Iceman is back!
Following the groundbreaking 2017 series beloved by readers and critics alike, Bobby Drake is set to make his ongoing solo series return on September 12! Written by Sina Grace with art by Nathan Stockman, the new series kicks off a reenergized chapter in the life and times of the mutant hero.
It’s good timing too, because someone is hunting the Morlocks for sport. And it’s up to Bobby Drake to prevent another potential Mutant Massacre. But who’s behind this horrific hunt? You wouldn’t believe it if we told you! Guest-starring Bishop, get ready for more ICEMAN!
We spoke to Grace about the power of fandom, the greatness of Bobby Drake, and what to expect from the new series.
Marvel.com: What’s it like knowing that readers connected with your Bobby Drake on such a profound level?
Sina Grace: I’m amazed that the series connected with an audience so much that we defied odds and got another arc. The whole process of writing the first one, I was focused on doing my best work and crafting a series that sat well as a standalone…I had blinders on. Apathy is such a huge force in this world, so when the letters kept coming after the final issue—in my DMs, on Tumblr, to the Marvel offices, at comic conventions—that was when I had to ask, “Is this the impact other Super Hero books have on their readers?”
My heart warmed when gay Twitter stood by my choice to have Bobby irrationally want to move across the country for a guy—they saw that same insane puppy love in themselves. When the New York Times article hit, that’s when I was like, “Oh, we did something special, and people took notice. Tight.”
TL; DR: It feels pretty chill.
Marvel.com: Similarly, why do you connect so deeply to Iceman?
Sina Grace: I fell in love with Iceman because he’s incredibly powerful and loved by his peers, and he just seems to get in his way more than anything—that’s completely relatable. He and I both use comedy to deflect. My friend described Ryan Reynolds as, like, teetering on annoying and endearing at all times; Bobby seems like a more benign and adorable version of that.
I’m not calling myself Ryan Reynolds-hot by the way, unless half-Persian guys with thinning hair is your jam. But Bobby is that hot, and I connect to him in the sense that we’ve both been guilty of hiding our light to make others more comfortable.
Marvel.com: As a mutant, a hero, and a person, Bobby Drake represents a lot. What do you see as his defining characteristics?
Sina Grace: Temper tantrums and a sense of humor…bahahaha!
I’d say that his relentless optimism, candor, and inability to see personality flaws that exist right under his nose—those things make up Bobby Drake to me. Similarly, I love that he’s so ultra powerful and kind of relegated to the back of the scene. That’s something we only lightly explored towards the end of the original run. Bobby’s a lot more self-confident and comfortable in his skin this time around, so I’m here to flex those muscles of his and show off some real bad-ass moments with his powers. We may even unlock some new ones along the way? You gotta read to find out.
Marvel.com: Where will we find Iceman at the start of this new series? Will readers see some familiar supporting faces?
Sina Grace: Iceman got to try his hand being a leader in the pages of X-MEN: GOLD. While he’s fine enough running a team, he knows it’s not where his strengths are best put to use. He’s still sorting out how he fits in this world when he discovers that Morlocks are disappearing in the sewers. What he uncovers in the catacombs is far more terrifying than he could have imagined. From there? Things get really bad.
Readers can expect to see more relationship evolution with Kitty Pryde. They are not always gonna be on the same side of an argument. For anyone who had read interviews with me answering the question of who I’d really want to play with…just you wait for the cover unveil for issue #2!
Oh, and Jubilee makes a cute cameo at the end of issue #1. Am I allowed to share that?
Marvel.com: Bishop teams up with Bobby at the start of the new book—what do he and Bobby have in common? What makes their dynamic unique?
Sina Grace: They’ve been teammates in various iterations through the years, and in this first issue, Bobby is leading Bishop on their mission. Is Bishop cool with that? Is Bobby capable of telling Bishop what to do? Are there subtext issues to address? It’s gonna be lit.
I think they’re gonna fun to have next to each other given Bobby’s new context. Exploring identity is a huge theme in this series, and Bishop’s a perfect character to have bounce off Bobby…not only ‘cuz he’s kind of more straight-laced than Iceman, but because he’s also this guy trying to establish himself in a world he’s not from. That’s something Bobby can relate to after having to come out to every single human being in his life.
Marvel.com: A great hallmark of your Iceman stories is emotional honesty—something that can be really difficult thing to pull off visually in a comic. To that end, what are your thoughts on Nathan Stockman’s work so far? How have you enjoyed working with him?
Sina Grace: I’m vibing super hard with Nathan! Each ICEMAN artist brought different strengths, with Nate readers will see all of the dynamism of the previous arcs with an added layer of levity. To me, this arc is a reward—a celebration. We are going to have fun. All that being said, because Nathan’s so gosh-darned versatile, expect no end to the deeply personal and emotional beats that folks appreciated in the first run. Like, from the layout stages he has made me do a literal LOL and also given me chills on a page with the reveal of [REDACTED]. Nathan’s character designs are also super bold and unique…It’s like if his pages of SPIDEY had a baby with his work on X-MEN: BLUE and the baby also was born with omega-level powers. Love him.
Pre-order ICEMAN, by Sina Grace and Nathan Stockman, with your local comic shop ahead of the new series’ launch on September 12!