|First appearance||Icon #1 (May 1993)|
|Created by||Dwayne McDuffie |
|Alter ego||Raquel Ervin|
|Team affiliations||Shadow Cabinet |
Inertia Belt grants:
Rocket (Raquel Ervin) is a comic book superhero in materials published by DC Comics.
An original character from DC's Milestone Comics imprint, she first appeared in Icon #1 (May 1993) where she was created by Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Denys Cowan, and Mark Bright.
At the 2008 Comic-Con, DC Comics executive editor Dan DiDio announced that the Milestone Universe and characters would be revived and merged into the DC Universe proper. The merger treats the characters as new to the universe, ignoring the "Worlds Collide" Milestone/DC crossover of 1994. Rocket reappeared in Justice League of America (vol. 2) #27, written by creator Dwayne McDuffie.
Raquel Ervin was born in Paris Island, the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhood in Dakota. Although she is only the sidekick of the title character, Icon, she is the actual protagonist of the series. She yearned to become a writer ("just like Toni Morrison"), but lacked inspiration until she met Augustus Freeman IV, a corporate lawyer who was secretly a stranded alien with superhuman powers. This occurred while she and her friends were robbing Freeman's home. Raquel convinced Augustus to become the superhero Icon, and to take her on as his sidekick, Rocket. While in costume, she wore a belt that Icon fashioned out of his escape pod's inertia winder, which allowed her to manipulate kinetic energy.
Shortly after she began adventuring with Icon, Raquel discovered that she was pregnant by her ex-boyfriend, Noble (one of the other robbers from the day she met Freeman). She gave birth to a son, Amistad Augustus Ervin, named "Amistad" after the famous ship that brought slaves over from Africa to America, and "Augustus" in honor of Icon. While her pregnancy caused her to give up adventuring for a time, Raquel eventually became a superhero again.
Rocket was more liberal than Icon, which caused them to clash on a number of occasions. She befriended Static, another teenage superhero from Dakota City. While it has been hinted that someday they might become more than friends, their relationship remained platonic throughout the run of their respective titles.
Following the death of Darkseid (as chronicled in Final Crisis), the space-time continuum was torn asunder, threatening the existence of both the Dakotaverse and the mainstream DC universe. The being known as Dharma was able to use energies that he harnessed from Rift (upon that being's defeat in Worlds Collide) to merge the two universes, creating an entirely new continuity. Only Dharma, Icon and Superman are aware that Dakota and its inhabitants previously existed in a parallel universe. In the revised continuity, Rocket and the other Milestone characters have apparently always existed in the DC Universe. Rocket is still partnered with Icon, who appears to have an existing friendship with Superman and is exempt from prosecution at the hands of the Green Lantern Corps.
Rocket makes her first DCU appearance in Justice League of America (vol. 2) #30, intervening at Icon's request when Batman, Zatanna, Firestorm, and Black Lightning attack several members of the Shadow Cabinet while on a mission in the city of Metropolis. Believing Raquel and the Shadow Cabinet agents have kidnapped former Justice League International member Kimiyo Hoshi (Dr. Light II), Batman immediately attempts to strike Rocket with a batarang, which she easily deflects with her powers. After berating Batman and informing him that Kimiyo is unharmed, Rocket accompanies the Shadow Cabinet Agents and JLA members to the Justice League Satellite, where they aid Icon, Hawkman, and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet and JLA members in a battle with the Shadow Thief. Once Shadow Thief is defeated, Rocket and the other Milestone heroes return home by use of the Shadowslide, with Raquel and Augustus presumably returning to Dakota.
Powers and abilities
All of Rocket's superhuman powers derive from her inertia belt (see Equipment). By using her belt, she can manipulate kinetic energy, granting some super strength, and a kinetic force field.
Raquel Ervin is a voracious reader and a gifted writer. A former high school gymnast, she is very agile and has quick reflexes. Rocket is also a good hand-to-hand combatant due to her crime fighting experience as Icon's sidekick.
All of Rocket's superhuman powers derive from the inertia winder installed in her belt buckle. This device is one of two from Icon's escape pod, the other is installed in Hardware's current suit of armor. When activated, the inertia winder surrounds Rocket in an "inertia field", which absorbs, stores, and redirects any kinetic energy used against it. Rocket's inertia field is normally invisible to the human eye. The field glows purple when it absorbs or releases kinetic energy.
The inertia field primarily serves as a force field that protects her from anything invested with kinetic energy: physical blows, bullets, falls, etc. The maximum amount of kinetic energy Rocket's inertia field can absorb and store is unknown. However, the field nearly reached its limit during Rocket's battle with Oblivion.
Rocket's inertia field normally extends a few inches from her body, but she can expand the field to enclose much greater areas. She once used it to protect a small crowd of people without any loss of its durability.
Rocket can release the field's stored energy, giving her a range of offensive abilities. She can strike with superhuman force by surrounding her fists with kinetic energy. By releasing all the energy in the inertia field, she can stagger powerful beings like Icon with a single blow. However, such a feat would leave Rocket defenseless so she prefers to throw less powerful punches. Furthermore, Rocket has moral qualms about using her full store of kinetic energy against normal human opponents.
Rocket can also use kinetic energy to increase the force with which she hurls an object, turning it into a dangerous projectile. For example, she once hurled a bullet with enough force to rival a shot from a high-caliber rifle. This ability is limited to objects which she can lift and toss with her normal strength.
By releasing her store kinetic energy in focus beams, Rocket can project powerful energy blasts from her hands. As with her kinetic punches, the force of these blasts depends on how much kinetic energy she uses.
Recently, Rocket has learned how to use her inertia winder to surround a target within an "inertialess field". This field's kinetic energy nullifies the energy of anything trapped within down to the molecular level. As a result, Rocket can use the inertialess field to effectively immobilize her opponents. In fact, some opponents can fall unconscious in as much as the field prevents oxygen molecules from reaching their lungs. The inertialess field consumes enormous amounts of energy and collapses after a few seconds.
Rocket can fly by releasing her inertia field's kinetic energy beneath her, launching her skyward. Initially, she was not very skilled with this ability and thus could only leap over great distances. However, after training from Darnice, Rocket can use her kinetic energy as a means of propulsion for genuine flight. Rocket is capable of flying through narrow corridors and performing complex aerial maneuvers. She can even hover in midair by releasing controlled bursts of kinetic energy beneath her.
Rocket's inertia field has certain weaknesses due to its very nature. First, the field will not activate if a person or object exerts little kinetic energy against it. This makes Rocket vulnerable to stealth attacks, which rely on slower movements and minimal force. Second, the inertia field offers little protection against weapons based on non-kinetic energy like thermal (e.g., flamethrowers) or electrical (e.g., tasers). Finally, Rocket will begin to feel the force of attacks directed against the field if it is overloaded as occurred in her battle with Oblivion.
In other media
- Rocket appears in Young Justice, voiced by Kittie in "Usual Suspects", "Auld Acquaintance" and "Satisfaction", and by Denise Boutte in "Intervention". In the episode "Revelation", she and Icon are shown helping the Justice League fight off a massive plant creature created by the Injustice League. She reappears in the episode "Failsafe", working alongside Red Arrow, Zatanna, Garth and Tula as part of a resistance cell trying to stop an alien invasion. She later appears in "Misplaced," saving a bus on the edge of a bridge. In "Agendas", Wonder Woman nominates Rocket for membership in the Justice League, a sentiment which is echoed by both Black Canary and Hawkwoman. However, Superman rejects this notion on the grounds that she is not old enough to join the League. In "Usual Suspects", Rocket joins the Team after Icon is inducted into the Justice League; at the end of the episode she learns that stopping worldwide threat level criminals is a normal day for the team. She helped the rest of the team defeat Vandal Savage and the mind controlled Justice League, notably taking down her mentor and incapacitating Wonder Woman. She displays an attraction to Aqualad, and kisses him at the end of "Auld Acquaintance".
- She appears in the second season, set five years after the events of "Auld Acquaintance". Now an adult, Rocket is shown as a member of the Justice League alongside her former teammate Zatanna. Later in the season, Rocket is engaged and throws a bridal shower to celebrate with most of the old and new female members of the League and the Team. In "Intervention", Rocket assists Zatanna form a containment field around Blue Beetle as part of a plot to break the Reach's control over him.
- She appears in Outsiders, two years after Invasion, as cameo in "Princes All" sitting next to Zatana. In "Triptych", Rocket prevents Brick from escaping. In "Home Fires", she and her son Amistad join Iris West's play date group.
- Rocket appears as a playable character in the video game Young Justice: Legacy, voiced by Cree Summer.