Through the Eyes of the X-Men: Iceman

Through the Eyes of the X-Men: Iceman

All-New X-Men #1 art by Stuart Immonen

By Brett White

In his new ongoing series, ALL-NEW X-MEN writer Brian Michael Bendis drops the teen-aged original X-Men into the middle of Avengers vs. X-Men's fallout.

Professor Xavier lies dead, killed by Cyclops. The mutant race has bounced back from the edge of extinction. Mutant-human-relations stand at a new level of volatile. For all intents and purposes, the apocalyptic nightmare the X-Men were created to prevent has come to pass.

To get a better understanding of where these teenagers come from, Bendis spoke to about each original X-Man separately.

Next up for analysis: Iceman.

The youngest of the original X-Men, Bobby Drake filled the role of immature wisecracking jokester. His mutant power to create ice could be as easily applied to pranks as to fighting Magneto. Iceman’s modern counterpart still cracks his fair share of jokes, but does so while balancing a job as the Jean Grey School's accountant and his budding relationship with teammate Kitty Pryde.

Brian Michael Bendis explains how Iceman fits into the X-Men's past and ALL-NEW X-MEN's future. What does Iceman think about the world of the future, specifically how he turns out?

Brian Michael Bendis: What I like about Iceman is that he is the one that kind of turned out okay. He’s teaching, and in a weird way that’s kind of a bummer to young Iceman. He thinks, "I turn out to be normal? Well, that’s disappointing."

He's dating a nice, Jewish girl. There’s a lot of comic relief coming from Iceman. Having Iceman and Iceman meet each other for the first time is like right out of a Coen brothers movie. So we’re having a lot of fun there. But with that will come more gravitas, knowing what he knows and seeing what he sees.

All-New X-Men #1 art by Stuart Immonen Former UNCANNY X-MEN writer Scott Lobdell did a lot of work with Iceman in the 90’s, establishing that he shirks developing his powers. It wasn't until recently that we’ve seen Iceman be powerful. Why do you think it’s taken Bobby so long to realize his potential and how do you think the young Iceman is going to react to that?

Brian Michael Bendis: Everybody to their own time. As we get older, as you get older, sometimes you can step back, and look at which of your friends got their [expletive] together, and which ones didn’t, and it’s always surprising. I’m amazed that some of my complete [expletive]-up friends in high school have turned out to be outstanding fathers and professional people. I’m using a lot of that in the stories where I go forward though, so that’ll be explored as far as Iceman is concerned. What did teenage Iceman think he’d be doing when he was older?

Brian Michael Bendis: I don’t think teenage Iceman gave it a moment’s thought. And you know people like this too, and that’s the whole point of the movie "Dazed and Confused." A lot of people do not think past their feet. To look at yourself and go, "wow, I don’t know what I thought I was going to be, but I didn’t think I was going to be this," is an interesting path to put the character on. Beast and Iceman have always had this really classic friendship. How well will the modern Beast deal with having teenage Iceman around again. Are we going to get to see them play off each other any?

Brian Michael Bendis: Absolutely. This is, as I say, the biggest challenge of the piece. The X-Men area is an elaborate tapestry of characters. But now we have two sets of them, and some of them are younger versions of the older set, and they are all interacting with each other, hopefully in an honest and passionate way. And some have a history and some don’t. Some know their history and some don’t. So you have the older Beast acting toward the younger Iceman in a way that the younger Iceman is like, "what?" Again, it’s kind of just a relationship that he can’t reciprocate yet.


Going back to Jean, Jean will meet Wolverine. And Wolverine’s not going to do anything gross, like hit on her or anything, but there’s emotion there, emotion she can feel and hear but she can’t reciprocate. It’s not that she can’t but she wants to, she just isn’t there. She just doesn’t know him. It’s like if a total stranger walks up to you and says, "I love you," and you go, "I’m sorry, who are you?" That’s got to be so awkward for her.

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s a book of awkward. Yeah, that’s a good tagline.

Brian Michael Bendis: The original title was the All-Awkward X-Men. I love it. Any final words about Iceman?

Brian Michael Bendis: He’s a lot of fun to write. I’m looking forward to it. And again, he’s not the joke of the piece, but there’s got to be a character who is just funnier, and that’s what Iceman will represent.

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