Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief Explains Why One of the Original X-Men Just Came Out of the Closet
Spoilers ahead for All-New X-Men #40!
Earlier today we wrote about some leaked pages from tomorrow’s issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men in which Bobby Drake (alias Iceman) comes out of the closet at Jean Grey’s insistence. In an interview with MTV published this afternoon, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics Axel Alonso explained the inspiration behind the controversial issue:
Well, Brian wrote it into a script. He’s been teasing at it for a while, he sent it on in to his editor, who in turn sent it to me, and we started a discussion […] That’s the whole boring process. He had a good story to tell, and we think it’s worth telling.
[…] It was our subsequent conversations about what the next story would be that really sold me. This is a character with decades of history, and one who we’ve seen falter on the romantic stage — more than once. So the seeds were always there.
Although I think it’s a bit of a slippery slope to imply that a history of failed heterosexual relationships might indicate that someone is on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, Alonso says reactions to the as-yet-unpublished issue have so far been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the continued story in “Uncanny X-Men #600” will be “very sensitive, very moving.”
Alonso also says Marvel “would be foolish not to deal with” the implications of Bobby’s older counterpart still being in the closet:
That was the second part of my conversation with Brian. Time travel gave us a platform to discover the journeys of the young characters. The obvious question is that once the young Bobby Drake has accepted and embraced who he is, what are the ramifications for his adult counterpart? It’s safe to say that will be dealt with […] This is who the character is now.
In addition to Alonso’s remarks, Bendis himself also spoke briefly about the issue with Newsarama:
There are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality. The X-Men, with the conceit of time travel, give us a fascinating platform in which to examine such personal journeys. This is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told.
Although I still wish Iceman’s confession had been handled with a lot more nuance, it’s heartening that Alonso seems to think future issues will show Bobby Sr. coming out of the closet as well (and important to remember that, as representation in comics improves and more diverse creators gain a voice, slightly ham-fisted reveals like this one will hopefully be less frequent and hurt a little less).
What do y’all think?
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