ICON & ROCKET season 1 #1

Okay, I’m just going to get right to the point, based on the preview that was in the Milestone Returns special issue, this was actually the new Mileston series that I was most looking forward too. I was interested in seeing this new global approach to fighting crime that Reginald Hudlin had Icon and Rocket taking on. So did it live up to the hype?

Well, no. No it didn’t.

Hudlin takes a decompressed approach to this writing of this issue, as he revamps Icon’s original origin story. The alien now known as Icon was a passenger on a spaceship, narration says he was “heading home”, when another alien, described as a shape-shifting terrorist, planted a bomb on the ship. Icon attempted to stop him, but the terroritst got away as the bomb went off, killing the other passengers, as Icon had no choice but to escape on a small pod-ship. The pod eventually made it to Earth where it landed in Georgia in the 1843 where it was discovered by a pair of Black slaves living on a plantation. The ship reconfigured his DNA and form to revert him to infancy and match that of the couple who found him, and they took him in to raise him. Flash forward to the city of Dakata in the modern era, specifically one month before the events of The Big Bang. Teenage Raquel Ervin and three boys, incliding her boyfriend Anthony, break into a mansion one night with hopes of robbing it but are confronted by the owner, Agustus Freeman, a Black man who exhibits superpowers.

Augustus stops the teens and lets them go with a warning to change their ways. The next day Raquel returns to his home, and encourages him to use his powers to become a public superhero, asking to be his partner, so they can help and inspire Black people. After listening to Raquel’s impassioned arguments, he reluctantly agrees, and they prepare to get started.

And that’s the end. The original first issue told this part in the first half and then showed them in action as Icon and Rocket, but this issue didn’t even have them get started yet. Sure, it expanded some of the details, explaining the logic behind some of the events that happened (like why the adult alien was reverted to an infant), but it didn’t really add much to the concept, and thus I felt like overall the issue dragged. The only significant new detail was a flashback to 1921 when Augustus was in Paris with his wife and we see that she, like Raquel, also encouraged him to start using his powers for the greater good, so I guess we’ll see what else he’s done in the past as this series progresses.

So overall it’s a fine issue, but I can’t help but feel underwhelmed by the lack of new ground. Likewise the art by Doug Braithwaite is decent but average. I’m still commited to following this series, but I hope we see a drastic improvement in the next issue. Chacebook rating: THREE STARS


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