The original Champions reunite and Bobby’s love life starts to blossom.
Iceman #6 ties into Marvel Legacy with a reunion of the original Champions, back together to mourn the passing of their teammate Black Widow. Bobby also makes some much anticipated progress in the romance department with a new character named Judah. Oh, and there’s some Sentinels. Is it good?
Writer Sina Grace has done a fantastic job with the series thus far, consistently delving into Bobby’s personal issues movingly and humorously. Issue #6 is no exception. The original Champions get a bad rap for their seemingly random line-up, but when Grace writes them they’re one of the coolest super-teams around. The characters’ stark differences allow them to play off each other quite well, and the earnestness of their meeting feels at home with Iceman‘s consistently sincere, emotion-focused approach. The Champions’ involvement also works as a matter of expanding Bobby’s supporting cast and giving him friends. The team’s talk of memories (as well as forgetfulness) is touching, and Grace’s attention to their pasts is impressive. These really feel like teammates who share history and care for one another.
This issue’s development of Bobby’s romantic life is also much appreciated. It’s amusing to see Bobby on the receiving end of bad one-liners, as Judah delivers them in spades. The pair’s chemistry is solid, and their awkward excitement is well-written. Judah seems like a promising romantic interest, and I hope the series continues to utilize him consistently without making any potential relationship feel too rushed. It’s kind of a given for a title starring Bobby Drake, but Iceman‘s humor is also worthy of praise. From Bobby seeking life advice in a book entitled “Born This Gay” to Angel telling his masseuse to “work the wings,” the issue doesn’t disappoint in the funny department. Once again, Grace melds emotional and comedic sincerity together in an issue with few writing-relevant flaws.
The art in this issue is also very good. Robert Gill debuts as the series’ new artist, and he makes a strong first impression. Characters’ body languages are expressive, and Bobby’s slightly spiked ice form is quite cool (pun unintended). Gill’s take on Hercules is also a joy to behold, and many of the background shots are charmingly detailed. Rachelle Rosenberg remains the series’ colorist, and her colors shift appropriately based on various scenes’ moods. Events are bright and cheery when needed, and more subdued when the writing tugs at the heartstrings.
With all that said, I do have some qualms with this issue. The main one pertains to the issue’s sort of villain. A woman repairs some Sentinels to generate positive attention for her company somehow? It’s not particularly convincing, and she’s not particularly multi-dimensional either. Art-wise, my main qualm is with some of the faces. Most of the issue’s faces are great or at least serviceable, but on occasion they’re a bit awkwardly rendered and a tad too flat.
My gripes with this issue feel relatively minor compared to how much it gets right. The Champions reunite, and it may be their most enjoyable assemblage ever. Bobby progresses through his day-to-day life in a way that rings true emotionally, as he ponders sad memories of the past and explores new romantic territory. Gill makes a strong first impression art-wise, while Grace and Rosenberg deliver characteristically strong work. Iceman #6 is another strong showing for the series.