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Jun 28

Marvel’s Voices: Iceman Infinity Comic

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

Writer, artist & colourist: Luciano Vecchio
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

This is the second Iceman story that Luciano Vecchio has done for the Infinity Comics line, the first being the catchily titled Mighty Marvel Holiday Special: Iceman’s New Year Resolutions Infinity Comic #1. That’s the one with the ball drop moment, which I still think is one of the cleverest uses of the vertical scroll format I’ve seen.

Now he gets four issues – which equate to something closer to one and a half regular comics – under the Marvel’s Voices banner. The Marvel’s Voices anthologies are, let’s be honest, a bit patchy. For every good story there’s a vignette in which a character tells us, very directly, how important their identity is to them, without the burdensome obstacle of a plot. Still, patchiness is to be expected, because they’re Marvel anthologies. Very short stories are deceptively tricky to make work, and when you couple that with a remit to do identity-related stories, there’s an inevitable risk of hitting the point so directly that it feels very heavy handed. I’d rather see things given a bit more time to breathe.

Iceman does get a bit more room to breathe, over the course of four issues. But that’s four Infinite Comics issues, which doesn’t quite translate to regular issues. When Marvel collected the first four issues of X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic in print, as X-Men Unlimited: Latitude, the solicitations say it clocked in at 64 pages. That’s roughly three regular issues.

So, what do we get here? Well, Iceman has moved to Los Angeles. He’s also in one of his phases of coming to terms with being an Omega mutant, and enjoying the X-Men’s current relative popularity. Vecchio seems to be of the view that if you want to do stories about Bobby making up for lost time after coming out of the closet, he can’t just be wandering around Krakoa with the same handful of established gay characters, or even a bunch of new ones created for the purpose. Because, well, there’s no such thing as Krakoan gay culture, or at least, if there is, it’s basically indistinguishable from the rest of Krakoan society. It’s doesn’t have very much to do with the experience that Bobby missed out on.

Come to think of it, this is another reason why Krakoa really, really needs a second bar. Everyone meets at the same place and does the same thing. But I digress. Vecchio wants Bobby to be part of gay culture, and that can’t happen unless he’s in the human world – which in itself creates tension with Krakoa. Quite rightly, the story treats that as the angle, or at least one of the angles. Bobby needs to embrace his Omega-ness, but he also needs to embrace his humanity at the same time, and that’s a perfectly good idea. It hits the remit for Marvel’s Voices but it also gives the character an angle and picks up on an aspect of Krakoa that feels underexplored.

The big problem here is that the book is cramming too much into its 3-4 issues. Vecchio brings back Romeo, the Inhuman empath who was the first love of time-travelling Silver Age Iceman from All-New X-Men. By a happy turn of events, Romeo has apparently been off on a time travel adventure and so remains the right age for a relationship. To be honest, since Vecchio’s art – while rather charming – makes everyone look very young, it might have been easier just to gloss it over. But regardless – having brought back Romeo, we move on to Christian Frost, who seems to be a concurrent romantic interest (and to be fair, not playing it as a romantic triangle is a pleasant change). Bobby’s father has died – off panel! – and Bobby gets to vent his anger at a Frost Giant through a parallel with guest star Loki’s father issues. And… then we get Iceman overreaching his omega powers, and his supporting cast needing to rally round to bring him back. The overall moral being, as I say, the need to embrace being human as well as being an omega mutant.

What’s more, Vecchio wants a separate villain-of-the-week in every issue, with a complete story going on there too. And there’s more – a rather excessively direct scene where a character shows up for the sole purpose of telling us how important it is to have icons, or Bobby giving a speech about climate change. (Points for trying to explain why the X-Men can’t solve climate change, though – basically, Iceman’s answer is that creating an ecosystem from scratch on Mars is easier than tinkering with one that already exists on Earth). It’s all a bit cramped – it’s a four-issue Infinite Comics mini with enough content to fill a year of an ongoing title. And I wouldn’t mind reading that title, if Vecchio would just slow down a bit.

It’s a bit chaotic, this, but the worst you can say is that it’s trying too hard to do too much.

Bring on the comments

  1. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    It also gives Iceman a new, spiffy costume, though it took me some time to realize that the snowflake logo is an I as in Iceman over an X as in X-Men.

    It’s a very comic booky coincidence that Romeo fell into a timehole and emerged an adult, but it is a very necessary coincidence. The time-displaced X-Men were very clearly teens. Having adult Bobby hook back up with teen Romeo would have been…

    I mean it’s bad already somebody somewhere wrote the scene with Iceman and Rictor on a date.

  2. Alastair says:

    It was very rushed especially the last issue. Bobby has been exploring his limits for 40 year and then in what would be six regular pages he manages to exceed those limits, become untouchable and then get cured. Where has in a normal comic Johnny Storm has had a year of stories based on him burning out of control and it’s effects on the team.

    The death of Mr drake also could use much more space to explore.

  3. Michael says:

    It’s an unlimited comic that they gave 4 issues as fan service to the gay fans, during pride month. There’s lots to dislike about it, but I enjoyed it for what it was. You can’t really accuse Marvel of not trying with Iceman. He’s had 2 ongoing books already and they just didn’t sell enough, apparently.

  4. Si says:

    I said it on Twitter, as heavy-handed with the gay themes, and as sparse with actual plot as it was, this comic was nice, in a way so few comics are these days. Bad things happen, but you’re left with the impression that it’s good to be Iceman. Iceman is heroic and cool and fun. We used to get that from Ms Marvel and Miles Morales, but Saladin Ahmed took over both. He’s a fine writer, but even when something good is going on you get the feeling that everything is dreadful and the next major tragedy is just about to happen. Reading Iceman made me feel good.

    It was all very rushed at the end, but compare Iceman overclocking his powers to something very similar that happened to Storm during the original Brood saga. It went much the same way, and the cover even hinted that they might be doing the Phoenix story again (it had only been done once at that point). Storm was lost in her powers after pushing too far, but they talked her down, power of love etc. It adds a valid risk to limitless ability.

  5. Karl_H says:

    Krakoa really needs a second default place for characters to interact. I appreciate that writers probably don’t want to make up new sets for every scene, but it’s starting to feel lazy.

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