Bobby Drake, otherwise known as classic X-Men member Iceman, will come out of the closet this week. In a collection of leaked panels from All-New X-Men #40, due out tomorrow, Drake finds himself outed by fellow teammate Jean Grey. The revelation makes Iceman one of the most prominent (and powerful) LGBT superheroes in Marvel comics, and is in keeping with the company's push for more diversity among its characters.
The circumstances surrounding the character's coming out are unique, to say the least. Readers discover that the past, teenaged Bobby Drake, who has been transported to the future along with the original X-Men to help solve a crisis, is gay. Meanwhile, the present-day Iceman — who is still very much around — has had relationships with multiple women in the past. Apparently, that was an act:
What this means for the present's Iceman is unclear, but it'll likely be explored in future issues. Series writer Brian Michael Bendis expressed on Twitter that he'd hoped the reveal would arrive without much fanfare:
i swear on my dogs, i wanted the issue to come out and just be. no press. no sensational headlines. no leaks. oh, well.— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) April 21, 2015
Still, it's good to know that Iceman, who already happens to be an immensely powerful and popular mutant, is far from alone at Marvel and in comics in general. Back 2012, Marvel made headlines by publishing the first gay marriage in superhero comics, wedding X-Man Northstar to his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu. And this year, Catwoman recently came out as canonically bi in her own headlining DC series.