So… Iceman is gay. Except he’s not. I mean he is in the past. But not in the future. Well he is in the future. Jean Grey outs him from the past in the future, but the Bobby from the future in the future is straight. Also, since being a mutant was already a good metaphore for being gay does that make him double gay? As in straight? Huu…
… Yeah. This is a clusterfuck.
Ok, clarification for those not in the known: first, you must know that three important things came out of the Avengers vs X-Men event of a few years ago. First, the effects of House of M disappeared. Second, SpiderMan was awesome once again. Maybe Hope Summers got a crush on him. Third, Cyclops went full Magneto on the world.
To try and fix this, Beast did something drastic. He went back in time and brought the young versions of the founding X-Men to the future. Him, Jean, Cyclops, IceMan, Angel. The move was kind of neat, and the All New X-Men book is going decent enough. And with number 40, they announced an important event.
And that event is: young Iceman is revealed as gay. While adult Iceman is not. While existing in the same place. Wrap your head around that for a sec. Done? Okay, first of all the way the reveal is done is awful. From a writing and pacing standpoint. Feels forced in. And the Invincible school of reusing panels that leads to Jean’s cheerleading routine doesn’t help.
Also, the justification for why this doesn’t fit with the last few decades of Bobby being not really gay is… Disturbing. The Family Guy joke would have been better. The explanation is that growing up, Bobby decided to not be gay anymore because being a mutant was hard enough already. Being mutant and gay at the same time? Oh noes! Too much! Right, Northstar?
Why disturbing? First, Jean ‘reveals it’ by going into his head and reading his private thoughts. Second, because it implies that you can choose your gender and sexual orientation. Third, because it tries to retcon the reason for Bobby Drake’s commitment troubles and boisterous personality as: gay turned straight. Fourth: ‘maybe I’m bi’. ‘They say everyone is’. What? No. No they don’t. Who’s ‘they’? The hell are you talking about?
So… Badly written, clashing with decades of lore, a pretty evident cry out for ‘DIVERSITY! LOOK AT HOW DIVERSE WE ARE! WE CHANGE OUR STORY FOR YOU! LOVE UUUUUUUS!’. Seems like we’re seeing plenty of that recently, huh? And it’s such a let down. Especially when there are examples of handling a not heterosexual character being done right before. In the X-Men franchise, too.
In the 616 there’s Northstar, of course. He’s been in various X Teams and Alpha Flight. He wrote a book about his life as being both a mutant and gay. And in 2012 he actually married his partner, Kyle. In the Ultimate Universe we had Colossus. The way they handled his ‘reveal’ was much more mature and well done. Mostly because there weren’t half a century of past stories having him date Kitty Pride among other things. He was one of my favourite characters.
So, once again, it comes down to Marvel not really knowing what the hell they’re doing. Other than pandering to what they desperately want to be a new audience and try to get attention. If you wanted to write a story about a teenage growing up as both gay and a mutant, couldn’t you have just made a new character? Half of the X-Men’s job is finding new mutants and helping them deal with their newfound identity. Would it have been that much of a stretch making such a person also gay?
Then again, such a story would take a mature approach to writing. Actual effort. If Marvel or DC tried this as they are right now they would probably just insult the homosexual community. More than they’re doing right now, alongside their old fans. But you know what? This doesn’t make me angry. It’s not even one of the worst things I’ve seen coming from this trend. That award goes to the ‘mansplaining’ panel from Wonder Woman.
A shoehorned cry for attention, badly written and ignoring everything that came before. Pitiful and pathetic is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. What’s going to be rage inducing is Bobby’s newfound sexual orientation being continuously trust in our faces like a billy club. Because that’s apparently the only way to handle homosexuality in comics, now.
I mean, treating it as just another part of their identity and in turn treating the character like a normal person instead of a trophy? Naaaaaah. Too actually integrative.
P.S.: Also it’s not coming out if it’s someone else revealing it for you.