As one of the co-founders of Milestone Media, Denys Cowan impacted the entire comics industry in 1993, opening the door for many new characters, voices, and creators. With Milestone’s recent return, Cowan’s is back at work on some of his most cherished characters and we were able to ask him some questions about the relaunch and his time on The Question at Terrificon 2023.
Milestone is now back on the scene, but was it difficult to bring it back after all these years?
Denys Cowan: It was a process and it was a long time coming. We started the process back in 2013, so it took years to make it happen. The fans obviously wanted it and we wanted it, but the business side was the difficult part. Once we got that solved, it took about another year for Milestone to relaunch. It was an exercise in patience.
Once Milestone returned, people were very receptive to it. There are a lot more ways to get comics these days outside of traditional monthly comics, and new readers have discovered it digitally.
Is there a specific comic that you are particularly proud of that has been part of the relaunch?
Cowan: Yes, the upcoming Hardware vs. Icon #4 (out on August 15). It has a number of different artists on it and it is setting up a big event with a preview of some fan-favorite characters usually seen outside of the Milestone universe.
Your work with Denny O’Neil on The Question was collected in a new Omnibus last year, and the second volume which completes the series will be out this November. What do you remember about working on the series?
Cowan: At the start of my career, I worked with Denny on Power Man and Iron Fist and he kicked my ass on that title. I felt like I never did anything right.
Three years later, I was at DC and Dick Giordano came up to me and said “We need an artist on The Question. Do you know the character?” I, of course, said yes, but all I really knew about him was that he was faceless and that he was a Steve Ditko character. Dick then took me down the hall to introduce me to the writer and it was Denny O’Neil. So we were the new team on The Question and he kicked my ass some more.
This was a different era, and back then, you didn’t get a lot of compliments. I knew I was doing alright when I would get the next month’s script. I know that a lot of people really enjoyed our work on The Question, but I don’t have a lot of great memories about working on it.
We were working on some profound stories and people remember them.
Check out the cover to Hardware vs. Icon #4 (in stores on August 15) below for a hint about a familiar villain coming to the Dakotaverse and look for The Question Omnibus Vol. 2 at your local comic shop in November.