Marvel Comics announced this week it is canceling Iceman, the company’s first ongoing comic with an gay-male lead. Launched in January, the comic recounted the adventures of ice-wielding mutant Bobby Drake as he navigated life as a newly out superhero.
“I am supremely bummed out, but was given plenty of notice (and even a Hail Mary or two),” wrote queer writer Sina Grace in a handwritten note posted on Twitter. “Everyone at Marvel has been super supportive but at the end of the day, solo X-titles are a hard sell for retailers.”
— Sina Grace (@SinaGrace) December 20, 2017
Grace added he is excited about how he’s wrapping up the series. “The ending planned feels so good,” he promised. “I’ve known is since issue one.”
Drake was introduced more than 50 years ago in 1963’s The X-Men #1, but didn’t come out until 2015 after a time-traveling younger version of the character shared he was gay.
The book is one of several Marvel is ending in the next few months, most of which spotlight minority characters—like Luke Cage, Hawkeye, and Generation X, which included several LGBT members. Though its cancelation has not officially been announced, a new issue for America, featuring the adventures of queer Latina America Chavez, has not been solicited for March. The publisher has made a concerted effort to feature diverse characters in recent years, but the axed comics represent some of Marvel’s lowest-selling titles of the year.
Fans tweeted their support for Iceman and their dismay his solo adventures were coming to an end.
“Iceman is such an important book to so many people, myself included,” wrote one reader on Twitter. “Reading a comic with a gay lead is so rare, and you did Bobby justice. I sure am going to miss it, but also glad it happened.”
This is so sad. Iceman is such an important book to so many people, myself included. Reading a comic with a gay lead is so rare, and you did Bobby justice. I sure am going to miss it, but also glad it happened.
— Matt O'Neill (@Umbra0118) December 20, 2017
Sorry to hear this. I've waited for an Iceman solo since I was a kid. And your writing helped me come to terms with Bobby being out (as I originally saw it an unnecessary change) but I could tell how much it meant to so many. Thanks for giving Bobby a chance to shine on his own.
— Kyler Clodnogger (@KylerClodfelter) December 20, 2017
Some who were upset the character was revealed to be gay seemed to relish the comic’s cancelation.
Maybe you should have written an Iceman book instead of a gay fan fic
— Ricardo Saracino ☃️ (@ricardosaracino) December 20, 2017
Iceman will conclude in March with issue 11. An Iceman: Thawing Out trade paperback compiling the comic book’s first five issues is out January 8.
— Sina Grace (@SinaGrace) December 19, 2017