Review: Icon and Rocket: Season One #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Andworld Design
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Icon and Rocket: Season One #3 is a harsh reminder that when people and superheroes act on their best intentions, there are always consequences.
Positives — Real Change Is Hard
Rocket and Icon successfully eliminated the drug trade in their neighborhood. But, they both knew that the source of drugs and the power of the drug trade is an international problem. In order to demonstrate facing the problem head-on, the first page opens with Rocket standing in a poppy field in Afghanistan. She torches the fields and then watches Icon create a tornado of fire that burns the fields to a crisp. He responds to her disbelief with, “Work smarter, not harder.”
Icon has many lessons to teach and Rocket listens with a discerning ear. She challenges his perceptions and decades of life experience because they were shaped by his early life as a slave. Raquel believes that those memories have made him too grateful for things that her generation claim should be expected and even taken for granted.
That doesn’t mean that there are things that Icon can’t teach Raquel. He reminds her that the changes they have brought to their neighborhood are opportunities for her to invest in her community and herself. Rocket is surprised and then contemplative when Icon reminds her that this is one of the many ways that the rich, stay rich.
Positives — Everyone’s A Critic
A rising plot development is the world’s response to Icon and Rocket’s actions. The new heroes are a mystery, and even the new President of the United States is asking questions. But he is surprised to learn that the answers include his residency on American soil and a history of working with the federal government. Perhaps the biggest discovery comes during the shared explanation from Icon’s official attaché and Icon’s conversation with Raquel.
In the last issue, a creature revealed that he had killed Icon during a slave rebellion, only to discover the dead man returned to life. Icon explains that he was in a healing coma and not dead. The creature that killed him is the same creature that sabotaged Icon’s ship. He is a shape-shifter and one of the reasons that Icon preferred to work from the shadows.
Now that they are in the light, everyone that Raquel and Icon know is a target.
Not in this issue.
Many comic book naysayers like to point out that superheroes never really change the world on a global scale and in a way that matters. The answer is complex and Raquel is an earnest example of the challenges that face someone fighting for change. Icon’s sage insights are a balance for her zeal. Together they invite the reader to witness why changing the status quo is harder than wanting or hoping for it.
Reginal Hudlin and Leon Chills are setting the stage for conflicts that the series will need to constantly address. Drugs, rehabilitation, are the beginning of a myriad of oppressive systems they will face. Capturing it all with artistic majesty are Douglas Braithwaite, Scott Hanna, Andrew Currie, and Brad Anderson. The original cover alone is a work of art and a mere suggestion of the magic painted within its pages.