Day 13: 29 Days of Blackness
So four years ago I was having a discussion about top ten black superheroes and it was interesting that on almost no one’s list was Icon. Now I could almost say it makes sense because probably a lot of people didn’t grow up when Milestone comics were around but then a few people had Static on their lists.
Whenever they would reference Static, he was mainly as part of the DC universe or the WB cartoon but they would toss in that he came from Dakota and the Milestone Universe. Which annoyed to no end because if you are able to acknowledge Dakota then why forget Icon.
During one of these conversations, a person dared me to do a list of why I felt Icon should be on a top ten list of Black superheroes and I did. Well now I have another 5 five reasons or an expansion.
But first here is a little background.
An alien named Arnus from a planet called Terminia. On his homeworld he was part of the Cooperative. (A peaceful union of many worlds that worked together following the development of unlimited energy. As referenced on comicvine).
Arnus works as essentially a lawyer. He took some time off basically went on vacation and the ship he was on got attacked. Leaving him stranded with his pod on Earth in the deep south in the lovely year of 1839 in the United States of America.
Arnus is reverted to a baby, which people always seems to leave out of his story. Like he was a grown alien and the ship instinctively reverted him to the dna of the nearest species. Which here is the kicker an enslaved woman, Miriam who would raise him as her own.
And now to the list …
1. His is the story of a stranger in a strange land or the story of enslaved people in America.
- Icon similar to Superman and J’onn J’onzz is an alien. So it’s easy to just want to write him off as an amalgam of both or even a copy but that would be wrong, oh so wrong.
- Icon knew of his people unlike Superman and it was purely by accident ended up on this rock. He used his powers when he realized he had some to help other enslaved people escape. His human life, his childhood was not one of leisure. He was a slave in one of the many horrible chapters in the history that is the United States of America. He wasn’t afforded the apple pie farm boy experience.
2. He’s an Immortal-lawyer and is dang near invincible.
- This is a character who has literally heard every lawyer joke ever. Just think of the fun that could be had. He was around for the start of some them. Kidding aside, he crashed landed during the time of slavery. He has seen some of the best & worst moments of history. Being an eyewitness to humanity’s brightest and darkest times has changed him a bit. He’s better than GOOGLE for a report.
- He has seen and fell in love during the Harlem Renaissance. He is somewhat haunted by the fact that he couldn’t save his wife.
3. His apathetic state
- When we meet Icon, he was withdrawn from society. He’s not the do gooder we expect from our heroes. He’s actually like some of us, jaded with our society around us. Particularly the state of the black community. He’s an elder who has already seen it all and the present isn’t looking too bright. He is typical of how each generation as it ages looks down on the next generation for various reasons.
- Coming out of slavery he experienced the changes first hand and how hatred and racism never went away. There were brief moments of hope and change but nothing. He even left the country to go to France like a number of black soldiers did only to come back and help fight in WW2.
- Imagine seeing first hand the promise of what could be only to have constantly end up failing. So he gave up a bit and sort of passed his time doing good deeds and waiting for technology to advance enough for him to fix his pod and leave.
- If you were immortal would you do it?
4. He has been incorporated into the DC universe
- Going toe to toe with DC’s most iconic (no pun intended) character and knocking him around a bit. This is just a fun panel.
5. You grew to like and respect him.
Eventually we will be seeing more of him in print.