Heroes are made . . .

February 24, 1993|By Beth Hannan

Icon has been alive since the Civil War. As Augustus Freeman IV, he is a conservative Republican lawyer (since they freed the slaves) who believes in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. If he can rise from slavery to a successful law practice, anyone can. Then he meets Rocket, a 15-year-old girl from Paris Island, a drug- and gang-ridden housing project. Rocket opens Freeman's eyes to misery he couldn't see.

* Curtis Metcalf, a brilliant, successful inventor at Alva Industries, discovers industrialist Edwin Alva, has organized-crime connections and launders most of the drug money in the city. Metcalf creates a battlesuit. As Hardware, he battles crime while trying to find a way to bring Alva down.

* When the Paris Island gangs decided to settle things in a "big bang," the mayor sees an opportunity to clean up the city by "tagging" the members with a radioactive tear gas so they can be arrested later. Something goes wrong and the tear gas kills 98 percent of the gang members, leaving the remaining 2 percent with superpowers. The survivors -- Third Rail, DMZ, Tech 9, Flashback, Wise Son, Fade, Masquerade, Brickhouse and Kwai -- band together as Blood Syndicate.

* Static is a geeky teen-ager, Virgil, who goes to Paris Island on a dare the night of the "big bang." When he later develops electrical-based superpowers, Virgil creates a cool alter ego to impress the other kids.

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