Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Marvel Comics’ Gay Iceman Cometh

Marvel Comics’ Iceman Cometh

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The Advocate: Iceman starring in his first ongoing series as an openly queer male character seems monumental for a Marvel Comics. Do you feel pressure to "get it right" as a queer writer?
Grace: The editor on Iceman is also gay, and that takes a lot of weight off my shoulders in terms of “getting it right.” We have lots of conversations about the series’ implications in terms of “the gay stuff,” and there have been hours dedicated to discussing the best story to tell for all readers: long-term X-fans who’d rather things stay as a metaphor, the out ‘n’ proud folks waving their flags in San Francisco, and the quiet reader just figuring stuff out in the middle of Nowhere, America. I feel like we struck a decent balance.

How would you describe Iceman
Iceman is a series following the funniest and most powerful of the original five X-Men as he finally makes time for himself. There’s a time-displaced younger version of Iceman on another team, and it’s really forced Bobby Drake to examine himself and explore the possibilities that come when he stops cracking wise and actually opens up a bit. He’s still a teacher and living with the rest of the X-Men in Central Park, but this series shows him taking on his own adventures, and readers will also get a deeper peek into his family life.  

Since Iceman is single, is he also looking to mingle? The young Iceman is currently dating an Inhuman, so will we see someone special in classic Iceman's life? 
Iceman is definitely looking for a plus one! We show him struggling with an internet dating profile on the very first page. Just ’cuz he says he’s ready, I don’t think he’s actually quite going to take the plunge.

Are you hoping to bring a balance to the book, where the superhero element is able to coexist with a romance aspect? 
Bobby’s got a long journey ahead of him as a superhero, and he’s gotta take care of a few things in his noggin before he can start juggling the “I’ve got a date!” lewk right as a bad guy barges in to rob a bank. He’s dealing with some Purifier-related antics on and off in the first few issues, then some bigger, badder stuff is gonna occupy his time after that. He’s like Buffy in that his cookies are still baking, but that’s not to say he isn’t interested in letting people try some cookie dough in the meantime. 

For queer readers, from a scale of (the now canceled) Real O'Neals to the classic series Queer as Folk, how gay is Iceman going to be?
Dang! I wish I could put this book on that scale, but where do you place the story of a 30-something Omega-level mutant who can manipulate ice by freezing water vapor and is grappling with the fact that he just came out, but his time-displaced younger self already has a wicked hot boyfriend? I don’t know that a story like this has quite been done, so it’s sort of its own thing!

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