It seems to be that the new it thing within the film industry is to try and craft a cinematic universe. Marvel started the trend and it was soon picked up by other companies as the new model of blockbuster world-building. DC, Fox, Sony, Universal, and even Paramount have picked up the model and put their own spin on it. In the age of the Cinematic Universe where superheroes and supervillains alive intersect between films, why not add one more to the mix? Milestone Media was founded in 1993 by a group of Black Artists and writers, which consisted of Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dinklage. The company was founded as a response to the lack of diversity within comics. The group recognized that minorities especially POC were poorly and underrepresented in comics and they set out to change this. Milestone Comics were published and distributed by DC comics. It was through Milestone comics and the Dakotaverse that the iconic Virgil “Static” Hawkins was created.
Caleb McLaughlin as Virgil “Static” Hawkins
Static made his comic book debut in June of 1993 in the pages of Static #1. He was created by the four Milestone Comics creators. Virgil Hawkins is a teenager who lives in the poorest most crime-riddled neighborhood in Dakota City, Paris Island. Virgil gains electromagnetic powers when he is exposed to special tear gas during an event which was referred to as “The Big Bang.”. After gaining his powers Virgil became inspired by his favorite comics to become a superhero and thus Static was born. Sometime after receiving his powers, Virgil would go on to become a full-time member of the Teen Titans. Stranger Things‘ Caleb McLaughlin would be absolutely perfect in the role of Static.
Jay Ellis as Jefferson “Black Lightning” Pierce
Before anyone says it yes I know that Black Lightning isn’t a Milestone character, but I’ve always loved the relationship between him and Static. I’d love to see him in any universe that Static is in acting as a mentor and big brother type. Black Lightning made his comic book debut in the pages of Black Lightning #1 in April of 1977. Jefferson was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden. Black Lightning was born with electrokinetic metahuman abilities which he learned to control through the help of a belt invented with the help of a family friend. Insecure‘s Jay Ellis would make a fun younger Black Lightning.
Billy Brown as Augustus “Icon” Freeman
Icon made his comic book debut on the pages of Icon #1 in May of 1993. He was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan. In 1839 an alien ship exploded sending a pod hurtling towards Earth, the pod landed in a cotton field in the Southern United States. The pod altered its inhabitant’s appearance to mimic the first lifeform that it came in contact with and so when a slave woman named Miriam happened upon the pod it altered the child inside to look like a baby boy with the same eyes as Miriam. Over the years Augustus Freeman has survived slavery, the civil rights era, and right into modern times only having aged to adulthood and no further. He has lived with superpowers and conceals the fact that he doesn’t age by periodically taking on the identity of his own son. How To Get Away with Murder‘s Billy Brown would make a fantastic Icon.
Tanyell Waivers as Raquel “Rocket” Ervin
Rocket made her comic book debut in the pages of Icon #1 in May of 1993. She was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, and Mark Bright. She was created as the side hero to Icon. Raquel was born and raised in the same neighborhood as Virgil Hawkins. After the Big Bang, she convinced Augustus Freeman to become the superhero Icon and to use his powers for good as well as take her on as his sidekick. Due to a belt fashioned by Hardware from Icon’s spaceships inertia winder, Raquel gains the ability to manipulate kinetic energy. Queen Sugar‘s Tanyell Waivers would absolutely KILL IT as Rocket.
Colman Domingo as Curtis “Hardware” Metcalf
Hardware made his comic book debut in Hardware #1 in April of 1993. He was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan. Metcalf is a genius inventor who develops a robotic exoskeleton equipped with an expansive arsenal and tech programming. When Curtis was 12 years old acclaimed inventor Edwin Alva took notice of him and began to mentor Curtis as well as paying his way through the top schools. By day Curtis works as an inventor, but by night he protects his city against crime and his former mentor Edwin Alva, as Hardware. Colman Domingo is one of my most recent additions to my favorite actor’s list and I think he would do a fantastic job of portraying Hardware.
Tracey Ifeachor as Tiffany “Technique” Evans
Technique made her debut in the pages of Hardware #9 in November of 1993. She was created by Dwayne McDuffie. Tiffany Evans was a brilliant genius level young woman whose intellect drew the attention of Edwin Alva much the same as Curtis Metcalf’s did. She aimed to be a cyberneticist and in doing so she gained the mentorship of Edwin Alva and Curtis Metcalf. Metcalf and Evans grew close to each other and functioned as friends and colleagues, however, Alva wanted to use Evans to defeat Hardware and get rid of this problem. Because of this Evans and Metcalf regularly battled each other in their superhero alter egos with Evans completely unaware the Curtis, her friend, was the person Edwin Alva wanted her to get rid of. Over the years Hardware and Technique functioned as each other’s Nemesis. Tracey Ifeachor is amazing at portraying intelligent badass women and she would slay the role of Tiffany Evans.
Matthew Modine as Edwin Alva
Edwin Alva made his debut in the pages of Hardware #1 in April of 1993. He was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan to be the mentor and later on archenemy of Hardware. Alva is the one who took interest in Curtis Metcalf’s intellect and groomed him through schooling only to reveal his true sinister self to Curtis later in life. For the public, Alva presents the image of a respectable and kinda scientist when in fact he is an underground crimelord and a villain. After watching Stranger Things and seeing him in the role of Dr. Martin Brenner I instantly knew that Matthew Modine would be perfect for Edwin Alva.
Keke Palmer as Stella “Starlight” Maxwell
Starlight made her comic book debut in the pages of Shadow Cabinet #7 in December of 1994, and she was created by Matt Wayne and Jean Paul Leon. Stella is a young college student who while visiting her campus’s stargazing observatory was exposed to the beams of a tachyon telescope. Due to the incident with the telescope Stella’s body emits intense levels of electromagnetic radiation which she was only able to learn to control through the help of Hardware and a special suit he designed for her. Stella has the ability to project energy as well as manipulate multiple forms of energy on the electromagnetic scale. Keke Palmer would do a fantastic job portraying Starlight.