This week's All-New X-Men reveals that Ice-Man, one of the mutant band of heroes' charter members, is gay.
Young members of the original X-Men have time-traveled to the present day a few years back and became members of the current team—in some cases side-by-side with their older counterparts.
Artwork uploaded onto a tumblr from All-New X-Men #40, which doesn't come out until Wednesday, shows a scene between the young Iceman and young Jean Grey, in which the psychic redhead basically tells the ice-wielding mutant he's a homosexual.
Not bi. Not fluid. Gay.
Eventually Bobby comes clean, and the two have a "moment"
Ironically, Family Guy suggested this very possibility years ago.
In the past few years Marvel and DC have faced accusations that they lack diversity—and have both quickly ramped up on minorities, both in their books and in their bullpens.
The recently launched Midnighter is DC's first title to have a gay male superhero as its title character. At the same time, Batwoman, the publisher's first lesbian comic, was just canceled.
Brian Michael Bendis, whose been the architect of much of the Marvel universe for the past several years, wrote All-New X-Men #40—so he can be credited (or faulted) with "revealing" Bobby Drake is sexually attracted to men.
But given that this Iceman is a time-displaced version from the past, it opens up a lot of possibilities.
1. Iceman, the one we know in the current day, is gay and always has been, and his (rather unsuccessful) relationships with women like Polaris and Opal have been attempts at denying his real sexuality.
2. Regular Iceman isn't gay, but time-displaced young Iceman is. So either Bendis is saying Drake "turned" gay at some point (oh boy) or this Iceman comes from an alternate reality. Bendis is the writer who brought the original-flavor X-people to the present day so it is possible this is part of his master plan.
3. Our minds are just a jumble of our thoughts, emotions and memories. Jean is "reading" Bobby's mind and translating what she sees as "gay," but it could be a same-sex fantasy, a passing fancy or a random brain fart.
This young version of Iceman did date Kitty Pride (briefly), but the older Iceman has had a complicated relationship with his openly gay teammate Northstar, who at one point develop a crush on him.
The truth is comics often rely on stereotypes and quickly changing personalities, so it really could go either way. But will will this "revelation" benefit the character or the series—or just be lip service to diversity?
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