Gina Mei
April 21, 2015 5:56 pm

It’s just been revealed that one of the founding X-Men, Bobby Drake (perhaps better known as Iceman), will come out as gay in the upcoming issue of All New X-Men (#40), out tomorrow.

According to pages from the comic leaked on 4chan today, Iceman finds himself outed when his fellow mutant, Jean Grey (who has psychic powers, in case you’re dusty on your X-Men knowledge), reads his mind and pulls him aside to ask why he called their new female professor “hot” — when he wasn’t attracted to her at all. After a bit of back and forth — and a lot of denial — Iceman eventually tells Jean Grey the truth (both in his mind and out loud). She’s totally supportive (because why wouldn’t she be?) and is quick to tell him that she doesn’t think differently of him at all. They share a really touching moment between friends and equals that further proves whether mutant or not, treating everyone with respect and kindness should be the obvious choice always.

It’s important we remember that we should never pressure someone to disclose their sexuality if they feel uncomfortable doing so — and the circumstances surrounding Iceman’s disclosure are extremely unique to the comic book universe. To add a little background (because it’s actually quite complicated), the five original X-Men (Iceman, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Angel, and Beast) have all time-traveled to the present to fight alongside the modern day mutants in the new series. In fact, part of Iceman’s original argument for his heterosexuality is that his modern-day self is outwardly heterosexual and has dated women — which Jean Grey points out doesn’t necessarily mean his (future) dating history reflects how he actually feels. The way Marvel revealed this new character detail is not without its faults — and as a few people have pointed out, the comic feeds into bisexual erasure, which we absolutely do not support — but it’s a start, and Iceman seems happy by the end of the released pages to have someone to be honest with about his sexuality.

Whether Iceman will disclose his sexuality to the rest of the X-Men and if it will come up again in the story line is to be determined; but either way, we’re happy to see that Marvel continues to take big steps in ensuring their universe is as diverse as their heroes are. While Iceman isn’t Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ+ character, he is arguably the most well-known — and the announcement is huge. Diverse representation — particularly in mediums like comic books, which are so wide-reaching, especially amongst younger people — is extremely important in fostering an accepting, open-minded future generation. Everyone deserves to have a super hero they can see a little of themselves in, and we applaud Marvel for their latest move in normalizing diversity for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

The series’ writer, Brian Michael Bendis, even tweeted that he was hoping the issue would come out with little to no fanfare and treated with normalcy — but unfortunately, we’re just not there yet, and small things like this still feel like big wins.

That being said, Marvel released a statement about the leak that we can totally get behind — and we can’t wait to see what’s to come for Iceman and the rest of the X-Men.

Already, Marvel’s Iceman plot-line has earned some heartfelt praise and appreciation from fans. “Thank you. Fully,” shared a reader on Tumblr. “You know what I’m talking about.”

Check out a brief clip from the comic below — and buy a copy of the whole thing when it hits newsstands tomorrow.

(Images via, via)