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Avoiding Cold Feet (Iceman: Thawing Out Review)


Writer: Sina Grace

Artist: Alessandro Vitti (#1,#3,#5)

Inker: Ed Tadeo & Ibraim Roberson (#2)

Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Pencilers: Edgar Salazar (#2,#4) & Ibraim Roberson (#2)

Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

Cover Artists: Kevin Wada (#1-4) & Marco D’Alfonso (#5)

Publisher: Marvel

Rating: 8/10 Snowmen

Bobby Drake is the Iceman. He’s the cool guy. He has ice powers so you know there probably will be a lot of those puns sprinkled throughout this review. As one of Xavier’s first class of gifted youngsters, Iceman has been around for years. He’s saved the world as a hero a number of times. Throughout those years he’s had to watch his fellow original peers go through hell. Dying, and then coming back again only to die and eventually come back yet again. Constant mutations to their physical appearance and even becoming a Horseman of Apocalypse for a time and struggling to keep that dark persona from taking control again. It seemed like Iceman had it the easiest compared to his pals. That was until a series of events brought his younger self to the present where lil Bobby broke the ice by letting everyone know he was gay. Thawing Out explores the Iceman we’ve all grown to know and love as he opens up to himself and others about the kind of love he had been hiding from others for so long.

Coming Out

Normal tendencies for humor aside, I wanted this section to be a more serious one because coming out isn’t something I can deflect with humor as easily as Iceman. Compared to the other books I have read that have supported the LGBTQ+ community, this one hit home to me the most. I am fortunate to now, live in a place and am surrounded by a largely supportive mindset that doesn't discriminate against those based on gender or sexual orientation/identity. That wasn’t the case before, where I grew up or even in many places. Anti-LGBTQ+ felt like the overarching opinion of my hometown as harassment and threats were the loudest and largest response from people. Did you know some of the largest reasons for youth homelessness are reported to be those who don’t identify strictly as heterosexual or cisgender? Check it out sometime because it’s really unfortunate.

I’ll never fully know what that feels like to have to come out to another person. When I was younger and I thought about what it meant to come out my thoughts went immediately to “cool you came out” and that was it. It’s not that easy. This book does a pretty good job of presenting that thought and showing that it’s not a one and done process. You say it once and the whole world doesn’t hear you. You have to come out to your parents. You have to come out to your friends. Your teachers. Your peers. It doesn’t stop. Each time it’s in hopes that you will still be seen by those people positively. I loved that most of the comics I read now treat LGBTQ+ characters like everyone else, but I have huge respect for Sina Grace for making this a personal story about coming out. Not only does this story work as Iceman coming out to everyone in his life, but it also works as this character that many of us have known for so long coming out to us. With that all being said we can jump into the plot of the story.

The Cold Shoulder (Issue #1)

With lil Bobby’s reveal of the Icemen being gay this whole time, it’s put the big snowman in a position where he has to accept that himself and start letting people know before the news gets ahead of him. First up, his parents. While visiting them at a hospital the place gets attacked by an anti-mutant zealot dude in a football helmet (fragile masculinity anybody). You think that would be the toughest part of the day but it’s actually a breeze taking down this nutso. The hardest part is even without his parents knowing that he is gay, they already struggle to accept him as a mutant. So he’s already come out once in a sense to some strained success. His parents ask him to leave for everyone's safety, leaving him a little steamed that they pushed him off.

On Cooldown (Issue #2)

Who doesn’t love an awkward moment between an ex? Well, I can tell you that Bobby wanted that awkward moment as much as the Titanic wanted a hug from that iceberg. Bobby is going on a two-person mission with his former girlfriend Kitty Pryde who isn’t too happy that he didn't tell her about being gay. That discussion is going to have to be put on hold as their jet crashes into an abandoned store. Ok, it’s not abandoned there is a mutant kid here who they