This issue of Iceman, written by Sina Grace, penciled by Robert Gill, inked by Gill and Ed Tadeo, and colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, starts off at the Xavier Institute, home base for the X-Men, as they throw a going away party for Bobby Drake. He’s moving cross-country from New York to Los Angeles to pursue a romantic relationship with Judah Miller, Bobby’s new boyfriend. Large gatherings in the Institute typically end with bad guys taking advantage of everyone in one place, and this time is no different. Purifiers, an anti-mutant militant group, decide to attack the building. Drawing out most of the X-Men, the real trap is sprung: Daken is in the building, and after Bobby.
The focus of this issue isn’t so much on Daken being an enemy as it is Iceman’s relationships with everyone on the X team. His decision to leave the mansion and move to the west coast has strained the friendship he has with Kitty Pryde. Other students aren’t too happy to see one of their favorite professors leave. As one of the founding members of the X-Men, Bobby has seen and been through quite a bit with this team, and even though they’re trying their best to be happy about his choices, the tension is very evident about his reasons for leaving.
Grace is presenting a story that will be hitting on many points, and will make Iceman a hero for a lot of people in the coming issues for reasons other than being a mutant. The way he is handling his sexuality; other’s reactions to his being openly gay, be it teammate or not and how he responds; the decisions he makes and goes about making them; Bobby Drake will be someone others look up to for these things.
While Sina Grace is knocking it out of the park in the story writing department,Gill, Tadeo, and Rosenberg aren’t quite hitting homers. While the backgrounds look great, it seems the characters in story hold almost the same facial expressions throughout the story. The tension, the looseness, the feel of every character, is conveyed through their body language, which is done rather well. The lack of facial features for most of this book is a bit distracting, however.
Overall, the story and the way it’s delivered is well done. Easy to follow, and very fluid. If you can get past the perpetual squinting of most characters, this issue will make an enjoyable read.