The Cooperative are a civilization that feature in Milestone Comics.
The Cooperative was a union of many worlds that shared knowledge and culture with one another. On a periodic basis, they uncovered planets that shared important elements of their value system. This could either be in theory or be in practice with deliberation being done on young worlds with, typically, immature planets being cordoned off by the Cooperative. They were noted for never having encountered war for the last 4,000 cycles of their history and had enjoyed the fruits of unlimited energy for less than a dozen cycles. From that point onwards, all sources of violent conflict ended. When challeneged by a mature aggressor race, the Cooperative simply shared their technology and thus removed any motivaiton for fighting. Being freed from aggression, these species then directed their efforts to more positive endeavours that not only benefited their society but the Cooperative as a whole. (Icon v1 #34)
For the past two cycles, this association of civilizations had faced war when they encountered the Yoongar attacked the Cooperative world of Velda Glenn and destroyed it. After recreating the destroyed planet, the Cooperative sent a delegation to investigate the source of the conflict and met with the Yoongar leaders who terminated them. The deceased representatives were remade and sent as part of a second delegation where they offered the gift of their technology, the Yoongar accepted it but killed the ambassadors once more. The team was reconstituted a dozen times and sent to the Yoongar before the Cooperative learnt the truth about this foe namely that they could not be dissuaded from conflict as they enjoyed it. (Icon v1 #34)
Earth itself was cordoned off for 85 years with the Cooperative deciding to wait until the planet had matured enough to join them. However, a danger emerged when the Yoongar forces movements led it to the Earth being among their future targets. As such, the Cooperative deliberated on what would be the best course of action on preserving the planet. There were three options seen by the Cooperative; they could everything on the planet and reconstruct it following destruction, send their defense forces to intercept the enemy armada or move the entire planet out of the Yoongar's path. (Icon v1 #34) One of the misconceptions about the sentences faced by the planet was complete destruction. (Icon v1 #31) After the capture of Oblivion, Arnus II sent a real time transmission to Arnus indicating that he suggested that Icon accept the Dakota City mayors challenge of building an amusement park as a symbol of unity. This was with the intention of examining mankind's drive for self-improvement and seeing them at their best would serve as useful evidence to mitigate any sentence. (Icon v1 #27)
It was an association of inhabitants from 10,000 civilized planets with almost as many member species. (Icon v1 #8) This union of many planets all freely share knowledge and culture with one another. (Icon v1 #34) Whilst peaceful, a number of their member races had experienced a violent history though these had happened in a time long ago prior to technological innovation making war obselete. (Icon v1 #34) Within the Cooperative, physical appearance itself was not an issue and in this regard the inhabitants found races such as humanity immature in their racial discrimination. In fact, compared to humans, their society was almost utopian though there were some flaws within it. Despite this being the case, any form of disagreements or disputes were rare within the Cooperative. The majority of its members serve as philosophers, explorers, scientists and artists. A rarity were those charged with handling any form of dispute with these being meditator. They were not only charged for being advocates but sought to find solutions to maximize gain for society as a whole and minimize loss to individual complainants. (Icon v1 #8)
The discovery of unlimited matter fabrication radically altered their culture. (Icon v1 #31)This allowed any individual to gain anything they desired and as much quantity as they wanted. (Icon v1 #34) As they were freed from material needs, their people individually chose a life path in order to give their existence a meaning. (Icon v1 #31) One of the customs recognised amongst their kind was personal privacy. (Icon v1 #35) According to them, the needs of the old, young, ill and weak were seen as the absolute minimum expected from a civilized culture. (Icon v1 #34) Though not a war-like people and rarely did battle, they were prepared to defend themselves. (Icon v1 #34)
They were noted to be careful in their involvement with civilizations not aware of alien life as the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms had the potential of social and religious upheavals within young societies. (Icon v1 #34) Pre-contact worlds were subject to complete erasure of the arrival of the Cooperative on all recording devices. (Icon v1 #27)
Terminus was one such planet in their sphere of influence whilst Taldega was another. (Icon v1 #31)
This civilization had learnt the secrets of unlimited energy, matter manipulation and reconfiguration. (Icon v1 #34) The power supply used by their technology was incapable of being renewed by 20th century Earth. (Icon v1 #8) Many of the disruptive elements within their civilization ended following the creation of unlimited matter fabrication. (Icon v1 #8) This led to the creation of one of the fundamental examples of their technology which was the maker. This was a molecular factory that was capable of constructing any physical item by molecule to molecule. (Icon v1 #31) This was utilized on their construction vehicles that were able to reconstitute destroyed planets. (Icon v1 #34)
Their lifepods included simple inertia winders which protected their users from rapid acceleration or decelerations. (Icon v1 #8) More high-end feats was the capacity to move entire solar systems to several light years away with this ability not being very difficult to accomplish. (Icon v1 #34)
The information tool was the other fundamental piece of technology in the Cooperative and served as a database of nearly everything anyone in their civilization knew thus serving as a living library as it was self aware. This served as a useful mechanism as it linked with the use of the maker as the data within the info tool was used to construct items in the maker. With their unlimited energy reserves, there was no real reason to store physical objects. Instead, personal goods had their structure recorded into the info tool and were stored on a virtual level as software. When these were required, then a user simply had it recreated as hardware. (Icon v1 #31)
Round trip transportation fees were highly extravagant for their users. (Icon v1 #27)
Cloning was used to recreate deceased members of the Cooperative by using genetic and mental records. This made death an unknown amongst their various races. (Icon v1 #31)
- Arnus Prime : a male member of the Cooperative from the planet Terminus who became the equivalent of an intergalactic lawyer. His starlier was damaged near Earth and in 1839, he fled in an escape pod that landed on that world where he used the vessels advanced technology to turn him into a black human infant. He eventually took the human name of Freeman Augustus where he waited until Earth's technology could advance enough for him to return home. Eventually, he took the superhero identity of Icon during the modern age.
- Arnus II : a reconstituted clone of Arnus after he was dclared dead and created from his biological as well as psychological profile.
- Ito : judge that preceded over the issue on the fate of Earth.
In other media
- In Young Justice, the Cooperative were not featured but mentioned in the season 2 episode "Intervention". A battle with the renegade Jamie Reyes saw him being encased in Rocket's kinetic shield and his Scarab identified it as being technology from the Cooperative that drew strength from kinetic attacks. Icon himself appears on the show but his origins with the Cooperative are not elaborated on.
- Icon v1 #1-32
- Justice League of America v2 #28: (2009)