The timing couldn't be worse for Bobby Drake to get a solo book
Although he’s one of the original X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Iceman was seen until recently as the X-Man who had changed the least since his first appearance. Over the decades, Bobby’s four other “O5” teammates saw their share of evolution. The Beast mutated into a blue and furry creature, Jean Grey became the godlike Phoenix, Angel became the razor-winged Archangel of Death, and Cyclops became a militant political leader. All the while, Iceman pretty much just stayed “that jokey dude who could make stuff out of ice.” But, as was revealed last year in Uncanny X-Men #600, it turns out Iceman had been hiding the fact that he was gay.Uh, pardon me, what's that? Mistake number one: if it was never established before, they cannot say it was "revealed" that Iceman was gay. It was only retconned/altered to suit the SJW mindset in the past year or so. There's a difference, and they fail to recognize that.
I recently got the chance to chat with series writer Sina Grace and series editor Daniel Ketchum about Iceman finally earning the spotlight, and what to expect from his first ever ongoing series.It's getting even more hilarious now. "Suspected"? Iceman is an imaginary character, just like Superman, and to put it that way merely perpetuates a lie. It's more a case of entitled "fans" wanting a particular character to have attributes they deem fit, and look for the easiest targets to exploit and foist their visions upon (hence the "theories" propaganda). All this completely ignores Bobby's affairs with several ladies (even Obsidian from Infinity Inc. was involved with a few), with Polaris being one example, and not just in the pages of X-Men: there was even a story in Amazing Spider-Man 92 from January 1971 where Bobby was seen on the street spending some time with a foxy girl before finding an excuse to send her home while he went to combat Spidey, who was being targeted by a crooked politician using Gwen Stacy as a pawn, and Bobby thought Spidey was hassling Gwen for no good reason. As he got the lady into a cab and ran off, he said, "I hated to do that! 'Specially after it took me weeks to finally get a date with her!" Which is at least half ignored by the interviewers (they admit further down in the article he was in heterosexual relations, but support the new direction anyway) so the new writers' position fits some quota, all for the sake of telling only the vision they see fit. Bendis was not wise at all to go that route; in fact, he was very stupid.
LGBT comics fans had long suspected that Bobby Drake was gay, based on evidence from years of X-Men stories. In fact, editor Daniel Ketchum confirmed that these years of fan theories played heavily into Marvel officially outing Bobby for real. “I wasn’t involved entirely in the story at that point,” Ketchum said. “But [former X-Men writer] Brian Michael Bendis was very wise to identify that all those threads that existed. We’re not in the business of pulling something out of nowhere and slapping it on to a character so he fits some quota, or for the sake of telling some story. This had to come from somewhere, and it did. And now wonderful talents like [series writer] Sina Grace get to take that storyline and move it forward.”
Grace added, “I think the tension of this is what makes this the most interesting and fun project to work on. Because it means that he’s been keeping something not only from his friends and colleagues, but also from himself. And if you even just look at his powers, it’s always just sort of been there, for the entire history of the Marvel universe. And leaning into it makes working on the character and understanding all the decisions he’s made to date that much more fascinating. And what he does with that information moving forward is going to inform not only his personal life, but also how he sees himself as a hero.”No kidding! That's incredibly dumb to insinuate that the power of cold weather is somehow tied in to homosexuality, and a fictional character cannot keep anything from anyone. On the contrary, a writer can force it on the characters, and insult Kirby's memory with it.
Now, here's where they get to what they think will justify their new "direction":
But just because Bobby Drake is going through this big life change at the moment (an even more profound change when it happens later in life than when you are an adolescent), he’s still going to be the wisecracker we’ve known for years. Ketchum said, “We’re not going to lose sight that Bobby’s always been the comic relief, funny and jokey character. He’s not a ‘Gold Star Gay’ [a gay person who has never had heterosexual relationships]. So we’re going to be seeing a funny moment where he sees one of his exes. I really want Sina to put in the line, ‘So what was I, just your beard?’ There’s going to be an acknowledgement of it, but it’s gonna be played off in the tone that Bobby usually does. But Sina will bring a real authenticity to it.”Ahem. Bobby, again, is an imaginary character, and was never even conceived as a "gold star gay". If he ends up telling one of his past girlfriends in this new rendition that he's going full time homosexuality, in a way that would make it sound like he'll never have heterosexual relations ever again, there's nothing funny about that, nor is there anything authentic. Let's be clear. There's hundreds of characters throughout superhero universes' history whose depictions were superficial, but that does not make them homosexual, nor does it serve any excuse for turning them that way. If it's really such a big deal, then they should create new cast members and not take steps that could ruin their wider appeal, commercial or otherwise.
As fans know, Iceman has dated Polaris, Opal Tanaka, and most recently, Kitty Pryde; all these relationships just sort of fizzled out, leading many fans to speculate over Bobby’s orientation. “Yeah, this part of his identity is going to effect the people around him, including some of his ex-girlfriends,” Grace said. “Part of the story and the adventures he has moving forward include the space where he does have a very touching interaction with one of the ladies, and we might have some more sprinkled in when it’s organic to the book. But that’s something that everyone can relate to, when you’re holding onto something for a long time, and that decision can have an impact on everyone around him.” (Who that first ex of Bobby’s is remains to be seen, but my money is on Kitty Pryde)."Fizzled"? Umm, how come Superman's affairs with Lori Lemaris and Lana Lang, Spider-Man's with Betty Brant, and Batman's with Silver St. Cloud and Vicky Vale, can peter out and they can remain heterosexual, but Iceman can't? There's plenty of characters whose affairs with a lover of the opposite sex came to an end, if not forever, and whose sexual orientation was never even remotely questioned, yet somehow Bobby Drake's an exception? I don't see the logic here. They're fully oblivious to Stan Lee's idea that the "illusion of change" is the best way to go about these serial fiction concepts, and new relations can be established while older ones can be renewed later, all for the sake of their "progressive" pandering.
The real reason they're doing this with Iceman, I'd figure, is because he's often been a minor league hero at best, even within the X-Men pages, and so they think it easy to get away with what they may not succeed in doing with Iron Man. It's also the result of the X-Men franchise falling victim to SJWs hijacking certain series for their own narrow interests for many years. All this nonsense dates back at least 2 decades, because that's when Marvel began throwing quality writing out the window and leaving the series in the hands of otherwise terrible writers like Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza. Indeed, scripters like them - certainly the former - were the kind of people who pandered to all the crowd we've since come to know as "social justice warriors" who only cared about themselves and their own narrow visions, and not anyone else's. And I wouldn't be surprised if not all of them even have any interest in buying and reading the upcoming books.
All people like Ketchum and Grace are doing is building on a self-important approach that embarrasses the source material, corrupting it into something it wasn't meant to be.