See all reviews of Iceman (6)
  • Sina Grace and Marvel Comics
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Months (years?) of anxious anticipation culminate in Iceman #5, as Bobby goes through his most intense and affecting coming out yet: telling his parents that he is gay.

The issue picks up where #4 left off, right after the telling words leave Bobby’s mouth. The best decision writer Sina Grace makes here is to spend very little time away from this pivotal moment in Bobby’s life. Nothing is rushed, and even the battle against Juggernaut is focused upon Bobby’s character growth, in terms of both emotional stability and superpower limitations. These two aspects of the character have long been linked, and Sina merges them beautifully. Using control over powers as a reflection of a character’s mental state could potentially be done sloppily or feel too obvious metaphorically, but Grace handles the concept, well, gracefully.

Graceful is a good word to describe the writing throughout. All of the major characters present have perfectly honed voices, and it feels vital to the narrative’s authenticity that Bobby’s parents don’t respond well to his coming out. Bobby’s father in particular drops lines that sting to read, and the interactions between son and parents here are fully believable. This issue’s developments read truthfully as just the latest amongst years of shame and pain inflicted by and against loved ones. Bobby’s emotional troubles are well-grounded and it is easy to sympathize, but even more so, it is easy to feel proud of him as he accomplishes some of the hardest feats in his decades-long history.

My main cons with this issue pertain to the artwork. The visuals are never bad, but they don’t feel as tight and fully realized as in previous issues. Alessandro Vitti’s pencils feel more rushed more frequently than usual. Characters’ bodies (and faces, in particular) sometimes feel like they haven’t quite been adequately shaped or detailed. On the plus side, the characters’ faces are still very emotive, the background line-work is well-rendered, and the visuals in the battle scene are great as Bobby utilizes his powers in new, unexpected ways. Similarly, Rachelle Rosenberg’s color work here has ups and downs. It’s never outright bad, just not as good as in some other issues. The differences in coloration between the foregrounds and backgrounds often make objects appear to be further off in the distance than they actually are, and as a result the characters don’t always feel fully present in the world around them. This works really well in the atmospheric, snowy final scene of the issue, but it’s slightly jarring earlier on.

Overall, Iceman #5 is great. Above all else, it depicts a pivotal day in Bobby’s life, and it never lost my interest while doing so. Just as Bobby’s emotions run on high throughout, I felt fully invested in seeing what each page would bring for the character. There are portions of this comic that are painful to the read, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Though the art has its faults, it is still well-done, and anyone who loves emotionally charged, character-driven X-Men stories should definitely pick this issue up.

Iceman #5
Is it good?
This issue has some faults, but it's still great. This conversation between Bobby and his parents has been a long time coming, and the creators don't rush through it. Instead, the reader gets to inhabit Bobby's world and feel the story's emotional impact head-on.
All of the dialogue in the coming out scene is fantastic and rings true emotionally
The handling of Bobby's powers and new developments regarding them is great
This is a comic that can be painful to read at times--if that's not a sign of a job well done then I don't know what is
Some of the line-work doesn't feel as clean as it could
The coloration, though good overall, isn't always as strong as it could be

  • Jan Arrah

    I don’t get how this is remotely emotional or powerful or how this needs to be done in any way. We’ve seen for years and in multiple issues of this VERY COMIC that Bobby’s parents are terrible people. We’ve seen that they already don’t like their son because he’s a mutant. We’ve seen all this. Bobby, in the past, has written off his parents and formed a new, better family with the X-Men and.. rather than focusing on Bobby’s real family, which by the way many people have a close knit group of friends that are “family” more than their biological family.. we’re wasting a ton of time with Iceman constantly seeking approval from people who’ve already rejected him… and he’s already rejected. It’s an utterly stupid and pointless exercise and it’s Sina Grace openly slamming his story into Iceman’s world rather than him telling an iceman story. He wanted a craptastic coming out story and he was going to FORCE it no matter what..

    And that forced story just falls to pieces the first time you even examine it. It’s clear, through the issues that Sina Grace doesn’t know much about the X-Men. It’s clear that Iceman’s not building to much or that there is really much Bobby here other than an occasional joke that works. It’s been all about what Sina Grace wanted to tell and.. well it’s been bad. This plot took 5 issues to come out….. and it didn’t even matter. 5 issues of waste building up to this… add in Kitty demanding to be Bobby’s gay best friend (and pretty much the only X-Men that has appeared at all.. despite Bobby’s close relationship with numerous other X-Men INCLUDING Rogue, who has a sisterly relationship with Bobby going back decades). Bobby comes out to a random assortment of X-Men including Boomboom/boomer/meltdown for some random reason over TEXT MESSAGE.. but his relationship with the bio family that hates him.. that needs to be 5 issues of build up.

    Oh and let’s not forget that Bobby SUCKS as a teacher and mentor.. and that he was a complete and utter asshole to Zack, whom weirdly joined the X-Men under almost exactly the same circumstances as Bobby.. but Bobby had no sympathy or compassion or time for the kid… Seriously.. the lack of X-Men knowledge and the desire to smash this plot in even though it doesn’t work and isn’t remotely interesting.. is dooming what could have been a great book.

    Oh and the art sucks.. and the covers are bad..