Rocket – 28 days of Black Super Heroes – Day 17

Rocket-FINAL art by John Garrett
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Previous (Day 16) Super Hero – Hardware!

Day 17 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, today’s hero is the DC Comics’ character Rocket.

See, everybody loved Rocket. At least everyone I knew did, because she was the kind of girl who would have your back. She and her partner Icon made a very unique and entertaining team.

It kills me that I lost all these issues. See my Icon write up for more details.

WHO IS ROCKET?

Rocket is Raquel Ervin, a teenage girl who had wanted to be a writer, but really never gave it a try, because it just didn’t seem possible. She had grown up in a particularly bad area of the city of Dakota, where all the Milestone stuff went down.

The night her feelings changed was when she met her partner-to-be Icon. She and her friends were getting into trouble, and they decided to rob the house of Augustus Freeman, as he was very wealthy and they thought they could score big.

As it turns out, Augustus inadvertently revealed his powers to Raquel during the course of the robbery.

She eventually learned that he was a shipwrecked alien that had been on Earth for a very long time. The idea then struck Raquel that Augustus should be using his powers to help people, to be an example and give people something to aspire to.

Raquel had a lot of passion to her, and Augustus was convinced to go along with her plan. That’s saying something, too, since Augustus was about a 400 year old lawyer. I mean could someone convince you to put on tight-ass spandex and run around the city getting involved in all kinds of crimes?

Even if I was invulnerable, I just don’t see that happening.

WHAT DOES SHE DO

Rocket doesn’t have any innate superhuman powers. She gets her powers from her belt-buckle.

Seriously. Her belt buckle was actually a part of Icon’s crashed spaceship that counteracted inertia and redirected force away from the occupant.

In short, it was a force-field belt-buckle.

So if someone tried to shoot her or punch her, the force from the hit would either be redirected away harmlessly or she could store that energy and then release it violently in concussive bursts.

Initially, she could use the belt to leap great distances. Eventually she was able to use it to actually fly.

She was actually pretty powerful when it came down to it. I was impressed by the science of it all.

PERSONAL ISSUES

Rocket was very liberal, full of passion and idealism, whereas Icon was pretty conservative and not given to emotional display. The two clashed about these sorts of issues as the series went on.

Icon and Rocket deal with the police. Image from the Worldofblackheroes website -check them out! (http://worldofblackheroes.wordpress.com)

I remember thinking that hopefully Rocket and Static would get together eventually, but maybe it was too obvious? They never really went there with it.

Rocket’s biggest challenge came not from super-hero’ing, but from finding out that she was pregnant by her ex-boyfriend.

Suddenly Rocket was gonna be a teenage mother. Holy crap. I had never seen this in a comic before. What was she gonna do? Was this the end of Icon and Rocket?

THE NEW ICON & ROCKET

There came a point in the series where Icon was finally able to escape from Earth and get back to his life.

I recall being kind of sad, not that Icon and Rocket’s adventures might be over, but that Raquel and Augustus wouldn’t be together anymore. The unlikely friendship they developed was written so well and so naturally that I actually felt the emotional turmoil of these characters.

Raquel still wanted there to be an Icon and Rocket, so the role of Icon was given over to a man the duo had previously met –Buck Wild, Mercenary Man. This was a character that was an obvious and hilarious dig at Marvel Comics’ Luke Cage.

So with Icon cast, they still need a Rocket, as Raquel’s advancing pregnancy forced her to give up the role. In her place she chose her good friend Darnice. If I remember right it was Darnice who actually discovered how to use the belt to fly instead of just jump.

As previously mentioned (ie bitched about), I no longer have my Icon comics, so I don’t remember if it was Raquel or Darnice who fought the alien mass-murderer Oblivion. Anyone remember?

Well, I remember being somewhat traumatized because one of those Rockets got her ass kicked all up and down the city by Oblivion. Not a good look.

WORLD’S COLLIDE

Once again, the World’s Collide event was where all the Milestone heroes met up with the Superman family of heroes (including Superboy and Steel).

I mentioned before that Rocket’s early costume had a circle opening in her top to reveal her cleavage. I think Icon initially expressed disapproval when he first saw it. Then, after she met Superboy and he kept staring at it (Superboy was a tactless horndog at that time), she made a note to herself to change her costume and fill in that area. She actually did change the costume later on.

PRESENT DAY

So as reported in the previous Milestone character write-ups, the “Dakota-Verse” characters were brought into the mainstream Dc Universe so they could kick it with Superman and Hawkman (don’t know why anyone would choose to kick it with Hawkman but the point is they could if they wanted to).

Rocket made an appearance in the Justice League story that re-introduced the Milestone crew to the DC Universe proper. I have to admit that I don’t really know what happened to her after that.

It seems as if the basics are still there intact, but some things had to change. Specifically since everyone thinks the Dakota heroes have been there the whole time (except Icon and Superman) then that means they can’t remember the Worlds Collide event.

That’s a huge shame because the Dakota crew really grew during that event. Let’s face it, the DCU guys had been used to universe shattering crisis situations popping up on a busy weekend, but that was the first extinction level event the Milestone guys ever had to deal with.

Anyway the wiki stuff is not very detailed on Rocket, so if anyone out there knows something more of her, then let me know.

THE WRAP UP

Rocket was and apparently still is a kick-ass character. The Milestone creators gave us something pretty special with her, and hopefully we can see more of her and Icon in the future.

I think this is the kind of character that young kids could really identify with. Yeah she made some mistakes but she faced all of her problems down and she’s directly responsible for all the good that Icon has done since she convinced him to come out of the shadows.

I mean, the comic was called Icon, but kind of like the Sherlock Holmes books were supposedly about Sherlock, but really ended up focusing on Watson. Raquel was actually the driving force in the book. Excellent, excellent job from the Milestone creators.

So with that, I’ll leave you guys with a look at the Rocket pencil art I drew up. Stay tuned for the next hero!

Rocket-pencil art by John Garrett
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Next (Day 18) Super Hero – Static!

Make sure to check out the comics page for more comics stuff here on Hypertransitory.com!

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8 thoughts on “Rocket – 28 days of Black Super Heroes – Day 17

  1. I remember her and those black super heroes but they needed to get out the hood and go mainstrema thats only way black super heroes catch on> Storm is the premier black super hero followed by mabe Captian Marvel. Blank Panther could been more impressive if he went against heavy weight villans. Like Magneto and Doctor Doom. I think he went against Doom once but it wasn’t too much made about. Oh yeah War Machine was simi mainstream too but I don’t know if wears the armor anymore. Plus he needed his own enimies not Iron Man’s.

    1. What up Antione? It’s unfortunate but true. When comics are such a niche as it is, and then you target a sub-set of the niche, you apparently can’t generate enough sales to keep it going.

      Oh did you check out Doomwar from last year? It was Black Panther, Fantastic Four and the X-Men going up against Doom, trying to stop him from taking over Wakanda. It was pretty awesome but the ending left a little to be desired.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I love this! Black Superhero Month. Totally rocks. My boyfriend is a HUGE comic book fiend, so I’m always hearing stories of the alternate storylines for different characters, small features in Black Horse Comics, different artists, etc. It’s pretty neat, especially Poison Elves, which he recently introduced me to.

    This has been some awesome reading! Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s. =)

    Delena

    1. Hey Delena it’s always a pleasure to see you here :)

      I’m very glad you’re enjoying this. I haven’t heard of Poison Elves, I’ll need to look that up!

  3. JG, I have no idea where the idea for 28 Days of Black Super-heros came from but you pulled it off fantastically.

    I have never been a comic booker. I am/was a starving artist doing cartoons, and as a ‘Child of the 70’s’ enjoy a good ‘Super Hero’. But the title absolutely drew me in!

    I saw your’ comment on Brankica’s blog, saw the title, and said”I gotta read this”! I’m glad I did. It’s well written. Even better researched. It is simply fascinating reading, even if your not a comic booker!

    Well done, sir! Well done!

    1. Gib that Brankica post was a real one-of-a-kind wasn’t it?? LOL.

      I really appreciate that you took time to hop over and check this out. This is why I’m putting this stuff out here so people can get a little info-tainment and perhaps get an idea of where I’m coming from.

      So I hopped over to your blog, do you have any of your cartoons up on there? Drop a link in here or on my about page and let’s check them out!

  4. [email protected] Coupon says:

    This has been some awesome reading! Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s

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