In Icon & Rocket #2: Season One, you absolutely should not come looking for your father's Augustus Freeman the 3rd, or yours, depending on your age. This is a whole new Icon, and while the venerable and respectable former version was — if you'll pardon the pun — iconic, what we have here is well worth seeing.
The first a most enjoyable bit here is how the Paris Island neighborhood in the city of Dakota is a character in and of itself. With a concerted community effort, there are multiple showings of mutual support between the heroes and the people they protect. Seeing that play out despite the pressure of slanted takes from the fourth estate and the threat of legal persecution and prosecution is an engaging and heartwarming means of setting the scene.
Second, let's talk about Augustus Freeman the 3rd, who came through his centuries on this planet much less willing to "go along and get along," There are three wonderful showings of that (four if you count Xiomara Collins, we'll get back to that subject in a moment), in the present and with a literally jaw-dropping flashback. That leads to some fantastic quotes ("I'm sorry, but your threats amuse me") and displays of Black excellence that are intrinsic to the story and the newly "iconic" establishment of this approach.
Third, let's talk about the artwork. The action scenes and tense standoffs delivered by Doug Braithwaite, Andrew, Currie, Brad Anderson with lettering from Andworld Design are very engaging, showcasing the height of a new character or the seriousness of title characters. That's all superbly engaging.
There's literally only one quibble here, and that's the two new players on the field, Xiomara Collins and Benedict Lord. Both characters are introduced with a decent amount of fanfare and limited characterization. While one does deliver some fantastic information about Icon himself, his own rationales and raison d'être remain opaque. Collins gets even less of a foundation. These two challenges are literally the only quibbles with this otherwise dazzling issue and are not enough to deter anyone from buying it.
At the one-third mark for this story, we should now have all the players on the field and can spend the next four issues enjoying how they'll interact. RATING: BUY.
Icon & Rocket #2: Season One
By Reginald Hudlin, Doug Braithwaite, Andrew Currie
Who is the mysterious Xiomara? She's an attorney with a unique set of skills — and if you're Raquel Rocket Ervin, she's who you want in your corner when the United States government comes knocking on your door, asking questions about your friendship with the all-powerful alien known as Icon! A secret identity doesn't get you far when every intelligence operation in the world is hunting you!