One of the plot elements to come out of Brian Michael Bendis’ last X-Men run was the revelation that Bobby “Iceman” Drake was gay, and firmly in the closet – this revelation coming in connection with the time-displaced Original 5 X-Men coming into the present. This lead to plenty of story opportunities with Bobby The Younger adjusting to the present day, when being gay is (relatively) more socially acceptable than it was in the past he came from. The older Iceman, on the other hand, by all accounts didn’t have that much time to get into that aspect of the story – especially with the major crossover events that came after, leading up to the death of Cyclops.
This leads into Sina Grace’s Iceman series, which ran for 11 issues before being unfortunately cancelled. The series, which is basically Iceman’s first real solo book (same as with Jean Grey’s solo book), had the interesting narrative hook of the older Iceman having to deal with having to handle his personal life and his superhero life, especially being both a gay person and a mutant – and dealing with what this means with his parents, considering his parents aren’t particularly hot on him being a mutant (with them not being particularly okay with their son being gay).
Grace’s story particularly works well because it brings intersectionality into the mutant metaphor in a way that has only come in through fits and starts before – particularly through Kitty Pride and Magneto being Jewish. Grace does an excellent job of getting into the gears of the aforementioned metaphor, and how it works when the concept of mutants as a persecuted minority runs into a world where there mutants alongside other persecuted minorities and what it means when a person is part of two persecuted minority populations.
The story wraps up… reasonably well, but not ideally. I can tell that there are story beats that Grace wanted to get into, but due to lack of time couldn’t. Maybe if we’d gotten one more issue, say, an Annual, to wrap up the story, the ending would have felt more conclusive (as conclusive as these things can get anyway, in terms of comics), but we’ve got what we’ve got.
Iceman has been collected in two trades, both of which are available from Amazon.com. Buying anything through that link helps support the site.
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