Iceman: Thawing Out is a collected edition of issues #1-5 of the 2017 Iceman comic series which was created by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson, Ed Tadeo and Rachelle Rosenberg.

The book focuses on the titular character Bobby Drake, a.k.a Iceman, who is one of the original X-Men and an Omega level mutant. He is well known in the Marvel Universe for his ‘punny’ humor and one-liners, which are effortlessly thrown out even during more brutal conflicts – but this book delves deeper, beyond the outer layers of Iceman’s grand superhero persona and explores the very much human characteristics that exist within his normal everyday self, Bobby Drake.

On this blog, I try to keep spoilers to a bare minimum. I don’t share key plot points because I want readers who are interested in the material I cover to be able to experience it with a blank slate like I did. But sometimes very minor details will be outlined to help explain the basic premise of the material or to help me express why I feel so strongly about the content.

This is one of those times.

Bobby Drake has recently accepted the fact that he is gay. Coming to terms with his own homosexuality has been a complex and difficult process for himself but it becomes even harder when he finds himself opening up to friends, family and even ex-girlfriends.

The initial pages of the book open with Bobby creating a profile for himself on “Single Not Stirred”, an online dating site that asks you to describe yourself in 500 words or less and he’s doing a pretty good, if not ‘wordy’ and egotistical, job of explaining who he is until he’s interrupted by a family emergency that ends up being much more than a simple hospital visit.

By the end of the first issue he completes his profile with a description that I feel a lot of people can relate too, and it also sets the tone for the rest of the book as we get to know Bobby on a much more intimate level.

Thawing Out has plenty of action scenes with Iceman showing off exactly why he’s considered an Omega level mutant but the real meat of the story is hidden in the moments where I became physically and emotionally uncomfortable between pages.

By the end of the fifth issue I was struggling to see the last few panels as I dealt with a flood of complicated emotions in relation to the characters on the page.

It was a feeling that I don’t take for granted. To be so moved by a story in any format is genuinely a wonderful and rewarding experience – even when it’s a hard one.

I am an X-men fan and if you asked me who my favorite mutant was you’d hear that it’s a toss-up between Cyclops and Wolverine, both of which I have tattooed on my arm, and Iceman never really crossed my mind. That is, until I completed this book… Now I can honestly say that I’ll have much more fondness for the character in my heart moving forward.

I feel like there’s probably someone out there who needs to read this book. Not just for fun and entertainment but to help them grow stronger from the process of accepting themselves, and to acknowledge the trials ahead of them should serve as stepping stones, not barriers.

This is why I love the X-men. Their stories are often about diversity, acceptance and love even in the face of great opposition and Thawing Out tells that story better than most.

I highly recommend this book.

If you want to check out Iceman: Thawing Out, you can find it at one of the links below.

The sequel, Iceman: Absolute Zero, which I hope to read and blog in the near future, is also available in both digital and print formats.

Both editions are also available on Marvel Unlimited and Comixology Unlimited subscription services!