In 1839, an alien starliner malfunctioned and exploded. A jettisoned life pod crashed in a cotton field in the Deep South. The pod was equipped with a unique survival mechanism that was programmed to configure its passenger's genetic structure to match whatever life form it first encountered. And so it happened that Miriam, the slave who discovered the pod, found inside a baby boy with her mother's eyes. Today, the alien is still alive, in the guise of successful attorney Augustus Freeman IV of Dakota. Still marooned, he waits for Earth's technology to catch up to his life pod's. Secretly possessing superpowers, he quietly helps people in need, until recent events in the city of Dakota - and the arguments of a certain opinionated young woman - compel him to become more than just a silent friend to the community. He dons a costume to become Icon, the hero of Dakota.