“Dear Geekiary. I know you guys did a queer characters in comic book thing so I have to ask is Iceman or Bobby gay now? If his younger version is gay and his older version from the same timeline isn’t what does it mean? And can we talk about Jean making him come out like that? Thanks!”
Thank you for the question!
I’ve been meaning to write about this story sooner but I got my digital copy of All New X-Men #40 a bit late this week. I didn’t want to rush in with my opinions without having read the issue Bobby Drake/Iceman came out as gay in.
The panels talking about Bobby’s sexuality were leaked before the official release date of the issue and predictably it got the fans talking. Some expressed their anger over Marvel succumbing to the gay agenda; other’s voiced their confusion, while some fans were happy about the reveal.
Even the director of the X-Men movies Bryan Singer expressed his thoughts on the matter as did Shawn Ashmore who plays the Omega level ice-powered mutant in the films.
After reading the issue Bobby coming out as gay did come as a surprise to me. In his long comic book history he’s been in relationships with various female characters. However, there are posts that talk about possible hints about Iceman being in the closet from the start. I urge you to read these posts because all of a sudden Bobby being gay just feels right!
The true confusion, as you wrote in the question, came when All New X-Men #40 showed young Bobby and Jean talking about why the older version of Iceman wasn’t gay. Keep in mind that the X-Men from the past are from the same timeline as the present older versions of the same characters.
So, why isn’t the older Bobby gay too? Young Iceman tried to answer the question by saying that maybe being a mutant and gay was too much for the older him to handle and the older version ended up ignoring his true sexuality.
I won’t blame the older Bobby if what the younger version said is indeed true because Bobby was already hated by society for being a mutant, and coming out as gay was just going to make matters worse for him, possibly in the mutant community too.
I’m looking forward to young Bobby talking to older Bobby about his/their sexuality. It’s bound to be a very interesting conversation and I’ll keep you all updated!
Coming to Jean Grey reading Bobby’s mind and confronting him about his sexuality, well personally I didn’t like it one bit. The young Jean Grey has a problem with not using her powers on other people’s minds. Yes, she helped Bobby face his sexuality but the point is that she wasn’t supposed to know about it in the first place! She read his mind without his permission and that’s just wrong on so many levels even if she promised not to tell anyone about him being gay.
Storm knows that Jean has a problem when it comes to other people’s psychic privacy and I want the Weather Goddess or at least some other X-Men to place some mental barriers or do something to stop her from prying into other people’s minds. She needs to learn a lesson and fast!
In the end, I admire Marvel for making a prolific mutant, a member of the original X-Men, come out as gay. It will do wonders for queer representation because it’ll tell readers that even if a male character has been with women for years it doesn’t mean he’s straight. People do all kinds of things to not accept their sexuality and closet cases aren’t unheard of. It takes years for some people to finally accept who they are and I believe that’s what happened to Bobby Drake/Iceman, and I’m looking forward to where his character goes from here.
Don’t forget to read about the other queer characters in Marvel comic books!
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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