Hudlin Entertainment

Hudlin & Chills Discuss the Epic Conclusion of Icon & Rocket Season One

BY D. R. BICKHAM | CBR

DC’s Milestone authors Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills dive into the conclusion of Icon & Rocket Season One and the heroes’ futures.

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The DC Comics imprint Milestone Media has recently returned to the forefront of the genre, with the debut of several “season one” titles featuring characters introduced when the company was first founded in the ’90s. Of the new titles introduced so far, Icon & Rocket has remained a favorite of many, with its exploration of worldwide politics coupled with pulse-pounding action drawing in new and established audiences.

CBR recently had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with the writers of the series, Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills. While Chills is something of a newcomer to the Dakota-verse depicted in the comics, Hudlin is a veteran of the company and is one of the original founders. Both co-writers had much to share about the future of the titular characters after the end of the Icon & Rocket Season One miniseries, as well as their overall place in the shared universe. They also spoke about the role that their guest stars will play in the future of the Milestone Universe.

Milestone was originally founded by a number of African-American creators during a time when there was very little representation in comic book characters. Icon was one of the first heroes created by the publisher as a powerful answer to DC’s Superman and has, in many ways, served as Milestone’s flagship hero. Although DC’s Man of Steel is often associated with his love interest, Lois Lane, Icon is not commonly known for having a significant relationship in his life outside of his platonic partnership with his sidekick, Rocket. Icon & Rocket Season One has made an effort to change that, with the introduction of Xiomara, a superpowered character reminiscent of Wonder Woman who clearly has eyes for Icon — and vice versa.

“It was important for me to give Icon a romantic side,” Hudlin revealed during the discussion. “When I was writing Black Panther [for Marvel Comics], I was the one who introduced his marriage to [the X-Men’s] Storm. In my future story, I even introduced their children. I’m a big believer in Black love and Black family. In a universe of Black superpowered characters and other characters of color, there will definitely be more of that in the books to come.”

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Although the statement from Hudlin indicates that romance is in the air for Icon and Xiomara, this new character is much more than a simple love interest. She and her mysterious organization of superpowered operatives stand out as one of the most intriguing elements of Icon & Rocket Season One. “Xiomara is a mystery,” Hudlin expanded. “We’re still discovering the extent of her powers because she isn’t ready to share everything just yet. She is clearly a person who holds her cards very tightly. I personally love Xiomara and her whole squad. We’re definitely going to be seeing more of them in the future.”

Chills chimed in to tease about another character who debuted during the course of Icon & Rocket Season One, a size-changing hero who plays a major role as the story reaches its epic conclusion. “It was very exciting to introduce Little Bit,” the writer added. “She’s another hero in Xiomara’s crew… There are definitely more. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the colors of Xiomara’s costume are based on the Brazilian flag, and Little Bit’s are based on the Nigerian flag.”

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In addition to confirming that the costume variations were “a good thing to point out,” Hudlin spoke more about the new characters created for the series. “We just wanted to create some fun new characters,” the writer noted. “We thought it was a logical thing to introduce a group of amazing, empowered women who are out to make a difference in the world. Women are of great importance in all fields, from politics to science, and so much change is led by Black women. So in a world of superpowered individuals, it only makes sense that there would be an amazing team of empowered Black women leading the way.”

Milestone’s most popular hero, Static, makes an appearance as the story comes to a close, with the final issue of Icon & Rocket Season One taking place after the conclusion of his own self-titled season one series. “I wanted to establish that Static and Rocket go to the same high school,” Hudlin said when asked about the guest appearance. “They have a very fun dynamic, and I thought they should at least be friends in a fun and relatable way.” “In Issue #5,” Chills added, “we took a pause from the action to dive into the personal lives of the characters, and we definitely wanted Static and Rocket to interact with one another.”

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When asked about whether the heroes would be returning the favor and appearing in other Milestone comics, Hudlin confirmed that the duo would definitely be doing so. “We wanted to really establish who Icon and Rocket were before we introduced Static in Issues #5-6,” he added. “We didn’t want to rush anything, but yes. You will definitely be seeing more interplay between the Milestone characters in the next season of books.”

Hudlin also revealed that writing the next story arc for Icon and Rocket is on his “action list.” “We’ve done a pretty extensive outline that we’re all excited about in terms of what the next arc is going to cover,” the writer revealed. “We’re going to try to make it an event. It feels really big, and we’re going to take these characters to unexpected places pretty quickly. We don’t want to simply recreate the stories that were told in the past. In the second season of all the Milestone books, these characters will be starting new and interesting journeys.”

Icon & Rocket Season One #6 is written by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and Andrew Currie. The issue is on sale March 22 from DC Comics.