Why Buck Wild? Why not?
From Icon’s Wikipedia Entry:
Rufus T. Wild/”Buck Wild, Mercenary Man” – First appeared in Icon #13 “It’s Always Christmas” (May 1994); Buck Wild possessed “belief defyin’ strength” and “tungsten hard skin”, but spoke as if he came from a blaxploitation film. He was a hero to the local folks, but he also took money for his work. It was revealed in his first appearance that when he received his powers in 1972, his brain had been frozen, which explains his outdated speaking patterns. Wild was clearly a parody of Marvel’s Luke Cage, complete with afro, gold headband and yellow shirt unbuttoned to the navel. In his next appearance, he is recruited to take Icon’s place—costume included—when Icon returned to his home planet. Rocket (Darnice) used her Inertia Belt to carry him, making him appear to fly. Buck’s time as Icon II was short-lived, as he gave his life in order to stop Oblivion, a mass murdering alien foe of Icon. In an issue devoted to his funeral, it is revealed in a series of eulogies from his enemies (although it is unclear how trustworthy these eulogies are) that he had taken several other costumed identities, all of them parodies of other famous black superheroes. According to these eulogies, Buck once used an experimental growth serum which turned him into the gigantic “Buck Goliath” (a pastiche of Black Goliath). While working with a Captain America-type known as Patriot, he called himself “Jim Crow” and wore a winged costume allowing him to fly (as with Falcon). As “Buck Lightning” (Black Lightning), Buck wore a wrist apparatus that generated lightning bolts. At the funeral, Kingfish (a take on Kingpin) used the legendary Ruby Begonia gemstone to bring him back to life, now able to generate green smoke, the sound of drums tolling doom, and a ghost-like double which could possess others and make them do his bidding (Brother Voodoo). Darnice, however, tells him that his time on earth is over, at which Buck removes the Begonia stone and allows himself to die. Icon recounts that Buck serves as an example to all of us of how we can be heroes wherever we are.
Icon has been labelled as The Black Superman and this seeming redundancy causes him to get disregarded. (Even though Superboy, Superboy Prime, Supergirl, Captain Marvel, Black Adam, Mon-El/Valor/M’Onel and the whole planet of New Krypton don’t seem to have that problem).
Hardware has already made an appearance in The Brave and The Bold teaming up with Blue Beetle and even though he was the typical “angry black hero” who doesn’t want to team up with Jaime, at least he was being used. AND the issue hinted at what could possibly be a long term storyline for Hardware. Personally, I just want him to start a new company with John Henry Irons because I’m sick of Lexcorp stuff being everywhere.
Blood Syndicate isn’t technically one character, but they have almost always been treated as one monolithic entity and a lot of creators have rarely used just one or two of the individual members. Not to seem to glib about it, but I’m not even sure if most people are aware they have names.
Of course, the one Milestone character (outside of Static) who will probably get used in the DCU is the top Milestone villain (sorry Alva): Holocaust. Not only is he an angry black drug dealing gang banger with a secret middle class background but he has the added benefit of being offensive to a lot of the Jewish population.
Of course there are other characters, but these are the big ones.
Like I said, I just hope DC does a better job with the Milestone character than Marvel did with the Malibu characters.
Simply put, this book was a joy to read. I had almost forgotten how much I liked these characters. This might not be a good jumping on point (Someone who is jumping on will have to make that determination), but for those who read the original stories, this is either the beginning of a good jumping BACK on point or the beginning of a last hurrah. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with these characters or the Milestone Universe as a whole, but I am going to sit back and enjoy the ride.
BTW: It seems like Dwayne McDuffie had a lot more fun writing this issue than his entire Justice League of America run. I could be wrong but that’s how it seemed to me.