- Icon (comics)
caption=Icon and Rocket from Icon #41
Art by Wilfed Santiago.
debut="Icon" #1 (May 1993)
real_name=Augustus Freeman IV
aliases= Augustus Freeman, Augustus Freeman, Jr., Augustus Freeman III
powers= Flight, invulnerability, massive superhuman-strength, super-speed, super-reflexes, super-stamina, enhance-mental perception, enhance-senses, regenerative-healing factor, longevity, ability to generate and project
Icon is a
fictional superherocreated by Milestone Comics and published by DC Comics. He first appeared in "Icon" #1 (May 1993), and was created by Dwayne McDuffieand Denys Cowan.
At the 2008 Comic-Con DC Comics executive editor Dan DiDio announced that the Milestone Universe and characters would be revived and merged into the DC Universe proper. The merger will treat the characters as new to the universe, ignoring the "Worlds Collide" crossover of 1994. Icon, along with Shadow Cabinet, will appear in
Justice League of America#27, currently written by Dwayne McDuffie.
Fictional character biography
In 1839, an alien starliner malfunctioned and exploded, and a jettisoned life-pod crashed in the middle of a cotton field in the
American South. The alien Arnus used the life-pod's equipment to mimic the first life-form who discovered him: a slave woman named Miriam. And so it happened that Miriam found inside a baby boy with his mother's eyes.
In the present, the alien is still with us. He did not age visibly beyond adulthood; to disguise this fact, he periodically assumed the identity of his own son. By the late 20th century, he was posing as Augustus Freeman IV, the great-grandson of his original human identity. Still marooned, Augustus waits for
Earth's technology to catch up to his life-pod's. Secretly possessing superpowers that belie his human appearance, he has always performed quiet acts of charity. But one night, his house is broken into, and Augustus uses his powers for the first time in decades, an action that is witnessed by Raquel Ervin.
Raquel is an idealistic teenage girl who was born in Paris Island, the poorest, most gang-ridden neighborhood in Dakota. Her prospects seemed fairly bleak until a chance encounter with Augustus Freeman IV. After seeing him use his powers, Raquel persuaded Augustus to become a superhero named Icon, with herself as his sidekick, Rocket.
Augustus is portrayed as a very intelligent, somewhat stiff kind of person. Due to his upper-class job as a big time lawyer and "proper" way of speaking; is often criticized as being a "
sell out" or "white washed". He usually prefers to do everything by the book instead of acting on instinct. During the majority of his series he mostly fought plain street crimnals and those who gained powers from Dakota's Big Bang.
* Raquel Ervin/Rocket — Icon's sidekick and the one who inspired him to become a hero (after breaking into his house with friends). After seeing him fly and not show any effects from a point-blank range gunshot, Raquel returned to his house, this time with ideas for "two" costumes. Augustus soon accepted her suggestion and presented her with her costume and the Inertia Belt, which enabled her to manipulate
kinetic energy. After their first adventure, though, Icon asked Racquel to retire, having used his alien senses to discover that she was pregnant.
* Darnice/Rocket II — Raquel's best friend. Darnice took on the role of Rocket while Racquel was on maternity leave (one insisted upon by both Icon and her close friends).
* Amistad Augustus Ervin — Raquel's infant son, named for the Spanish slave ship and her partner, Icon.
* Rufus T. Wild/"Buck Wild, Mercenary Man" — First appeared in "Icon" #13 "It's Always Christmas" (May 1994); Buck Wild possessed "belief defyin' strength" and "
tungstenhard skin." He once used an experimental growth serum which turned him into the gigantic "Buck Goliath." After some time, Buck wore a replica of Icon's costume in order to take Icon's place when Icon returned to his home planet. Rocket (Darnice) was able to use her Inertia Belt to carry him, making him appear to fly. Buck's time as Icon II was short-lived when he gave his life in order to stop a villain from Icon's homeworld. While working with the Patriot, he wore a winged costume allowing him to fly, and also experimented with wearing some sort of wrist apparatus which generated lightning bolts. Following Buck's death the legendary Ruby Begonia briefly brought him back to life, and allowed him to generate green smoke, the sound of drums tolling doom, and a ghost-like double which could possess others and make them do his bidding. (An obvious Luke Cage pastiche, Buck's later powers reflected Black Goliath, Falcon, Black Lightningand Brother Voodoo.)
Powers and abilities
Icon possesses a vast aray of super powers including:
*Super Strength: Icon possesses vast superhuman strength, putting him in the same class as Superman.
*Super Speed & Reflexes: Icon possesses the ability to think, move, and react at superhuman speeds.
*Super Stamina: Icon possesses highly efficient musculature which produces almost no fatigue toxins, granting him almost limitless stamina in all physical activities.
*Flight: Icon flies by manipulation of gravitons (a subatomic particle associated with the force of gravity) manipulation of magnetic fields and control of his absolute molecular movement, plus utilizing his superhuman speed can fly far beyond supersonic speeds. It is yet unknown if Icon can fly near the speed of light.
*Super Senses: Icon possesses superhuman senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.
*Enchanced Mental Perception: Icon possesses the ability to sense & comprehend things on levels that far exceed human capabilities.
*Super Durability & Invulnerability: Icon seems to possess partial high-invulnerability & durability, being capable of withstanding tremendous impact forces, high caliber bullets, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury. He is even capable of surviving in the vacuum of space unaided. Although, Icon's invulnerability is not always"on". If he is not exspecting an attack he can be injured more easily. For example: in Icon#2 he sustains a bloody nose from getting hit in the face with the butt of a rifle that surprised him, but in a fight with Superman he took numerous blows from the man of steel and was able to nearly match his endurance.
*Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his nigh invulnerability to injury. It may be possible to injure Icon. If injured, his body is capable of quickly repairing damaged tissue with much greater speed and efficiency on a superhuman level.
*Longevity: Icon possesses longevity that enables him to age vastly slower that human beings.
*Energy Generation: Icon has the ability to generate, control, and emit blasts of charged
Positronenergy from his hands.
*According to Icon, he possesses powers that all humans will possess once they evolve past their limitations.
*In the Worlds Collide crossover with the DC universe; Icon and Superman fight. It is shown that Icon is nearly as powerful as Superman.
* Icon held conservative views on economic and social issues, which often put him in conflict with more liberal
Milestone Comicssuperheroes, including his sidekick. Under Rocket's influence, he eventually began re-evaluating his views.
* "Icon" #1 announced a contest, where readers answered the question "Is this comic book about Augustus Freeman IV, marooned space alien, or Raquel Ervin, budding writer in a tough neighborhood, or both?" The winning letter, printed in "Icon" #9, was selected because it "captured the essence of the book. The ICON series is about both characters as seen through the eyes and told through the voice of Rocket."
* Because of the superficial similarity of his powers and origin story, Icon was sometimes referred to as the "black
Superman." The letters page in "Icon" #2 includes three letters making this reference. The dismissive editorial response begins, "I think the resemblance doesn't go much beyond Augustus being a 'strange visitor from another planet.'" In conclusion, "If the Hero of Dakota was in any way inspired by the Superman mythos, it was because RAQUEL was inspired, not any of US!".
* "Icon" was nominated for three Eisners and is a three-time winner of Parents' Choice Award honors.
*Although many people compare Icon to the Man of Steel, Icon's personality and character are more similar to
Wildstorm's Mr. Majesticthan of Superman.
*"Shadow War" - Milestone Company-wide crossover. Involved all comics, including the newly premiered
Xombiand Shadow Cabinet.
*"Long Hot Summer" - Milestone Company-wide crossover. Three issues of the comic by the same title along with tie-ins in every Milestone title. - July-September 95
*"Worlds Collide" - 1 Issue. A postal worker named Fred Bentson unwittingly becomes a portal between two worlds and two cities. A living link between Dakota, home city of the Milestone heroes and Metropolis home of Superman. Eventually Bentson loses control of his powers and transforms into Rift, a cosmic being capable of manipulating and reconfiguring matter on a subatomic scale. The heroes of two universe come together to stop him and seal the dangerous rift between their worlds. This crossover with Milestone Universe and DC Universe characters included
Blood Syndicate, Hardware comics, Icon, Static, and DC's Steel, Superman, and Superboy.
* [http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/i/icon.htm International Heroes: Icon]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.