There’s a handful of comic characters that have come out in the last decade, but none of them as well-known as Iceman’s outing in “All-New X-Men” #40. Well, this is the comic universe, so let me re-phrase that with a caveat, “character in a non-alternate-universe”.
Prior to Iceman’s coming out, Marvel had some lesser-known, supporting characters come out: Northstar, Shatterstar, Rictor, Karma, Hulkling, and Wiccan. Who? You don’t know Alpha Flight or X-Factor? Maybe you are familiar with these characters, but you probably have read an issue or seven of Alpha Flight, X-Factor or Young Avengers.
Iceman doesn’t need much of an introduction and that’s why his coming out is the most impactful. Bobby Drake was one of the original Uncanny X-Men and plays a very visible role in many of the X-Men films, not to forget that he was a part of the classic cult cartoon Spiderman and his Amazing Friends (along with Firestar).
Of which, I am half-embarassed to admit that I had a crush on Iceman when I was growing up. Yes, I crushed on a cartoon chracter. I don’t know what I would have done had this news come out when the show aired in the early 1980s.
There’s only been scans of the panels where Iceman comes out to Jean Grey. The writer of the story, Brian Michael Bendis, has plans to further develop the storyline in a way that’s “no big deal” as just another piece of the the larger puzzle.
I was very proud of Marvel for doing this in what I thought was the right way. I didn’t think it was an announceable story; just a normal part of life for these time-shaken X-Men, and not something that’s a big, shocking, revelation. Those scans of the issue didn’t help people appreciate that because they were so blurry and crappy. He sold the scene beautifully. I’m very, very proud of it, and I’m proud of the way Marvel handled it all. I’m looking forward to and already appreciating the discussion that is already happening.
Bendis is also behind several major Marvel event storylines including “Age of Ultron”, the story is being adapted for the massive second Avengers movie coming out at the end of the month.