- All my life, the odds have been against me, but I always expected to win. Not practical, but I've always found a way before. I've always managed.
- — Raquel Ervin src
Raquel Ervin is the young superheroine Rocket, the sidekick of Icon. She inspired him to use his alien powers to become a hero, and became his crime fighting partner with an alien force field belt.
Raquel Ervin was born in Paris Island, the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhood in Dakota. She yearned to become a writer ("just like Toni Morrison"), but lacked the motivation. That is, until she met Augustus Freeman IV, a stranded alien with superhuman powers. This occurred after her friends had convinced her to accompany them as they went to rob Freeman's home during the "Big Bang". Raquel convinced Augustus to become the superhero Icon and to take her on as his sidekick, Rocket. While in costume, she wore a belt Hardware fashioned out of Icon's 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. While both Noble and her mother had wanted her to abort the baby, she decided to keep it, becoming the first single teenage mother in comics. She gave birth to a son, whom she named Amistad Augustus Ervin. "Amistad" was in honor of the famous ship that brought slaves over from Africa to America, and "Augustus" after Icon's human alias. Her pregnancy caused her to give up adventuring for a time, and so her best friend Darnice temporarily took on the role of Rocket. Not too long following her decision to go on a maternity leave, Icon left Earth to return home.
Rocket also assisted the Blood Syndicate member Flashback in fighting her addiction to crack cocaine. Rocket felt sympathy for Flashback since her own sister, Della, died of a drug overdose years earlier.
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 has remained platonic.
In the revised Milestone continuity (which has 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.
Powers and Abilities
- Writing: Raquel Ervin is a gifted writer as well as a voracious reader.
- Gymnastics: A former high school gymnast, she is very agile and has quick reflexes.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): Rocket is a good hand-to-hand combatant due to her crimefighting experience as Icon's partner
- Power Limitation: Rocket's inertia field has certain weaknesses due to its very nature.
- Vulnerability to Non-Kinetic Attacks: The inertia field offers little protection against weapons based on non-kinetic energy like thermal (like flamethrowers) or electrical (like tasers).
- Vulnerability to Stealth Attacks: The field will not activate if a person or object exerts little kinetic energy against it. Hence, Rocket is vulnerable to stealth attacks, which rely on slower movements and minimal force.
- Inertia Field Overload: The amount of kinetic energy Rocket's field can absorb and store is not limitless. Hence, as the field reaches its limit, she begins to feel the attacks directed against her as occurred when she battled Oblivion.
- Inertia Belt: 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 crashpod, the other is installed in Hardware's suit of armor. When activated, the inertia winder surrounds Rocket in an "inertia field," which absorbs and stores any kinetic energy used against it. Due to Hardware's tinkering on Rocket's inertia winder, the device is unique since it enables her to manipulate the kinetic energy stored in the inertia field. The field is normally invisible to the human eye, but glows purple when it absorbs or releases kinetic energy.
As noted above, Rocket's inertia field enables Rocket to manipulate kinetic energy in numerous ways.
- Force Field: The inertia field protects Rocket from anything invested with kinetic energy: physical blows, bullets, falls, etc. The inertia field normally extends a few inches from Rocket's body, but she can expand the field to enclose much greater areas. She once used the field to protect a small crowd of people without the field losing its durability.
- Kinetic Energy Punches: Rocket can hit with superhuman force by releasing kinetic energy as she throws a punch. 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.
- Superhuman Throwing: Rocket can 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 gunshot from a high-caliber rifle. This ability is limited to objects which she can lift and toss with her normal strength.
- Kinetic Energy Blasts: Rocket can project her stored kinetic energy over a distance as focused beams from her hands. As with her kinetic punches, the amount of damage she can cause depends on the amount of kinetic energy she uses.
- Inertialess Field: Rocket can 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.
- Flight: 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.
- Costume: Rocket wears a costume composed of alien materials generated by the Maker device aboard Icon's crashpod. The costume is highly tear-resistant and insulates Rocket from heat and cold. Rocket's current costume also has a built-in monitoring system that warns her when the inertia field is low on kinetic energy.
- Mask (Formerly): Early in her crime-fighting career, Rocket wore a mask to conceal her true identity. The mask was composed of an alien material generated by the Maker aboard Icon's crashpod. The mask adhered to her face through unknown means when she donned it. Rocket's original mask had lenses that turned translucent when it was worn, thereby further concealing her identity. Her second mask had transparent lenses. Rocket has since stopped wearing her mask for unknown reasons.
- Inertia Belt
- Rocket held liberal views on economic and social issues, which resulted in her often clashing with her conservative partner, Icon. Under Icon's influence, she eventually began re-evaluating her views.
- Rocket is the first and so far only comic book superheroine who is a single teenage mother.
- The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Dubois was a major influence in shaping Rocket's liberal views.
- 34 Appearances of Raquel Ervin (Dakotaverse)
- 55 Images featuring Raquel Ervin (Dakotaverse)
- 5 Quotations by or about Raquel Ervin (Dakotaverse)
- Character Gallery: Raquel Ervin (Dakotaverse)