An original X-Man sets out on his own in Marvel's Iceman #1 preview

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:12 AM EDT (Updated)

It's been a very interesting few years for the original five X-Men, ever since Hank McCoy decided to bring the younger version of the team to the present in the pages of All-New X-Men back in 2012. Scott has had to deal with the renegade mutant his future self would become, Hank's learning magic, and Jean's ... well, Jean's had to deal with being the only Jean Grey alive in the modern Marvel Universe, which can't be easy.

It's been a particularly interesting time for Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, a character who spent years being the immature one, the one constantly in the shadow of Scott, Jean, Hank and even Warren, with his vast fortune and Archangel adventures. The past and present versions of Bobby Drake have had a very interesting relationship over the last five years, and it's led to the younger Bobby living life in a very different way. Young Bobby's a little more together than his older self, a little more self-assured. And, most notably, Young Bobby came out as gay in 2015, opting to live openly rather than hide his sexuality, a his older self did.

This has led the older Bobby to face some hard truths, and it's that inner contemplation that brings us to his new ongoing series from writer Sina Grace (Self-Obsessed) and artist Alessandro Vitti (Secret Warriors). In Iceman #1, Bobby is a teacher, a hero and a gay man trying to make his way into the dating world. It's all part of forging a new legacy for himself, even as another him is out there doing the same thing.

"Iceman has one of the most tenured legacies as a Marvel Super Hero and was one of the originators of the modern Marvel Universe,” Grace said. “As a lifelong X-Men fan (I've got the dog-eared floppies to prove it!), writing Iceman has been the greatest and most challenging project I've been lucky enough to work on. Writing this series has been like making best friends with someone who's been in my class for years, but I never took the time to ask how they were doing. Turns out, Bobby Drake has a LOT to say, paired with a LOT of achievements he’s still looking to unlock."

I have to admit that I've always underestimated Bobby a little bit, and that's probably because I've read so many comics where he was mostly just the comic relief. He's been fascinating lately, though, because the time traveling X-Men have forced him to see a different version of himself. So much of what All-New X-Men gave us, particularly where Scott and Jean were concerned, was about examining what you become and trying to forge a different path, even as the old one could never be erased. That's been true of Bobby too, but it's been a much more personal road for him. Now, we get to see what present Bobby is going to do with the realization that past Bobby is living the life he kinda always wanted. That's something we're not getting with Scott and Jean (at least, not right now), and it's a chance to add a lot of complexity to a character who's always deserved it.

Iceman #1 is out June 7. Check out a full preview in the gallery below.