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There has been a persistent rumor over the past few years that Marvel Comics is going to phase out the X-Men. I have discussed why I don’t see that happening. Now Marvel has announced a new solo series that puts a damper on the “no more mutants” speculation. In 2017, Marvel will release Iceman #1, the first issue in a new solo Iceman series. It will also be a part of the “ResurrXion” branding. This is not the first time that Iceman starred in his own series, but his previous ones have been limited. With Iceman in an ongoing for the first time, we will see how large of a fan-base he has.
At this point, there are two versions of Iceman in the Marvel Universe: The original Bobby Drake who debuted in Uncanny X-Men #1 back in 1963; and, additionally, a younger version of Iceman who time-traveled to the present Marvel in Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men. Marvel has not revealed which version will appear in the solo Iceman series, or if both will. There are a number of Marvel events still happening before the Iceman series arrives. Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire are currently writing Death of X with art from Aaron Kuder. Following this series, Marvel will publish Inhumans vs. X-Men. So it’s possible that one of the Icemen might not be around when the solo series starts.
Of course, the biggest Iceman news from recent years is that he came out as gay in 2015. Marvel does not have a current series headlined by a LGBT character. Angela, Queen of Hel was recently canceled. Next year, Marvel will also be releasing an America Chavez solo series, which also stars a LGBT character. Still, it will be a big deal for a series to have a gay male lead, especially if the creators of the series allow that to be an essential – though not limiting – aspect of Bobby’s character.
Marvel did not include names of the creative team in the announcement. Their reveal featured images of Iceman from past comics, so there are no hints on artist or writer. Similarly, Marvel has not offered a released date of Iceman #1, other than Spring 2017. It does look, though, like at least some mutants will be around in Marvel’s future.