Iceman #1 Review

Posted June 8, 2017 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Sina Grace

Art by: Alessandro Vitti & Rachelle Rosenberg

Published by: Marvel Comics

Solo X-Men books aren’t particularly easy to pull off as the characters thrive in team settings. So much of the allure of reading an X-Men book comes from putting a bunch of characters in a room together and having them play off one another. When that formula works, it’s magical.

All this is to say that, despite really loving the X-Men, I wouldn’t say I was eagerly anticipating the new solo books. And yet, I enjoyed my time with the first issue of Iceman. It’s not doing anything wildly different or interesting, but Sina Grace sets up a well-written superhero story here, and honestly, that’s fine.

Unfortunately, it does come with a lot of the problems that, at one point, I would have said are inherent to first issues. Grace finds himself bogging down the narrative with exposition. It does come in the form of Bobby’s online dating profile, and that device justifies the information dumps to an extent, but at some point, too much is too much. Iceman #1 crosses into the territory of too much.

The issue also has not one, but two of the obligatory action scene that all superhero #1’s need to have, apparently. Fortunately, they’re both drawn pretty well, courtesy of Alessandro Vitti. The second interrupts a solid scene between Bobby and his parents. Yes, I get why it was put there–it’s designed to create conflict–but it feels like a poor way to establish that conflict, which was already clear via Grace’s dialogue.

Which, by the way, is mostly quite good. I imagine Bobby’s puns and jokiness will turn some people off, but Grace does a respectable job of capturing the essence of the character. He’s fun to read, but it’s also clear that he’s dealing with… well, I believe the scientific term is “a lot.” At one point in the issue, he does actually go kind of off the rail. It’s an effective moment.

After all, in addition to facing persecution as a mutant, Bobby is also gay. In the context of the Marvel universe, that should make for an interesting story. It does, however, remain to be seen just how socially conscious Iceman will be going forward. There are a few threads of it here, but this is a book that can’t get away with simply avoiding real world social issues.

In addition to solid action scenes, Vitti does good work with visual storytelling. The style is pretty plain, to be sure, but the art conveys little pieces of characterization that are key to a successful comic. Much of the same applies to Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors. They do the work they need to do, without being particularly breathtaking.

Ultimately, the first issue of Iceman is best summed as a solid superhero book. It’s got above-average dialogue, good art, and hints at a relatively interesting direction going forward. I doubt any of that sounds like an incredible endorsement, because it isn’t. I enjoyed the book, and there’s just enough here to make me want to come back next time. But just barely.

The last panel is really good though.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.