Comic Book Review: Iceman #3
This story is taking some time to take off, but I give this creative team credit that they are so far doing right by Iceman. This is the treatment and X-Man as big as him has been deserving for some time now. He has come a long way and it is time to get that personal experience in terms of what he has to offer when not a part of the team. The key is separating him from the orbit of other notable characters and you can only get the best results from shifting the focus to his life away from all of that.
When it comes to Iceman #3 I found myself surprised that they actually pushed forward with Bobby visiting his parents in their new home. When this was thrown out there in their discussion, one would usually think this was said just for the sake of it, but it means a lot that this is something Bobby was willing to go through with. It felt like the next natural step for him in not only repairing this part of his personal life, but in accepting that he is gay. I’m sure I probably missing something here and there from the younger Bobby, though this comes off as more of a process.
The dinner with Bobby’s parents was enlightening. There’s one thing that pained me as the X-Men stories evolved, and that is how we lost this kind of experience. The struggle of being a mutant always begins in the home first, for those who are lucky enough for that to be the case. In the case of Bobby, his parents struggle with agreeing with the lifestyle he chose, which is not even getting to his sexual orientation. Having that passive-aggressive mom and frustrating dad just felt right. They didn’t hate him, and you couldn’t hate them for at the very least caring. The grief they give him is out of love which is what makes this memorable. Take away the mutant part of the topic and this is any one of us trying to talk to our parents as an adult.
Revenge-seeking Purifiers coming to stir up trouble also made sense for this issue. All around the X-books they are becoming a big problem again and at times like this it should be the major X-Men like Iceman who feel their wrath. It was only unfortunate that this had to be a confrontation within his own home. This however was the highlight of the issue for me. The execution was perfect for the position the Purifiers put this family in to see that their issues were nothing in comparison to them. I found a new respect for the father and Bobby who I think for once found a reason to get serious. When jokes are set aside, that is when he is the most dangerous which can be overlooked easily. Confronting the Purifiers here and now was as well the strongest his dialogue has been in anything as of late.
When it comes to the artwork for Iceman, I do think I have mixed feelings in that area. Overall solid work, though there are some thing hard to look past. For one, there isn’t enough expression to take from these characters for a solo book. This is personal for Bobby whether he’s himself or Iceman and we need to see the personality jump out at us. Aside from those close-ups, there’s too much of a lack of detail in the faces. Vitti is redeemed when he does capture characters in key moments, though there should be consistency throughout. Where he does good first of all is how serious he draws Bobby. I don’t think you could look at this the same way if he was up to his unusual shenanigans. You don’t have to draw him vulnerable or insecure, but you also need to draw him like what he’s dealing with matters. Including his parents as well in response to his lifestyle. The other thing is a combination of Vitti and Rosenberg for the way they nail Iceman letting loose. That was a thing of beauty and proves how much he tends to hold back in normal situations. A very smart use of cold colors that don’t need to be real enough to see through.
Iceman #3 dodged the real conversation, but so much of this was genuine from a family trying their hardest to come together and an enemy who shows them real fear through delusion. I hope this isn’t the last we see of the Purifiers as they do bring out a different side to the X-Men that goes beyond the usual vendetta.