It’s fairly common, at this point, to introduce gay characters in mainstream comics. In some cases, it’s really just acknowledging what was intended all along. But tomorrow, one of the first X-Men comes out of the closet. Spoilers ahoy, obviously.
Seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled…
Anyway, as leaked on Twitter, the original gay X-Man is Bobby Drake, also known as Iceman. How do we know this? He gets confronted about it by Jean Grey, who reads his mind. Really.
While some fans will complain, it does actually line up with Iceman’s behavior over the years; fans have been speculating that Iceman is gay pretty much from the ’70s onward, to the point where X2 even features an entire scene riffing on it. Heck, he’s even dated Rogue, the ultimate beard of the Marvel Universe. “Oh, I’d totally do my girlfriend, but she’d suck my lifeforce. No, wait, come back! I meant literally!”
What makes this interesting is that this is the teenage Iceman. Quick recap for non-Marvel readers: The original team of X-Men are in the current day thanks to time travel, and they’re running around with their older counterparts. So, this means that Bobby Drake, teenager, is out of the closet, but Bobby Drake, grown adult, is still in it.
Really, the appeal here is seeing how the book handles this. Teenage Bobby is angry at his future self for not owning up to his feelings and presumably a confrontation is all but inevitable. If you’re curious to see what happens, All-New X-Men #40 is on the stands tomorrow.