Concept and Creation
Icon was created by Dwayne McDuffie and M.D. Bright. He was one of the four flagship titles of Milestone Media, along with Static, Hardware and Blood Syndicate. Originally, Icon was suppose to be called "Paragon", but it was changed due to the fact a different character already exists. First appearing in 1993, Icon is the most famous character created by Milestone because fans have called him "black Superman" way before President Calvin Ellis of Earth-23 and Val-Zod of Earth-2 in the DC Multiverse.
Born Arnus on Terminia, he eventually joined the galactic council known as the “Cooperative”, where he was essentially a lawyer. After adjudicating a very disagreeable situation, involving the criminal Oblivion he took a vacation. On the interstellar pleasure cruise line however, the ship came under attack, and he was forced to crash land his already damaged pod on the nearest planet, Earth.
Arnus crash landed on earth in 1839 on a cotton plantation. His life pod recreated his body by duplicating the DNA of the nearest life form, a black slave woman. As a human infant he learned the local language and the caste system of slavery based on skin tone. He grew to love his earth mother Miriam. Arnus later discovered he had superhuman powers and immortality. He used his powers secretly to lighten the load of his fellow slaves and aiding a resistance movement dedicated to freeing slaves known as the “underground railroad”. Here he bid his time in hopes that Earth’s technology would catch up to his own allowing his ship to be repaired. By the time he was fifteen. slavery was abolished and he took the last name “Freeman”, he also fought in the Civil War against slavery.
Due to his mutated Terminan body, he has virtual immortality, which he has managed to keep from the public by assuming the identity of his “son” throughout the years. Following the War, he attended “Fist University” where he studied law and “passed the bar’ in several states, thus able to support himself. This allowed him to retrieve his pod.
During a time of great artistic renewal known as the Harlem Renaissance, he met and fell in love with Estelle Jackson, and they later married. After the disappointment by the era’s unfulfilled promise they left the country, living as expatriates in France. During World War II he fought with the allies against Nazi Germany in hopes that the united front against racial segregation would lead to more racial unity in the Americas. After the War, he and his wife returned to America. Racism reappeared even more fervently than before, though in 1964 under Martin Luther King Jr. blacks gained “legal parity’ with their white brethren.
With his wife’s encouragement he increased his heroics though he never went public, this lead to rumors of a “mystery man”. During this time, they also realized their genetic incompatibility prevented them from having children. In 1977 his wife died of cancer; This left him even more emotionally distant than before as he now lived only to return home. He blamed himself for her death since he knew his pod could have saved her if he had known how to fix it in time. He moved to Dakota, away from Harlem to escape the memories and pain of his wife’s passing.
He threw himself into his work and kept eyes on Alva Technologies’ which was very close to being able to repair his ship. His law firm grew to one of the most successful in the country. He became the personal lawyer to Corporate leaders, senators and the upper crust of American society. Under the guise of Augustus Freeman IV, he met Raquel Irvin who was one of a group of teens who were trying to rob him. In her he saw the same impartiality of his dead wife Estelle. This same girl would later convince him to don a costume and become “Icon”. He then became the Dakotaverse’s premier superhero, essentially their “Superman”.
Justice League of America
After the Milestone Universe was almost destroyed, Dharma used the crisis energy that emanated from the Final Crisis event to merge the Milestone Universe with the Main DC Universe.
The Shadow Cabinet, needing more darkforce energy for their shadowslide, their teleportation machine, hatched a plan to steal the remains of one of the JLA's greatest foes: Dr. Light from the JLA Watchtower. To achieve this, the team enlists the help of Hardware, Icon, and Rocket. It is revealed that Icon is friends with Superman, and that, being a citizen of the Cooperative, is immune to Green Lantern prosecution.
Once on the Watchtower, the Shadow Cabinet, Icon, and Hardware engage the JLA in battle and Icon punches Superman through the wall of the Watchtower into space. Outside, it is revealed that this entire fight was an elaborate ploy between Icon and Superman. Superman reveals that Icon's punch was as hard as he'd ever been hit.
Inside the Watchtower, Hardware captures the remains and almost escapes when he is struck by Hawkman. Unfortunately,
Eventually, the fight between the two teams is interrupted by Shadow Thief's arrival. Shadow Thief's powers have been massively upgraded, allowing him to create shadow doppelgängers of both the League and the Shadow Cabinet (and friends). While heroes like Hawkgirl found limited success against the shadow doppelgängers, it wasn't until the heroic Dr. Light (Kimyo Hoshi) arrived that they were soundly defeated. The light Hoshi used to defeat the shadows also allowed Icon, Rocket, Hardware, and the Shadow Cabinet to escape with Arthur Light's remains.
A reformed Justice League consisting of John Stewart, Vixen, Zatanna, Firestorm (Jason Rusch), and Dr. Light allies itself with Hardware to find Shadow Thief and the source of his new upgrade, Starbreaker. When they track him Starbreaker down, they find an injured Icon fighting him.
In the new continuity, Icon and Rocket, like previously, met as Rocket was trying to rob Arnus's mansion. After failing to rob Arnus and learning of his powers, Rocket convinces him to become a superhero and take out all of the drug dealers in her neighborhood. He agrees to do just that. Not only did Icon take out all of Dakota's crack houses, but he took out ships loaded with heroin and destroyed meth labs all across the country.
In time, the duo finds themselves in the jungles of Colombia where drugs are being manufactured. After a few blasts from Rocket and displays of optic blasts and some form of telekinesis, the duo destroys the drug operation.
After defeating the drug dealers in Colombia, Icon and Rocket turn on the news and learn about the Big Bang in Dakota. Upon learning of this, they make plans to return to Dakota.
Icon is a conservative and follower of the Republican party; he witnessed its original inception as Republican president Abraham Lincoln helped free the slaves (such as himself and his adopted mother). This would often lead to arguments with Rocket, who was a liberal. Over time their points of view mellow out.
Over the years Icon has lived on Earth, he's become more and more accommodated to it's customs. Having spent centuries on Earth Icon has blended in with its natives, he has made this planet his home, and has grown to to have a affection for its people. His personality has evolved over time, to were he easily resembles a normal human being.
Major Story Arcs
A Hero's Welcome
The Mothership Connection
Long Hot Summer
After the events in Final Crisis, both the Dakotaverse and the DC Universe were on the edge of destruction by Rift. Dharma absorbed the powers of the Rift and called on the help of both worlds' heroes, including Superman and Icon. The heroes saved the day, but the Milestone universe had suffered a world disaster. In order to save millions, Dharma merged his world with the DC Universe, preventing it from being destroyed. Only Icon, Superman, and Dharma know of this event.
With the worlds united, the new heroes carried on their day to day lives. Icon and Superman have a good friendship as well. They later arranged for the Justice League and Shadow Cabinet to meet each other believing they would have to team up one day.
In the DCU, Icon is under the eyes of many people, one of which is none other than General Sam Lane, who after the events of New Krypton has his suppositions about the hero, either over his connections to the Man of Steel or suspecting him of being a Kryptonian.
- Height: 6'8"
- Weight: 290 lbs.
- Eye Color: Brown
- Hair Color: Black
Icon's life-pod altered his DNA so he would resemble a normal human being, thus enabling him to blend among Earth's natives. A side effect of this process was the maximization of his now human/alien genetic structure, which also resulted in him possessing a variety of superhuman abilities that are unusual even for a Terminan.
Unique-Human/Alien Physiology: Icon is a member of the powerful alien race known as the Terminans, who possess powers and abilities similar to Kryptonians. Terminans however, don't share any of the Kryptonian weakness. After having his DNA altered by his life-pod, all Icon's powers and abilities were maximised, making him very similar in power to a Kryptonian under a yellow sun.
Superhuman Strength: Icon possesses vast strength due to the maximization of his DNA and alien heritage. He can lift over 100 tons effortlessly. Due to his alien heritage and the maximization of his potential as a human being, he has near limitless strength shown to at least be equal to Superman. At one point, he punched Superman out of the Watchtower 50ft into space. Later, Superman admitted that nobody including Darkseid EVER hit him that hard.
Superhuman Speed: Icon's top speed is unknown, but he's shown to have comparable speed to Flash and Superman.
Superhuman Agility: Icon can move from place to place in the blink of an eye. His agility, balance, and bodily coordination are far beyond the natural physical limits and capabilities of the finest human specimen.
Superhuman Reflexes: Icon possesses the ability to think, move, and react at superhuman speeds. Icon’s reflexes are superior to those possessed by the finest human specimens.
Superhuman Stamina: Icon never gets tired or fatigued, because he possesses a highly efficient musculature structure that produces no fatigue toxins, thus granting him limitless stamina.
Flight: Icon flies by manipulation of gravitons, manipulation of magnetic fields, control of his absolute molecular movement, and utilizing his superhuman speed.
Enhanced Senses: Icon possesses superhuman senses (the extent of which are unknown). He is constantly aware of his own state of being, physical health, and mental status. All of Icon's senses are immune to sensory overload.
- Enhanced Vision
- Enhanced Sense of Smell
- Enhanced Sense of Taste
- Enhanced Hearing
- Enhanced Sense of Touch
- Enhanced Mental Perception: Icon possesses a Genius level intellect, and is highly resistant to all forms of mind control and probing. He can sense and comprehend things on levels that exceed human capabilities.
Self-Sustenance: Icon can go without sleep/rest, air, food or water, and his bodily evacuations are unneeded. Icon can also survive in the hashes environments and space unaided.
Invulnerability: Icon possess nigh-invulnerability, he can withstand: high-impact forces, high-caliber bullets, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury.
Accelerated Healing: Despite his nigh invulnerability, it is possible to injure Icon. If injured, Icon's body is can immediately regenerate and recover from minor/fatal injuries. His body is capable of regenerating and replacing lost limbs, organs, and muscles instantaneously.
Positron Manipulation: Icon can create, shape and manipulate Positrons. Positrons are the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of electrons. The subatomic particles have the same mass as an electron and a numerically equal but positive charge. When a low-energy positron collides with a low-energy electron, annihilation occurs, resulting in the production of two or more gamma ray photons. Positrons are involved in many of the physical phenomena that involve electrons such as electricity, magnetism, and thermal conductivity. Positrons also participate in gravitational, electromagnetic and weak interactions. It is unknown just how powerful Icons' positron energy is, as it has never been used to its maximum potential.
- Concussion Force Beams: Icon can release positron energy from his hands as bolts of concussive force. A low power force bolt can flick on a light switch, but at maximum power the amount of damage is unknown.
- Stun Bolts: Icon can project low-energy positron bolts that render human beings unconscious by disrupting the electrical impulses in their nervous systems.
- Energy Enhanced Punches: Icon can focus positron energy into his fists, which he can then use to shatter any substance, and increase his strength.
- Energy Pulse: Icon can produce a surge of positron energy (from his hands or entire body), which can disrupt technical technology.
- Energy Constructs: Icon can create constructs out of Positron energy.
- Omnidirectional Energy Waves: Icon can release all of his body's positron energy as massive positron waves in ever direction, causing devastating damage.
- Positron Field: Icon can detect the presence of Bang Babies within his vicinity by flooding an area with a field of positrons.The field interacts with the invisible quantum well surrounding a Bang Baby, who then glows as he or she gives off mild gamma particles. Icon can use these fields to distinguish Bang Babies from other meta humans as well as normal humans.
- Force Field: Icon can use positrons to create quasi-solid energy fields to entrap opponents. The force fields becomes more powerful, by absorbing kinetic energy.
Decelerated Aging/Immortality: Icon possesses extraordinary longevity enabling him to age at a vastly slower rate than that of normal human beings.Though centuries old, Icon appears to be a man possessing peak health in the prime of his life; Icon's lifespan is usual for a Terminan, and is the only power that is not the result of his genetic mutation. The maximization of his DNA gave Icon immortality, which he hides from the public by continuously taking on the identity of his son over the years.
Business Man: Augustus is a self made Billionaire.
Celebrity: Augustus has gain a lot of notoriety and fame for being one of the worlds top Lawyer, and do to his philanthropy. He's also taken on high profiled clients, and tried some of the biggest cases in the world.
Expert Lawyer & Mediator: Augustus is one of the most successful Lawyers in the world, and an adept Corporate Lawyer due to his mediator background and a century’s worth of experience in American law. He built and developed his own Law Firm, which is one of the most successful in America. Augustus has become the Personal Lawyer to Corporate Leaders, Senators and the upper crust of American society. As Icon, he is among the Cooperative’s most celebrated mediators, and has extensive knowledge of the Cooperative legal system as well as decades of experience in his chosen field.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant (Advanced): Augustus is well trained in unarmed and armed combat. He's fought in every American war from the Civil War to WW2. Some opponents underestimate his fighting abilities, because of his initial attempts of diplomacy.
Multilingual: Augustus is fluent in English and Galactic Standard, the native language of The Cooperative.
Philanthropist: Augustus uses his vast amounts of wealth to help others. He's founded various centers and organizations around the world, designed to help people, one the most famous being The Freeman Community Center.
Armor: Icon wears armor composed of highly advanced alien technology. The armor grants him further protection from projectile weaponry, energy beams, intense heat/cold, and tremendous impact forces. On his command, the Info Tool aboard his starship can instantly construct his costume over his civilian clothing. When no longer needed, the costume is disassembled, converted back to energy, and stored in the structural files of the Info Tool.
Starship: Like all Cooperative vessels, Icon's starship is equipped with a faster-than-light drive that allows it to shift into the realm called Hyperspace. Icon's starship is also equipped with cloaking technology that can render the vessel invisible to both the human eye and all forms of technological surveillance. When not in use, Icon stores his starship in his "garage," a hangar located beneath his mansion’s swimming pool. The pool slides out of the way to provide easy entry or exit for the ship. Over time Icon's ship has been equipped with numerous technology from other planets and cultures, including time travel technology. The ship is extremely fast and maneuverable.
Info Tool: The Info Tool is a computerized database of virtually everything known within the Cooperative. It even contains very detailed files on the cultures, languages, history and technology of Sol III (Earth) thanks to Icon's accounts of his life on the planet. The Info Tool acquires new information from written documents, verbal accounts, and visual data inputs. The database can even scan an item (organic or inorganic) and store its molecular structure within files called "software." Apart from storing and retrieving data, the local access to the Info Tool can also link to and control any computer-operated device or system.
Because of all the data it has accumulated over the millennium, the Info Tool is truly self-aware and even has a personality of sorts. The Info Tool relies on verbal inputs to receive commands to perform certain functions. In terms of information retrieval, the Tool can respond either verbally or by displaying its findings via holographic images aboard the starship. The Info Tool remains in contact with Icon via a communicator hidden in his costume (the mask). While in this Sullivan clothes the Info Tool communicates with Icon, via a specially designed watch by the Info Tool.
The Maker: The Maker is a molecular factory that can construct any physical item, molecule by molecule, from structural data files stored within the Info Tool. These data files are called "software" while the objects created by the Maker are known as "hardware." The Maker operates by tapping the vast energies of the reactor form Icon's Starship and converting them into matter used for the construction of hardware. The Maker can create any item, terrestrial or extraterrestrial, in a matter of seconds as long as its structure is on file within the Info Tool. These include medicines, machinery (e.g., vehicles), clothing, and even food.The Maker can repair or modify constructed hardware by altering its molecular structure according to the whims of its user.
The Maker can also rearrange the molecular structure of items it did not create in order to change their appearance or function. To do so, the Info Tool must first scan the structure of the object to be modified. For example, Icon employed the Maker to build the starship garage beneath his mansion's swimming pool.
Icon's starship has numerous projectors through which the Maker can construct hardware within the vessel. To build an item outside the vessel, the Maker relies on a special probe mounted on the underside of the starship. it is the probe that facilitates the Maker repairing or remodeling Icon's possessions over great distances.
While Icon did not appear in the series, the community center is named after his civilian counterpart. This community center was a recurring location in the series.
This is the first use of characters from Milestone since the DCAU and the first animated appearance of Icon. Icon hails from Dakota City. He met a young girl, Raquel, who convinced him to become superhero in May 2010. He helped the Justice League fight off Poison Ivy's plants with his sidekick Rocket.
As part of a simulated training scenario of the Team, Icon was "killed" by alien invaders.
Icon was considered for membership of the Justice League, though Green Arrow jokingly said Superman's only reason for nominating him was a belief that Icon might be another Kryptonian.
With the other inductees into the League, Icon was welcomed to the Hall of Justice and given an official membership pass. He had hoped to talk to Rocket, but inside the Hall, he found she and the other proteges were gone.
The Team captured three escaped felons, and brought a case they had to Batman. He showed its content to Icon, who concluded that the biotech samples were partly alien, though he was not sure of its origin. When Batman left to analyze them at the Watchtower, Rocket apologized for leaving him earlier. Icon accepted, and was glad they had both found teams in which they belonged.
After being made a slave of the Light's mind control, Icon welcomed Vandal Savage aboard the Watchtower with a silent kneel of obedience. Icon, Captain Marvel and Doctor Fate were sent by the Light to subdue the Team, but they found the Cave deserted. The moment the trio made it back to the Watchtower, the Team ambushed them with cure-tech. Doctor Fate was tagged, but Icon managed to destroy the other two chips. Rocket had another ready for him. She put it on him, and he collapsed.
Young Justice: Invasion
After Gamma Squad saved hostages from the Kroloteans, Icon arrived on the scene with the rest of the Justice League members and the Team.
Being experienced in intergalactic tribunal law, Icon volunteered to travel to Rimbor with the six Leaguers accused of crimes to defend them before the High Court.