cover image Iceman, Vol 1: Thawing Out

Iceman, Vol 1: Thawing Out

Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti. Marvel, $15.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-302-90879-9

With expressive artwork, fluid narration, and quirky dialogue, this welcome volume puts X-Men’s Iceman in the spotlight. Bobby, the everyday face of the ice-throwing hero, realizes that even in a contemporary world where both mutants and LGBTQ identities are widely accepted, coming to terms with being gay is a challenge. He’s dedicated his life to fighting supervillains and helping other mutants accept themselves; ever supportive, he preaches to a young woman he rescues, “You never know how far your powers will take you, if you believe in yourself.” His temper is tested as Iceman when he’s confronted with a group of violent religious zealots, a new mutant with unique powers (and ego to match), and fan-favorite villains Daken and the Juggernaut. Despite all this, Bobby has a bigger and more worrisome problem: coming out to his critical parents. The writing speaks to challenges faced by many readers, and lifelike artwork slyly conveys Iceman’s emotional turmoil, even in seemingly calm moments between battles. Unfortunately, this is expected to be the first of only two volumes, as the series was canceled, but the buzz around the writer and the rarity of a standalone volume featuring a gay superhero make this well worth picking up, despite the looming cutoff. (Jan.)