(repost, because I’m an idiot with two thumbs who deleted the original)
[Edit: Originally published June 22, 2018]
Love from parents is the trickiest kind of love. You want to love your parents and you want your parents to love you. I think that’s something that every child wants, no matter how badly their parents might treat them.
Throughout “Thawing Out” Bobby’s antics as Iceman of the X-Men, antics that vary from attempting to help a recently manifested mutant to having to fight the Purifiers or Juggernaut, are set against multiple interactions and conversations that Bobby has with his parents. Conversations that deal with Bobby being a mutant and, in the last two issues of the volume, him being gay. The conversations are difficult to say the least. The Drakes’ reactions to Bobby’s being a mutant and being gay remind me somewhat of my parents reactions to me and my variety of queerness.
There are few things I respect more than a writer who can handle such painful conversations with nuance and care that doesn’t leave the reader overwhelmed and hurting. I have had to put down so many books that I was hoping to enjoy because of writing that left me too hurt to continue, books that I have seen lauded as Peak Representation™. To that point as well, one reason the writing is so careful and poignant is that the writer Sina Grace is a gay man himself. The books that have left me hurt and disappointed? Written by cis people (in the case of trans books) or straight women (in the case of the gay books).
In some respects the 2017 Iceman run might be a confusing place to start for a queer kid looking to get into comics, it does drop you into the middle of things, but it can also be a really great place to start. If you start with this? Every other comic you read with Bobby, even the ones written before he came out, are bathed in a whole new light. I know I’ve found great enjoyment in reading older comics with this knowledge and I’ve been reading comics for years. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must be for new readers with gay Iceman being the only Iceman they know.
You can find Iceman Vol 1. Thawing Out here.
Related Reviews: Iceman issue 11, X-Men Rarities: The Winter Carnival and The First Night, and The X-Men issues 1-10