For years... decades... fans have speculated on the possible queerness of a certain snowy X-Man. Ever since Emma Frost posessed Bobby Drake's mind and made a snarky remark about his first love being "interior decorating," Iceman's heterosexuality has been called into question.
It's never really been mentioned in the comics since, but fans have never let it rest, citing Iceman's lousy track record dating girls, his close friendship with Northstar, his dalliance with the gender-fluid Mystique, and even the fact that he dated Cloud, who changed from a woman to a man. There's just been a frosting of ambiguity surrounding Bobby's sexuality.
Currently, in All-New X-Men, writer Brian Michael Bendis is writing the exploits of the original five X-Men who have been displaced in time and are currently running around 2015, occasionally even adventuring alongside their older selves. BMB has been subtly playing with canon and tweaking aspects of the characters that have never been explored. It's been a largely successful idea, allowing these classic teen characters an opportunity to be reinvented for modern readers. As he prepares to depart the book, it appears as if Bendis is leaving us with one more big character twist.
So, that's kinda big. And weird. On one hand, it's exciting that Iceman has come out. Yay! We get another queer superhero, and an A-lister at that. Okay, maybe a B-lister. But it retroactively makes Iceman the first openly gay superhero on the big screen, right? ... where he romanced two girls... err. Yeah it gets awkward when you apply gayness on a character that has presented themselves as straight since 1963. Bendis seems to be dodging that a little by implying OLDER Iceman, the one we have read about for decades, is in fact straight. Or somehow "straighter" than his younger self, having repressed his desires for so long. Does gayness really work that way? Maybe in the Marvel Universe? It's uncomfortable to me, implying that you can successfully "freeze" gayness until it is really gone, leading us down the road to conversion therapies and praying away the gay. It also casts older 616 Iceman as a depressing closet case who will essentially never come out, having somehow "straightened" himself for good. Sad, right? And he's supposed to be the comic relief!
This exchange with Jean pictured above is also problematic because it is bi-dismissive. Pretty much everyone who ever came out as bi has had someone tell them that bisexuals are all just kidding themselves (Who are you, a goddamn mind-reader?). It's an obnoxious trope and it's disapointing to see that reinforced in an exchange that could have been really sweet and more purely supportive. And why couldn't he have just been bi? Srsly... It even would have eased some of the problems surrounding "straight" older Bobby and left his tragic closet door open a little more.
All that said, we have only seen two pages, largely out of context and without any word from the writer regarding what lies ahead for our new frosty brother. What's next? Who knows! What do you think? Comment below!