This week’s entry is Rocket, from Milestone Comics’ “Icon” title. Debuting in “Icon” #1, Rocket (real name Raquel Ervin) was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Mark D. Bright.
Raquel grew up in an impoverished neighborhood of the fictional city of Dakota. As a teenager, while attempting a robbery with friends, she meets Augustus Freeman IV, a wealthy conservative Black man… who’s actually an alien in disguise (and stranded on Earth since the mid-19th century). Raquel encourages Augustus to become the superhero “Icon,” with her as his sidekick, “Rocket” (via the use of his alien technology).
Not long after starting her superhero career, Raquel discovers she’s pregnant, and decides to keep the baby, though this means retiring (temporarily) from being Rocket.
Over the course of the series, we learn about Raquel’s goal of becoming a writer, while also seeing her meet the rest of the Milestone Comics cast (including Static). Many saw the series as actually emphasizing Raquel more than Augustus (who Raquel occasionally conflicted with per their different social/political views, Raquel being more liberal).
Since the Milestone line ended, Rocket’s comic book fortunes, like those of the Milestone characters in general (aside from Static), have fallen on hard times. The Milestone characters recently have been folded into the mainstream DC Universe, which hasn’t particularly helped them much, though fits DC’s post-”Crisis on Infinite Earths” policy of shoving tons of characters obtained from other lines/companies into one overcrowded single Earth, versus leaving them on their own Earths. Along those lines, Rocket appeared along with Icon in a McDuffie-written “Justice League of America” story.
Fortunately for Rocket, she’s having more success in her initial foray into non-print media, as she’s become a recurring character on the “Young Justice” animated series. (Not a fan of the show, so not bothered tuning back in to see Rocket.) There, she’s voiced by Kali Troy.
Rocket’s powers come from her belt (alien technology of Icon’s), which allows her to generate an “inertia field” that lets her manipulate kinetic energy (generate forcefields, fly, some invulnerability, etc.).