Today’s Super-Homage is one that I’ve talked about before: Icon. He was created by Dwayne McDuffie for Milestone Comics and was featured in his own title in the early 1990s’s. I talked about him back in February when I looked at a trade that has his series’ first eight issues. He shares some similarities to Superman in that he’s an alien who crashed on Earth and he has a secret identity. The similarities stop there though. Originally named Arnus, he crashed on Earth in 1839 and took the form of an African-American baby. He was named Augustus Freeman and kept his alien heritage a secret for over a century. It isn’t until the 1990s where he (at the behest of a young girl named Raquel) decides to become a superhero and clean up the city of Dakota.
Today’s issue is Icon #10. I did think about looking at an issue where he and Superman actually duked out, but it’s part of a crossover called "Worlds Collide." I haven’t read the total crossover, so this one seemed best. If you want to hear some discussion about those issues, head over to From Crisis To Crisis: A Superman Podcast where they went in-depth with that crossover between DC and Milestone. Dwayne McDuffie wrote the issue. M.D. Bright provided the pencils. Mike Gustovich handles the inks. James Brown (not the singer but that would be cool) and David Montoya handles the colors. So, let’s see what happens when Icon chases after some gangster
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils: M.D. Bright
Inks: Mike Gustovich
Colors: David Montoya and James Brown (Good God! Hey!... Had to do it.)
Letters: Steve Duturo
Editor: Matt Wayne
“The Fire This Time”
The story actually starts out with Raquel (Rocket) apologizing to Icon about her role in the Shadow War. If you’re wondering what that is, I’m right there with you. "Shadow War" was a crossover between the Milestone books at the time. Thankfully, the issue at least gives us an idea on what happened. Rocket got asked by Holocaust, a powered gangster, to join his team, the Star Chamber, to fight an organization called the Shadow Cabinet. She thought the Shadow Cabinet were the bad guys but it was actually the Star Chamber who were the villains. When she found out, she helped the Cabinet foil an evil plan the Chamber had. In the present, Icon isn’t upset at her since she did the right thing. His anger is saved for Holocaust.
Raquel, did it ever occur to you that the guy named “Holocaust” wasn’t actually good?
Icon leaves Rocket and heads off to find out more about Holocaust. He gets with Sergeant Elliot to get some information and even foils a bank robbery at the same time. We find out that Holocaust is a big-time gangster who can’t even be touched by the police. Meanwhile, Raquel heads to her mother’s workplace. She even gets hit on by some dude by the name of Virgil Hawkins. That name sound familiar… Oh yeah. Anyway, her mother chews her out because she’s been gone for days and she knows about Raquel’s pregnancy. They bicker about the baby and the discussion ends pretty badly with Raquel leaving in tears.
Raquel, just know that this "nerd" may make those six figures one day. He already has his own book and TV show!
At night, Icon heads to Holocaust’s main night club, The Hot Spot. He gets in quite easily since he can pretty much destroy the bouncers. He and Holocaust talk about Holocaust’s activities. Icon also wants to know what started the Big Bang, a gang war that ended in a lot of folk getting powers. The two eventually throw down in the night club. It takes a minute, but Icon subdues Holocaust. Instead of taking him in (which on closer inspection wouldn’t have done much), Icon leaves and tells him that he’ll be watching him closely. The issue ends with an epilogue of Holocaust getting up and taking a drug that amplifies his powers.
This is one time where the Police's "Every Breath You Take" may do the world some good.
I thought it was a fine issue. It deals with the aftermath of a crossover and continues the story of Raquel’s pregnancy. I like that the issue does give an idea of what happened in that crossover. Most comics rarely do that these days. Icon’s hunt for Holocaust was cool but I did wonder why he didn’t take him in at first. I do get it now. While the stuff involving Icon’s search was fine, I actually thought Raquel’s part was more interesting. It had a real human feel to it. I also liked the funny cameo of Virgil Hawkins, aka Static.
The artwork was also pretty good as well. I liked the action as well as the smaller, quiet scenes. The artwork definitely helped the scene at the diner with Raquel and her mom. Holocaust was okay but there really wasn’t much to him. We get an idea that things may heat up (no pun intended) later on down the road. Overall, this was a nice issue and I hope I can find more issues from this series in the back bins. Well, I’m out. I will say that next week may get a little “Dark”… and I’m not talking about skin color either. Peace, God Bless, and know that a person named “Holocaust” might just be the villain of your story. It’s all in the name.
NEXT TIME: THE THREAT FROM EARTH-3!