(This entry is for the registered superhero, not to be confused with the Icon tailor chain.)
Icon Powers is a character in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" comic series and a member of the Guardians of the Dawn supergroup. His first apppearance was in the text-only "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" Issue #0 (2009) and made a cameo appearance in Issue #1 (2009). His origins were featured in Issue #19.
Although not considered a member of the "Guardian Exiles", he is from the same alternate universe referred to as XHT-S7. In that world, many people received their powers from radioactive rocks that came to earth during a meteor shower in 1938.
Kent Powers is the son of legendary superhero Jonathan Powers, otherwise known as the superhero "Steelman". Both Jonathan and his brother Lionel gained their abilities from a meteor shower that hit near their Grover's Mill home in 1938.
Not long after Kent was born, Jonathan had publicly abandoned his "Steelman" guise out of disgust over the McCarthy Hearings. Although his parents tried to shelter him from the attention of the media (including being placed in a small fortress atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire) everyone knew who he was and had high expectations for him. As he got older, he realized that he was actually more powerful than his father ever was; not only possessing more strength and invulnerability than his father, but he also could fly and survive outside of Earth's atmosphere.
Kent made his official debut as a superhero during the 1972 Munich hostage crisis. There, his uncle Lionel organized a terroist attack on the Munich Olympics. Although Kent got the credit for the rescue of the hostages, several members of the Legion of Champions were killed in the process. Afterwards, the tragedy forced Jonathan to announce his semi-retirement from being a hero, turning everything over to his son Kent.
Kent did everything he could to be the iconic figure Earth needed during that time, eventually being referred to in the media as Icon Powers. Because his idendity was publicly-known, he found it difficult to engage in any kind of a personal relationship. He was notorious for dating female reporters, until he found out they were just using him to advance their own careers. After a series of such failed romances, he focused his efforts on finding his uncle Lionel and in leading the Legion.
In 1984, his father sacrificed his life to save the planet. Kent managed to bring Lionel to justice, and also became the surrogate father to his newly-found cousin. He used the opportunity to change the organization from the Legion of Champions into the League of Champions. He was given legal custody of his cousin and served as her foster father.
In 2002, Kent made the official announcement of his foster-daughter Karen as a superhero, who had just turned 18. Due to his advanced age, Kent also used the opportunity to announce his semi-retirement. He continued to do charity work as well as serve as the ambassador to several alien species that they had encountered during that time.
In 2006, Kent announced that he would be leaving the planet for an unknown mission. Because of this, he was not on Earth during the Crisis Event of 2007 which destroyed the whole universe.
It would later be revealed that he was recruited to confront and destroy the very being that would cause that universe's destruction, although he would not know this until after the battle.
For reasons known only the The Editor and Doc Tor, Icon Powers arrived in Paragon City. His appearance had to be kept a secret, revealed only to his cousin, who had since become known as Galatea Powers. He used the reunion to explain to Karen what happened to their home universe, and that he was working on finding out who was responsible for that destruction.
(See the two-part "Limelight" story)
Icon Powers was brought into the Midnight Squad along with MidKnight X and Galatea Powers to aid in the vindication of their Guardian teammate Midnight Arachnia after she was accused of treason and had fled to the Rogue Isles. Icon served as the control operative, working from a commandeered Council base which allowed them to covertly monitor all communications from Wyvern and Arachnos. He was also able to use the equipment to commandeer the Arachnos medical teleport system and transfer Midnight Arachnia's dying body to the infirmary at the Guardian base.
Icon's role in the Guardians has been that of an adviser, especially to Maximus Rex, who assumed control of the supergroup. Maximus respected Kent's experience as leader of other superheroes, and defaulted to his advice.
Time and Changes
(See "Time and Changes")
Due to the mysterious disappearance of Galatea Powers, Icon was forced to return to active service to pick up for his missing cousin.
It is at this point that Deputy District Attorney Edward Vance noticed the similarities between his chest insignia and that of Galatea's covert tech-suit. Being brought in to answer some questions regarding his possible role with the break-in at the federal offices, his mind was probed by a police telepath, only to discover he had built up mental defenses. While waiting for further questioning, he is approached and assaulted by StarCygnus, whose appearance now resembled that of his "silent partner" Alor. He is quickly beaten and taken prisoner.
He was later released by joint members of the Guardians and the Freedom Phalanx, and it is Icon and Citadel that confront a physically-damaged Alor in the final battle. The resulting explosion seriously wounded Icon and he was placed inside an extended recovery tube in the Vanguard infirmary.
(See "Galatea Dawning")
Following his battle with Alor, we discover that Icon's tech-suit was badly damaged and had to be destroyed. Without the means to artificially bolster his powers, he announced he was physically unable to continue to operate as a hero and put himself in "retired" status.
He had since taken the name Kent Poderes and served as a technical consultant for the FBSA.
What most people did not know was that he served as the "leader" of a small "ghost group" of Guardians. While not as powerful as he previously was, he continued to perform some "hero" functions for a while even though he was technically listed as "retired".
In November of 2012, he helped oversee the response to an event that would later be called the "Galaxy City Miracle". While coordinating between the on-site hero Daybright and Freedom Phalanx leader Positron, he recognized the energy pattern forming in the woods east of Eastgate as one similar to a teleportation method he once employed to save Daybright (from the "Time and Changes" storyline). When the event turned out to be the return of over 2200 heroes and civilians, he was the one to correctly proclaim they were the same people that were declared dead or missing from Galaxy City.
Not long afterward, Icon Powers was back in "semi-retired" status, now serving as the Operations Manager for the newly-vindicated Guardians of the Dawn.
According to Libertarian Avenger, Icon Powers retired again in February of 2014 following the death of Jimmy Hellfighter. Little was said as to the reason why, other than it involved an "incident" in 2013 that involved three Guardians. Following his retirement, he left Paragon City and was last seen at the Powers family home in Cardiff, Wales UK.
The story behind this turn of events is still being told.
Kent's family relations are complicated, especially concerning Galatea.
He is the biological son of John Powers, and the nephew of Lionel Powers. He initially believed he was the cousin of Galatea, then as "Leona". He was able to get legal guardianship of "Leona" as a child, and thus served as her foster father, even though she still thought of him as her cousin.
Later he discovered that "Leona" was really biologically his sister, based on DNA mixed in between his own birth parents and Lionel. In order to save her from her father's DNA manipulation, he worked with Photonis to impose his own generic code in her to override Lionel's "gene programming". This resulted in a "new" version of Galatea which he named "Karen Leona Powers" after his aunt (John and Lionel's middle sister). This made Galatea his cousin, biological sister, foster daughter, and biological daughter all at the same time.
In the Primal Universe, Kent was unofficially "adopted" by the Powers family of this world along with Galatea, even though the relationship is in family name only. After the extent of his involvement in "Galatea Dawning", it is not known if that "adoption" has been rescinded, although given his recent retirement to the Powers Family Home in 2014, it is presumed he is still considered to be family.
He considers the Powers family patriarch to be his "adopted brother", with Lyon Powers his "adopted niece".
It is unknown how he considers Furia Powers, the Praetorian hero whose DNA is identical to the Primal Universe half of the DNA given to Galatea Powers to save her life.
(Did we mention his family relations are complicated?)
Powers and Abilities
Icon Powers's primary ability is Invulnerability. He can withstand a lot of physical damage.
His secondary ability is Super Strength. He is immensely strong.
At his physical peak in Universe XHT-S7, Icon Powers possessed demigod-level powers, not only being able to fly but to also survive even in deep space. At one point he was able to fly into the core of his Earth's sun, although he said it was an experience he would not want to relive.
His senses were amplified enough to hear and see beyond normal human levels. He couldn't see through walls or hear a pin drop from the other side of the world, but he could see ultraviolet and infrared light and hear sounds that normally only animals and little children could hear. He could tell when people were lying by detecting changes in their pulse, problems with breathing, and changes in body chemistry.
He also could live a lot longer than a normal human being. That changed, however, with his gradual donation of his genetic material to transform the unstable Leona Powers into Karen. He began to age more along a normal human timeframe, and over the years he also began losing some of his powers.
He is clearly no longer at demigod levels, but he still possesses much of his physical abilities.
His experience has not diminished, though, and that still gives him an edge. He has had enough experiences with telepaths to know when one is trying to enter his head. While he is not completely resistant to telepathy, he does know how to detect when it is happening and mentally resist against it. He has even adopted simple methods to negate low-level or "passive" probing.
He is also highly intelligent, although not hyper-intelligent like his uncle was. This allowed him to take a management position with SERAPH without raising questions.
Due to his advance age and the sacrifices he made to transform Leona into Karen Powers, he is no longer at the peak of his abilities.
For many years, he relied on a special techno-suit to help bolster his natural abilities. The techno-suit was crafted by an amalgamation of alien influences in Universe XHT-S7 and his own advanced intelligence, designed to bolster and augment his abilities on a genetic level, including accelerating any injuries he may sustain in combat. Knowledge of this suit and of what it can do was limited to himself and his cousin, and became the basis for her own tech-based suit, initially for "stealth" purposes.
Unfortunately, due to his final battle with Alor, much of his techno-suit was badly damaged, and, given Alor's past trick of hiding portions of his essence inside technology, the decision was made to destroy the remains of his suit rather than try to repair what was left of it.
Reference In Media
Although he bears a striking resemblance to certain heroes in other publications, Icon Powers is considered a Pastiche of several characters in many publications, not specific to any one person or publication.