DC Universe Expands With Return Of Old Favorites

Longtime fans of superheroes will be very happy with two announcements made at Saturday's DC Universe panel - Not only will J. Michael Straczynski be responsible for bringing the 1960s Archie Comics superheroes back into comics since the 1990s Impact line, but Dwayne McDuffie will also bring Static and the other Milestone characters back.

The Archie heroes - The Shield, The Web and The Jaguar and many other characters with a definitive article in front of their names - will return under the guidance of JMS in the Brave And The Bold series, which will take its time in reintroducing the franchise, giving each character a two-part origin followed by one issue solo story: "It's a great opportunity," said Straczynski of the chance to revive an entire franchise.

The Milestone characters - created by Dwayne McDuffie, Michael Davis and Denis Cowan in the early '90s to reflect a more multicultural society than the traditional whitebread heroes - have been trapped in publishing limbo since for the last decade, even with the successful Static Shock cartoon that ran from 2000 - 2004. Now McDuffie gets to bring the characters back, and into the DC Universe, in the Justice League of America series... except for Static himself, who's going to join the regular line-up for Teen Titans.

These moves are part of a very definite decision on DC's part to diversify their line: "We're looking to expand the DC Universe," explained DC Executive Editor Dan Didio. When asked what would be next, Didio explained that if he could get his hands on Hanna-Barbera characters like Space Ghost, The Herculoids and The Galaxy Trio, he'd be very excited. Grant Morrison was more adventurous: "Marvel's next!"