In another sign of the increasing diversity in comic books, Marvel’s All-New X-Men #40 (available starting today) includes a scene where original X-Man, Bobby Drake (a.k.a. Iceman), comes out as gay. He’s lured out, in fact, by the telekinetic Jean Grey, who can read his mind and knows that he’s overcompensating when he refers to a female colleague’s “unbelievable hotness.” Excerpt pages of the scene can be read here, via TheWrap.
For non-followers of the comic, the situation actually is more complicated than it seems. Per the narrative’s “Days of Future Past” logic, the Bobby who reluctantly came out is the younger version of the character who also exists in the comic’s sliding-time universe as a fully adult man. Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso explained to MTV, “The obvious question is that once the young Bobby has accepted and embraced who he is, what are the ramifications for his adult counterpart? It’s safe to say that will be dealt with.”
But fans of the X-Men movie franchise have been prepped for this revelation already. In a memorable, double-entendre-filled scene from 2003’s X2: X-Men United, Bobby (Shawn Ashmore) gathers his family together in the living room for a meeting so that he can tell them the truth about himself. That truth—though scripted and designed purposefully to resemble a “coming out”—is that he is a mutant. “Bobby, have you tried not being a mutant?” says his mother.
On Tuesday, Ashmore tweeted a link to the IGN news item about Bobby’s coming out and wrote simply:
Congrats Bobby! :) https://t.co/yiWcZTq1h4
— Shawn R Ashmore (@ShawnRAshmore) April 21, 2015
And in an interview with Entertaiment Weekly, four-time X-Men director Bryan Singer addressed the Iceman news—and the subtextual nature of the character in his first two franchise films. “I’m excited and quite amused that that idea has been able to play out,” he said. “There’s some logic to it. In the movies, he did develop an affection for a girl that he knew he wouldn’t be able to have genuine intimacy with. And so of course there is an allegory to be made, and always has been.”