Astonishing Iceman #4
AMAZING FRIENDS—BACK IN NYC! ORCHIS hunts in New York City—but this time, they’re not after MUTANTS! The ever-amazing SPIDER-MAN swings onto the scene, but what new force will Orchis unleash that’ll require the titanic team-up of ICEMAN and the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler?! Don’t miss the coolest reunion of the fall (or the REVAMPED VILLAIN who has Iceman in his sights)!
Astonishing Iceman #4 picks up with Iceman seeking out Orchis soldiers in an attempt to draw attention away from other, on-the-run, mutants. This time, Spider-Man gets involved, homaging the famous TV series, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. As with most Marvel writers and artists, the chance to work on Spider-Man is fully embraced, with a lot of page real estate devoted to New York’s number one menace. Unfortunately, this takes a lot away from Iceman himself, making this issue feel like filler. Since this is only a mini-series, it’s really a shame that the issue feels this way, with none of the content really feeling substantial except for the beginning and ending stingers.
Steve Orlando has done such a great job fleshing out the relationship between Iceman and Romeo that it was odd to see Astonishing Iceman #4 go in the direction it did. Spider-Man is always a fun cameo, but here he overshadows Iceman in many ways. That being said, Orlando writes Spider-Man in a very compelling manner, filling him with a pathos that is not often explored within the character’s own books. As a standalone issue, this would have worked in spades. Unfortunately, here, it distracts more from the main story than it adds.
When it comes to Spider-Man’s pathos, Astonishing Iceman #4 includes a segment where Spider-Man reveals that the thought of being a mutant has crossed his mind, and that it terrifies him. This is a great foundation to build on; however, it exposes one of the gaping holes in the entirety of the Fall of X line: barely any non-x related series are doing anything with the concept. This would have been a great subject to touch upon in a “Fall of X: Spider-Man” book, but instead, Astonishing Iceman #4 has to put its titular character in the back seat. This really just felt like a missed opportunity and an excuse to extend the miniseries just one more issue.
The art from Vicenzo Carratu and Javier Tartaglia continues to be fantastic here, fully displaying the nuance and capabilities of Iceman in every way imaginable. The depiction of Spider-Man looks great as well, with the art doing the heavy duty in conveying the emotions. The standout page here has to be the full page splash of Iceman skating through New York with Spider-Man swinging beside him. Everytime this duo connects there is a great opportunity for pages like this, and it’s great to see this art team take that opportunity and run with it. Even with Iceman going through a rough time, Spider-Man always finds a way to connect and bring out the best in him, and that is all fully conveyed on this page.
Astonishing Iceman #4 continues the trend of the previous issue by introducing Spider-Man in a cameo appearance. Unfortunately, this takes away from the titular character enough for this issue to feel like filler content.
Astonishing Iceman #4: Spider-Man On Ice
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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