Review – Milestones in History #1: Tales of the Past

Comic Books DC This Week
Milestones in History #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Milestones in History #1 – Reginald Hudlin, Alice Randall, Amy Chu, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Pat Charles, Karyn Parsons, Toure, Melody Cooper, Leon Chills, Writers; Jahnoy Lindsay, Eric Battle, Maria Laura Sanapo, Ron Wilson/Mike Gustovich, Don Hudson/Jose Marzan Jr, Jamal Yaseem Igle, Arvell Jones, Francesco Francavilla, Ray-Anthony Height, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Denys Cowan/John Stanisci, Artists; Eva De La Cruz, Michael Atiyeh, Andrew Dalhouse, Chris Sotomayor, Hi-Fi, Dan Brown, Steve Wands, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: DC has been putting out a lot of interesting anthologies lately, and this one serves as a celebration of Black historical figures who might have been erased, misunderstood, or had their heritage forgotten. Unlike the previous “Wonderful Women of History,” which was a straight biographical comic, this one has a framing segment involving Wildstorm characters and works some genre elements into the narrative. Every story is written by a different writer, including novelist Alice Randall who has two. Some of these figures are fairly prominent, but their stories get told in a new way, while others may have largely been forgotten due to a lack of coverage.

The narrators. Via DC Comics.

The first story, surprisingly, is not about a human figure—per se. It’s about the legendary Chimpanzee known as Lucy—or Dinikinesh—who provided much of the information we have about the origins of humanity. From there, the anthology largely goes in chronological order. The first few take place in antiquity, providing more information on the Queen of Sheba (in a story that focuses on Raquel and Virgil studying her for school), Hannibal Barca, and later the Black Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Following that, the book looks at the complicated life of Alexander Dumas, a biracial novelist who provided some of the most iconic novels in French history—he’s well-known, but his background is not.

Entering the 20th century, the next story focuses on Eugene Bullard, the heroic fighter pilot who faced off against the Red Baron in the skies over Europe—only to be erased and rejected when he returned home. Iconic choreographer Katherine Dunham gets the spotlight in a possibly supernatural tale brilliantly illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, while media personality Toure takes the pen on a story focusing on the most modern figure profiled in the book—the legendary late musician Prince, who struggled to get audiences and critics to understand his genius at first. The final story serves as a joint tribute to aviation pioneers Bessie Coleman and Mae Jemison, and a backup previews the upcoming team-up of Icon and Hardware that seems to have ties to another historical figure.

Overall, its fusion of history and comics isn’t seamless, but this is a worthy comic packed with a lot of fascinating information.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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