. It’s not often that you see a teen male and a female pairing that is strictly platonic. Virgil and Frieda were quite a team. She was the only person Virgil trusted with the secret of his abilities. They’re friends and mostly stayed just friends for the entirety of the book. I kind of know why they didn’t have the Virgil/Frieda relationship in the animated series but instead used an altered version of Rick Stone (Richie Foley) as his sidekick. Great book.
So yeah, the trip’s been pretty good the second time around.