2.) Is Reginald Hudlin's introduction as embarrassingly terrible as I think it is, or am I being too harsh in my assessment? If you haven't read the new-ish Icon trade (and I think you should all read it, if only to encourage DC to put out more trades of it for me to buy), here's a sample:
Some of you might sneer at attaching such importance to creating comic books (it shows a certain success for Milestone that you are reading this introduction, anyways), but for people who have suffered with "a dream deferred" for too long, having our collective fantasies delineated and distributed across the country is empowerment indeed.
But none of that would matter if the books were wack.
Fortunately, ICON is dope.
The whole thing is so exciting, I even considered quitting my day job to join Milestone. But then, I thought, how will I make the movie version if I quit directing?
3.) Here's a hard one: Is Icon black? When we first meet the being who will become Augustus Freeman/Icon, he's a blue-skinned alien. When he lands on Earth in the second half of the 19th century, he is transformed into a little black human baby.
He later explains that the lifepod worked to alter his DNA to "match that of a sentient native."
So, is Icon really black, or is he just a blue-skinned alien disguised as a black man? The fact that his disguise is based on altered DNA would seem to indicate that he is, for all intents and purposes, actually a genetic match to the woman who found him—and African-American slave in the American south of the 1860s—yet he seems to be functionally immortal (he's over 120 when we first meet him), and has all sorts of superheroes, so he's clearly not an exact DNA match of a human being.
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Superman's not technically human at all, yet he's usually considered to be white based on the color of his skin, rather than his genetic make-up. Likewise, Icon's black based on the color of his skin...he identifies himself, and can be identified as, African-American, even if he didn't actually come from Africa, nor did his ancestors (Actually, I guess that makes both Superman and Icon Outer Space-Americans, huh?).
I was only curious about this at all due to the relative dearth of good black superhero comic book characters throughout the history of the medium. Icon's a great character—and Icon is a pretty great comic book—but I was wondering if he can technically be considered black or not, based on his origins, if he is indeed an answer to the question, "Where are all the great black superhero characters?"
I suppose if we consider alien Superman, Atlantean Aquaman and magical clay golem Wonder Woman white folks, than Icon is a black man. Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?