1830 - Arnus, the last survivor of a planet ravaged by the Daemonites, crashes his lifepod in a cornfield in the American south. As they both lay dying, the ship bonds him with it's own bio-synthetic core, rebuilding him to mimic the first sentient lifeform he encounters; an enslaved black woman named Miriam, who adopts him as her son, Agustus.
1850 - Agustus works as an abolitionist on the underground railroad.
1861 - Agustus joins the Union Army under the name Agustus Freeman.
1865 - Agustus abandons his own identity after the war and becomes his own son, Agustus Freeman Jr.
1914 - Agustus gives up a successful legal practice to fight in WW1.
1918 - Agustus uses the end of WWI to discard his identity, having revealed his powers during the war. He becomes Agustus Freeman III
1941 - Agustus goes to fight in WWII in the pacific theater, keeping his powers hidden.
1945 - Agustus returns from the war posing as his own son, Agustus Freeman IV. He goes into seclusion.
5 years ago - Agustus meets Raquel Eruin when she and her boyfriend break into his house. They become friends, and she convinces him to come out of seclusion as the superhero Icon.
4 years ago - Agustus operates alone briefly while Raquel Eruin has her baby, but is far less effective without her.
3 years ago - Agustus & Raquel Eruin are recruited by Vera Black into the new Elite to battle the Daemonites, who destroyed his homeworld.
Milestone comics was a unique comic imprint that started in the early 90's when creator-owned series were experiencing a renaissance. Image comics were happening in a big way shaking up the entire industry, and lots of smaller companies were following their lead. Milestone was a collective of African-American creators that built and entire world with diverse characters. They were actually published by DC, but were able to retain full ownership of their characters and creative control. This makes the characters of Milestone all stand out as uniquely special. The single most instantly recognizable of all of Milestone is easily Static, but right behind him is Milestone's answer to the Superman mythology: Icon.
It's hard to read Icon and not immediately a fan. The idea of an alien visitor that has lived in seclusion among us for over a century is immediately fun, and it uses his role as a former slave as fuel to create a lot of great social commentary. From a purely comics-centric standpoint, however, the best part of the series is the fact that the main hero is actually not the protagonist. Rocket is a young, modern, exciting character and a absolutely fantastic character to follow as she leads the book. The fact that Icon doesn't have to carry the narrative weight of the book means that he's free to come across as a force of nature. Without Rocket as him companion he would loose any interest in helping the world that he calls home. It's a great concept, applying a certain amount of Doctor Who logic to the 'earthbound god' story that is inherent to any Superman spin-off and an absolutely genius bit of series plotting by creator and writer Dwayne McDuffie.
As we bring Icon into our timeline, there's the same issue we have with ANY insanely powerful alien species; how do we include them without creating another entire alien population with superpowers? Icon already has an element of a solution in his story, in that his body was reformed by his ship to mimic the humans around him. We've taken that a little bit further, removing the idea of a technology that can give someone his level of power. instead, we suggest that Icon is actually merged entity, the alien refugee and the living bio-ship that bore him. His powers are the result of a unique bio-engineering event that cannot ever be duplicated.
Now, eventually, the characters of Milestone all made their way into DC in one way of another. Over in the animated series Young Justice, Icon actually joined the Justice League. In all honesty, if Icon WAS a regular part of the DC universe, then the idea of him NOT being in the Justice League is lunacy. But the fact is, Icon ISN'T a regular part of DC. He's a perpetual outsider. It's part of his entire character concept. He doesn't BELONG in the Justice League. He needs to be something else. The idea of using him in our Wildstorm allegory team the Elite wasn't immediately evident, but he fits so perfectly. He can easily be made a victim of the Daemonites, but that's only part of what makes it work so well. He is by a wide margin one of the best and most innovative Superman allegories that's ever existed, and on a team built of innovative outsider characters, he is one of the absolute best.