Leaked pages from issue #40 of All-New X-Men have revealed that one of the original five X-Men, Bobby Drake, is gay.
Better known as Iceman, this is a confirmation of a long-held fan theory regarding the character’s sexuality. But, in typical comic book convolution, this isn’t the Iceman fans have been reading for decades, but rather a time-displaced teenage version of the character.
In the pages of the issue Jean Grey of the X-Men reads Drake’s mind and confronts him about his objectification of their female teacher, taking him aside and saying “Bobby…you’re gay.”
Drake initially denies the claim before ceding that he may be bisexual, and eventually agreeing with Grey that he is “full gay”
Drake addresses the comment and his confusion asking, “How can my older self not be [gay] but I am?” and then continuing, “Because maybe he couldn’t handle being a mutant and gay in a society that has issues with both? And one is easier to ‘put away’ than the other?”
Drake has dated female characters in the past, most recently fellow X-Man Kitty Pryde, however there had long been a popular theory that the character was gay.
The X-Men have famously been a pro-gay comic, featuring one of the first openly gay character from a major publisher, Northstar, in 1992.
The X-Men’s struggle for acceptance as mutants is also famously a metaphor for the struggles of the LGBTQ community, as well as other discriminated groups.
Bryan Singer, who directed several of the X-Men films even included a scene of Bobby Drake “coming out” as a mutant in X2, paralleling what many LGBTQ’s experience coming out.
It remains to be seen what effect the outing of a teenage version of the character has on the older version, but it presents a potentially problematic stance if Marvel decides to keep him “straight.”
With current writer Brian Michael Bendis departing soon as Marvel’s mega event, Secret Wars launches in May, it may be a while until we get an answer.
Tyler Hammel is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with comic books. He’s a proud cinephile, owning a sizable film collection that lets you know he doesn't have any friends. An aspiring filmmaker, Tyler currently works with the VCU student organization The Horn RVA, a group of like-minded video journalists with a passion for Richmond based music. When not crafting his own bio Tyler can be found misusing commas,