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The Iceman Cometh Out: Marvel's Smart Take On Accepting Sexual Identity


The Interplay is a special biweekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

Yesterday, word broke that a young Bobby Drake, transported to the future at the beginning of Marvel’s All New X-Men, was actually one of Marvel’s few gay, active superheroes. Fans were sent reeling by the revelation, considering the older Iceman’s storied history of being a ladies’ man and Jean Grey’s suggestion that the older Bobby was, (probably) still straight. In readers’ defense, some of the confusion was understandable.

Unlike other alternate versions of fan-favorite characters who are revealed to be gay, this version of Iceman wasn’t from an alternate reality or timeline. Rather, this teenaged Bobby Drake was simply from the past and he was outed by a Jean Grey who, in her time, didn’t yet have access to her telepathy. Technically speaking this Bobby is the same one that we’ve known all along. 

Speaking to MTV News, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso explained the editorial decision to out young Iceman as being gay. According to Alonso the plot twist isn’t just a narrative stunt or Marvel attempting to meet a diversity quota.

“It was our subsequent conversations about what the next story would be that really sold me,” Alonso explained. “This is a character with decades of history, and one who we’ve seen falter on the romantic stage — more than once. So the seeds were always there.”

The “seeds” that Alonso is describing are a few decades’ worth of failed relationships with women that Bobby, try as he might’ve, simply couldn’t maintain. Magneto’s daughter Polaris, Mystique, Kitty Pryde, and a human woman named Opal who attempted to trick Bobby into fatherhood make up his extensive roster of a romantic rogues gallery. Before, it was easy to look at Iceman’s dating history as a whole now, and see a stereotypical casanova. With these new assertions (and discrepancies) about his sexuality, though, Marvel is addressing sexual identity in a much more interesting and authentic way. 



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Iceman, One Of The Founding X-Men, Comes Out As Gay

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In 2012 Marvel comics launched the All New X-Men, a new series centered around Charles Xavier’s first five students who would eventually become the original X-Men. Teenaged versions of Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman and Jean Grey are transported into the future and forced to face the decisions their future selves have made. Cyclops struggles to accept his future as a murderer and social pariah, Jean Grey--who becomes the Phoenix--copes with the fact that she no longer exists, and Beast fights to understand the secondary mutation that appears to be killing him.

In tomorrow’s issue of the All New X-Men it’s revealed that Robert “Bobby” Drake (Iceman) is also working to cope with a future that he doesn’t quite understand. This version of Bobby, Jeans discovers, is actually gay--despite the fact that his future self isn’t.

Check out the big reveal in the leaked panels below AFTER THE JUMP

(h/t Advocate)

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Teaser Is Here, Trailer to Debut Monday - WATCH


The world's finest superheroes meet (and clash?) on the big screen for the first time in cinematic history next year in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Director Zack Snyder confirmed there will be a IMAX trailer event for the film next Monday and has released a teaser that you can (and must) check out AFTER THE JUMP...

The film stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray fischer as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Arrives in theaters March 25, 2016. 

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Paul Rudd Suits Up and Shrinks Down in Marvel's 'Ant-Man' Trailer: WATCH


The first full length trailer for Marvel's Ant-Man has dropped and the film looks set to deliver heists, humor, and a healthy dose of bite sized action for those itching for some post-Avengers: Age of Ultron superheroics.


Ant-Man starring Paul Rud, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, and Michael Douglas arrives in theaters July 17.


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Latest 'Fantastic Four' Trailer Features The Team's Revamped Powers: WATCH

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The latest trailer for Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot has dropped and it features our first look at Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller) the Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) and the Invisible Woman (Kate Mara) in action. 

One of the failings of the original 2005 Fantastic Four was the fact that the foursome weren’t really all that fantastic sfx-wise. Aside from the Human Torch (then played by Chris Evans) the rest of the team wasn’t given much to do in the way of eye-popping action sequences. Josh Trank, the new film’s director, clearly set out to change this in his darker, grittier reboot.

Check out the new international trailer for Fox’s Fantastic Four AFTER THE JUMP...


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'Beyond' Is The Queer Sci-Fi Anthology You Need To Be Reading

BeyondFor a lot of LGBT-identified people comics, science fiction, and fantasy were their first experiences being transported to faraway worlds where being different meant being special.

The stories of being chosen for a greater purpose or discovering hidden powers within mirror the experiences so many of us have coming to terms with our identities and coming out to loved ones. As much as queer people may identify with Marvel’s Inhumans or DC’s meta-humans, the number of actual gay, bi, and trans characters is relatively small. Sfé R. Monster is working to change that one panel at a time.

Beyond is an anthology of 26 comics collected from 18 writers and illustrators all featuring queer characters whose sexualities and gender identities are as plainly stated as their super powers. In an interview with io9 Monster, who’s editing the book, explained that a shared desire to see queerness normalized in sci-fi inspired him to spearhead the project.

“Sci-fi and fantasy have infinite potential for all sorts of diversity,” he said. “[I]t has always baffled me that these stories that accept aliens and magical dragons without question still struggle when it comes to featuring anything more than cisgender, heterosexual casts of characters.”

The stories featured in Beyond wouldn’t be the first comic books to feature queer characters travelling to fantastic lands, but Monster and his co-editor Taneka Stotts set out to do something different with the anthology. Often times queer (especially trans) characters are depicted as tragic or their identities are made out to be more magical than their surroundings. Beyond, Monster explained, wasn’t interested in those stories.

“When we put out the open call for submissions for Beyond I stressed that we were looking for diverse stories, and, to my absolute joy, that is something that everyone contributing a story to the anthology embraced with verve,” said Monster. “The thing I love most about Beyond is that giving people the go-ahead to create stories about diverse genders and sexuality gave them a space to tell stories that many of them have always wanted to tell, but felt there was no market or audience for.”


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