Sunday, August 13, 2006

Raquel "The Rocket" Ervin

I don't know why I was looking through the "I" section of the back issue bins at the store this week. Maybe it's because I know the "G" section by heart by now, and this was a change. Either way, I managed to find, for a dollar an issue, just about the entire run of Icon from Milestone Comics (I'm short issue 15 and 16). I felt guilty snatching them up, because they're tough to find, so I grabbed the first few issues and a few with Rocket (his sidekick) on the cover. I went back today and snatched up the rest of them.

Icon, on first glance, looks like the Milestone Comics version of Superman. Hell, he had the "Strange Visitor from Another Planet" bit down in the first two pages. There's a few major differences. For starters, he's black, and wears red and green as oppose to blue and red. He does some funky energy thing with his hands. Has no vision powers. He landed on a plantation in 1839, as opposed to a Kansas farm 30-40 years ago. He was a fully grown and matured alien being, but the ship physically changed his body to that of an infant human to keep him safe. He was raised during this false childhood as a slave, ended up in the Underground Railroad, fought in the Civil War, amassed a huge fortune, and works as lawyer Augustus Freeman IV (said as "the Fourth" in a snooty accent) in the rich part of Dakota (Milestone's fictional city). He's conservative, keeps to himself, and believes people can pull themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps. Actually his teenaged sidekick Raquel Ervin, Rocket, talks him into putting on the tights when she finds out he has superpowers. Seh designs the costume, she tells him what he needs to be. Tells him he has a responsibility to inspire and protect people, and, fortunately, he's just idealistic enough to listen.

In Icon #2, on their first night out as superhero and sidekick, Icon and Rocket leap into a hostage situation, and find the Dakota Universe equivalent of the Metropolis MCU pointing guns at them.

Icon, like any innocent citizen who's spend the last few decades in the rich part of town, and votes Republican, puts his hands over his head and offers to explain.

This could have gone one of two ways. Later on in the series, the cops are indeed established as decent people. But this was a tense situation, there still might have been a fight even if Icon got a chance to explain. Or, they could have treated him like Superman, and given him a shot. It could have been good or bad.

But we shall never know, because he was with Rocket.

It is a page and a half before we see Icon again, but it's worth it.

I think it's safe to say he's never had a teen sidekick before.

Never fear, they actually get to fight the villain in Issue 3.

(This post brought to you in honor of the last ten minutes of Chris Sims' birthday, Central Time. There will be more Rocket Awesomeness to come in the future.)


  1. I loved that series. As Dwayne MacDuffie said on a number of occasions, the book really isn't about Icon, but about Raquel. Icon was kind of the maguffin needed to tell her story.

  2. Raquel is the proof that female superheroes can be just as impulsive and brave and sometimes foolish as male ones. Also the proof, if any were needed, that a male comics writer can create a compelling female character.

  3. I remember that series!

    -Ms. Kinnikufan