Icon and Rocket has been without a doubt a great superhero comic and has made a triumphant return as one of the best Milestone Comics of the new era. Written by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills, the series has had every ounce of oomph a superhero comic can bring thanks to the art of Doug Braithwaite. In this story arc ending, Icon and Rocket need all the help they can get as the world crumbles around them and a giant cockroach alien attempts to rend one of them into pieces.
Something that’s clear reading this issue is that Icon is a little less cynical while Rocket isn’t quite as naïve. These characters have grown from their interactions, but also because they’ve been forced to fight. Fighting, in particular, is something they’re both good at which is obvious throughout this issue. Ninety percent of the book is fighting, but in between the punching and superpowered ass-kicking are good character work, dialogue, and interactions.
But make no mistake, Braithwaite kills it on this issue. The detailed art looks fabulous, with Icon doing some incredible things with his laser vision and super strength. In the opening, he must navigate falling buildings to save Xiomara and there are great moments as he saves her, drops her, and saves her again. The size and scope of the scene are well established, too, as in one panel he’s a tiny speck amongst the falling rubble. His heroism is challenged by the fact that he truly cares for Xiomara and yet is thwarted from saving her. Meanwhile, she’s flung out of his hands skidding across the water like a rock. There are many panels that look epic.
Meanwhile, Rocket is literally being tortured by the alien cockroach with barely a chance of survival. Never giving up, it’s easy to see her heroism runs deep. Throw in Static and it’s a great sequence of close calls and last-minute actions. Braithwaite is joined by inker Andrew Currie and color artist Brad Anderson who do a fantastic job throughout. The lighting by Anderson in particular, especially when the size-changing hero enters the fray, is fantastic.
The final confrontation does end a little too quickly, but aside from that, it’s a solid finish. Closing out the issue is a good two-page epilogue of sorts with a lot of dialogue to establish where these heroes are going and a new threat looming. Given much of the issue is action, these last pages are efficient in getting us to the final moments of the story.
Make no mistake, Icon and Rocket: Season One #6 is a great fight comic, possibly the best superhero fight comic of the week. The art is highly detailed and well-choreographed while the characters offer clear growth and interesting dynamics. These characters may be from the ’90s, but Icon and Rocket very much feels like the future of superhero comics.
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