Bobby confronts Sinister in a Phantom of the Opera style setting that ends with Iceman literally falling to pieces, as Bishop recruits some Morlocks for a rescue attempt. Meanwhile Kitty and Storm speak at a Mutant Pride event that has some very interesting stars and spectators, including a glimpse of recently revealed mutant Christian Frost, Dazzler showcasing some of her more iconic looks over the years and also the sensational new Drag Queen mutant Shade.
Although the art of Nathan Stockman could be seen as a little less serious than other x-books of late, having more in common with the Wolverine: First Class or Marvel Adventures style, it suits the book perfectly as well as the writing style of Sina, especially in the introduction of Shade. It also manages to add humor to the grim, determined act of Bishop rounding up the troops as Grimlock makes fun of the ‘Time-cop’. And the scene alone where Bobby prepares to go look for Sinister made me grin in anticipation almost as much as Bobby himself did.
While the main story concerns Bobby on the hunt for Sinister, as shown in the beautifully drawn cover by W. Scott Forbes, there are several faces at the Mutant Pride event. And it’s a great way of rounding out the occurrences in his life so far and his supporting cast this series. Not only do we get to see Kitty and Storm sharing the stage for a joint speech, witnessed by none other than Emma and Christian Frost, but also Dazzler in a too rare stage appearance since her last comeback attempt and run in with O.N.E. in Astonishing X-Men recently.
And as Iceman goes on the offensive in his typical impulsive way, Sina Grace gives us a great mix of action in stark contrast with the counterpoint of the Pride event that has an interesting gathering of so many familiar faces and one notably new one, all showing solidarity at a gathering not seen since Alison’s mutant/Inhuman show of Dazzler: X-Song. The narrative also manages to tell two separate stories in an interesting parallel style and give us a fun and heart warming story as well as keeping up with Iceman’s own adventure carrying on from last issue.
Even within the constraints of what could come off as simply an anecdotal side story, there are several touching moments to be seen. From Kitty getting some maternal affirmation from Ororo before they take to the stage at the Mutant Pride event, the spectacle itself gives us so much more, with several layers of context. Aside from some light humor there is significant closure to the Frost story and also a very serious message of the progress made in the mutant condition as well as the perception of the mutant plight in the eyes of the everyday human in Storm and Kitty’s speech.
And meanwhile, despite Iceman’s own insistence of wanting to reform Iceshop, he neglects to include Bishop, determined to go it alone and ensure everyone else has a good time at the show in much the same way as Sina himself ensures we have a good time to remember alongside the more serious story. But Lucas is having his own ideas on that score and insists on helping anyway. With his key role over in Uncanny recently and his recent reformation I am beginning to feel more sympathetic towards him and am actually rooting for the guy and hope he comes through and helps Bobby in the finale. This will give him some much needed kudos that has been lacking since the Hope incident.
And finally a word or two about Shade. In her one single appearance she has already created such a stir that she could be said to be a sensation to rival any other new minor support character appearing in other comics over the years, never mind a new mutant character. She already has enough fan art out there to compete with Kitty Pryde in the outfit change stakes alone.
Wearing one earring in the shape of Lockheed and another that of a Bamf, she also sports enough pouches to make even Liefeld blush. With a mutant power that sees her arrive in true Drag Queen style, from a fan that is heralded by a teleport sound to rival Herr Wagner’s signature sound, it has been stated by Sina himself on social media…
And surely she will appease all those affronted fanboys who were so incensed by the outing of Iceman in the first place with their “make new gay characters instead of changing our beloved well known characters” Or will she? Only time will tell if she will become a more regular, beloved character like Gwenpool or Doop, or if lack of interest from other writers will see her consigned to the backlot with less popular faces such as Ink. But one thing is for sure, Thworp is the new Bamf.
A great mix of good old moustache twirling villainy, with some light hearted humor and outrageous campy fun to boot. THWOOOORP!!!
Iceman #4: It’s Cool in the Shade
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10