CATASTROPHE (Iceman #9 Comic Review)

Daken crashes Iceman’s going away party, and nothing will ever be the same again!

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ICEMAN #8 (The Apocalypse Seed: Part 1)
Writer: Sina Grace
Penciler: Robert Gill
Inker: Ed Tadeo
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover Artist: Kevin Wada
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need to Know:
Some months ago, in California, Iceman and Kitty Pryde rescued a young mutant with energy manipulating powers, from a mob out to get him. Easily led astray by a wild streak, it was easy for a manipulator like Daken, son of Wolverine, to step in and lure Zach away for his own use. Daken has taught Zach thievery and other underworld tactics, and they were recently in Madripoor. Now they are headed to New York City.
Back in California, Bobby met Judah Miller, his first romantic interest since coming out. They’ve carried on a long-distance romance for a few weeks now. Currently teaching at the Xavier School and a serving as a reserve member of the X-Men, Bobby decides he’s ready for more in his personal life and announces he’s moving to Los Angeles.

What You’ll Find Out:
(SPOILER WARNING) 
The X-Men throw a going-away party for Bobby. Judah, his new boyfriend, is nervous being around so many mutants. He’s afraid they won’t accept him, for being a baseline “normy”.

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Meanwhile, students from Xavier’s, Idie and Michaela are Midtown, shopping for a gift for Bobby, their mentor, and teacher, when Idie sees someone.

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Back at the X-Mansion, the party (the likes the X-Men have not seen in a while) is in full swing. We get glimpses of a few fan-favorites that have not been seen or given lines of dialogue in a while.

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Zach enters, to a surprised Bobby and then skulks around the room, like Daken taught him. There is tension between Bobby and Kitty, so much so that even Colossus steps in. Zach, who now goes by the name Amp, spreads a lie to get the students in one place.

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At that moment, Kitty makes an announcement…

 

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Doesn’t Ororo look gorgeous here?

 

…to cover for the fact the school is being surrounded by Purifiers. She asks Storm to get a team ready to deal with them. Bobby is seeing Judah to safety when Daken slithers onto the scene.Using Amp to take Iceman’s powers away, Daken uses his pheromone powers on Judah.

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Outside, the Kitty and the other X-Men quickly realizes all is not what it seems.

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Daken then explains what his real motives are.

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Then he does the unthinkable.

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This sends Bobby into a rage. Daken makes Amp give Iceman his powers back. As Bobby battles Daken, Amp takes MGH (Mutant Growth Hormone) to accelerate his powers. Iceman continues pummeling Daken until the tide turns and suddenly Daken has Bobby on the ropes.

Believing the activated Death Seed energy to have touched him as well, Amp decides to expel it towards all the students in the Danger Room…

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What Just Happened?
This issue had everything, didn’t it? I felt like I was watching the Season Finale of a TV show!

Writer, Sina Grace is giving me the tragic romance story that was teased with young Iceman, whose boyfriend was aptly named Romeo. The interplay between characters, especially with Northstar and Rictor and Bobby was a treat to see. They are long-standing, gay members of the team, and hardly ever heard from in this fashion. It’s refreshing to see.

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As X-Men luck would have it, though, tragedy befalls a happy occasion, and Daken has now become Iceman’s arch-enemy. This is a much more devious Daken than his recent appearances with his sisters in All-New Wolverine. I like his portrayal here much more. I love to hate him.

Kitty’s evolving friendship with Bobby is touching to see, especially with encouragement from Colossus. These people are his real family, not the parents who continuously try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Sure they love their son but forever on their terms, and for that reason, there will always be a distance. Bobby has matured, a second-time in his life, and he’s leaving the “nest” again too, by moving away from life in the X-Men by creating a new one for himself. Of course, everything has changed now, so I impatiently wait to find out how it plays out.

The art team is wonderful here. Robert Gill’s style does well with character pieces like this but is no slouch in the action scenes either.

Kevin Wada’s cover parallels the interior event and it is both shocking and homoerotic at the same time.

Rating 10/10
Final thought:
Just before this issue hit the shelves, it was announced that issue #11 would be the series’ last. I have no doubts that Sina Grace and the creative team have something very special in store for the final chapters, on what will remain Marvel’s best Iceman series ever.


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