Iceman is back! After the cancellation of his solo title, letters poured in from fans begging Marvel to bring back Sina Grace’s take on Iceman, and here it is. We catch up with the elder Bobby Drake in Hell’s Kitchen, where after lamenting his failings in love while rescuing a woman from a burning building, Bobby finds a flyer posted by some Morlocks begging for help. Teamed up with Bishop, the pair descend into the sewers to discover a band of bootleg Marauders attempting to execute “Mutant Massacre Vol. 2”. Madin, the current leader of this band of Morlocks, teams with Iceman and Bishop, explaining that her brother has gone missing, and together, the X-Men and the Morlocks send the Fauxrauders packing—right back to Mr. Sinister!
Sinister shows interest in the development of Bobby’s powers, establishing a “big bad” for the series. Upon returning to the mansion, Bobby battles his ego while preparing to debrief Kitty of his findings in the sewers, but the debrief will have to wait, as Emma Frost comes to pay him a visit.
I thoroughly enjoyed Grace’s canceled Iceman series and had very high expectations for this new series. While this first issue (of a five-issue mini-series) was entertaining, it did seem to lack some of the power of the previous series. Perhaps another year removed from the drama surrounding the coming out of Bobby Drake, I am less interested in the quips about not being able to find a man as easily as a woman or the trepidation in talking to Bobby’s parents. If that is what you are looking for, however, you will be quite pleased with this book. There seems to be, with the arrival of Sinister on the scene, a concerted effort to remind the world of the immense power Bobby possesses, and that should be a narrative worth following. We have seen, over the decades, numerous alternate reality Icemen with better control of their powers and less of his humor, illustrating the heights of his potential. Rarely in the 616 have we seen such instances, but one notable instance was when Emma Frost possessed his body way back in the early 1990s, an instance that seems to be ripe for a revisit with Emma’s appearance.
One point of emphasis in the narrative was the notion that Bobby has been doing superhero work his entire life. Although many view him as a joke (presumably including Sinister up to this point), the reality is that he is a highly trained professional. When Bishop questions Bobby’s plan in the sewers, Bobby is quick to remind him that he is no novice and proceeds to execute his operation with a high degree of success, still allowing space for quips and jokes, but not at the expense of the mission.
In terms of art, I found Stockman’s style to be solid, although not shockingly good. There were pages that felt rushed (and perhaps they were), but there is great potential in the art for growth over time. The Irish freelance artist has a mastery over space on the page already and delves into backgrounds in great detail, but sometimes the faces lose a sense of a distinctive quality. With more familiarity with the characters, I expect we’ll see great things from Stockman in the future, but for now, the work is middling with a high ceiling.
Iceman is a fun, mutant romp that promises buddy cop action and a clear direction, although lacks the punch of the previous series and its exploration of Bobby’s inner workings, growth, and exploration.
Iceman #1: Could There Be Any Other Number One?
Writing - 7/10
Storyline - 6/10
Art - 6/10
Color - 8/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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