From Wikipedia:

In All-New X-Men #40, the time-displaced Iceman is revealed to be gay, which eventually forces the youth to confront the adult version of himself about the matter. As both speak, the adult Iceman confirms the fact and that he had put all his energy into just being an X-Man as he couldn't cope with being a mutant and gay simultaneously. With the help of his younger self and Jean Grey, however, he finally comes to terms with his own sexuality,[94] and comes out to fellow gay X-Man Anole in Extraordinary X-Men #6.

Iceman is often quoted as an example how the comics world changed alongside social mores. While a gay comic character would have never been viable in earlier times, society has changed to a point where it became acceptable.

That being said, is there any pre-2015 evidence that implies that Iceman is gay?

  • 2
    Nope. He had a bunch of hetero relationships then a gay version of himself turned up
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 22:14
  • 1
    @Valorum a hetero relationship doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't gay the whole time. Perhaps he was in it bec he was afraid to come out. But there's no question that he wasn't conceived as gay. Any retconnable evidence (say a too long bro-hug?)
    – TheAsh
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 22:17
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    Not as far as I'm aware. From what I can tell it's girls all the way, right up to the point that his earlier self turned the closet key
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 22:19
  • 4
    @Valorum - What's sad is that they missed a perfectly good opportunity to have a bisexual character (one who wasn't hypersexual, no less), which would have seemed more plausible in context. Not so surprising...we see the same thing a lot, with Willow on Buffy for example. Apparently a gay character who's had many apparently fulfilling relationships with the opposite sex is more plausible to writers than a bisexual character.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 23:48
  • 2
    They specifically had telepaths insisting he was heterosexual, and Northstar's gaydar picking him up as straight. I still think young Jean Grey flipped his switch.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


In a word, no. The reason Bobby/Iceman was able to be pitched as a gay character (aside from the fact that it generates controversy and hence was supposed to sell more comics, obviously) was the fact that his romantic history is chequered and strewn with failed relationships.

"It was our subsequent conversations about what the next story would be that really sold me," Alonso continued. "This is a character with decades of history, and one who we've seen falter on the romantic stage -- more than once. So the seeds were always there."


As to how it came about, Brian Bendis initially mooted the idea of a gay time-traveling young Iceman in a failed X-Men movie script. He then pitched the same idea multiple years later as a comic book story. The powers-that-be, as part of a (failed) long-term plan to sell more comics promote diversity, evidently liked the idea and were willing to give it a go.

In the issue, the characters even wonder why, if Iceman is gay, that his older self is not. Or is he? And how did this story even come about in the first place?

"Well, Brian wrote it into a script," Axel Alonso, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics told MTV News over the phone. "He's been teasing at it for a while, he sent it on in to his editor, who in turn sent it to me, and we started a discussion."

After Bendis was "honestly persuasive" on the issue, Alonso took a look at the history of the snow-powered X-Man, passed it up the chain and the decision was made. "That's the whole boring process. He had a good story to tell, and we think it's worth telling," Alonso added.


This certainly fails to take into account the multiple times that Bobby has been explicitly stated to be heterosexual or has shied away from homosexual characters, but as with all story arcs involving a character who suddenly and unexpectedly admitting to themselves that they're gay, you can simply hand-wave away any fan by saying that he was in denial the whole time.

SG: Twitter, lovely creature that it is, has exposed me to some of the negative feelings about what happened in Bendis’ run. That weighs on me, but I’m leaning into it. I’ve dated a few guys who didn’t come out until their late 20s and early 30s, and I completely understand the psychology behind the decisions they made. Rather than resist or try to massage the events of UXM 600, I’m looking at it as: everyone in that room — time-displaced Bobby, Jean, Bobby — made decisions… why. We’ll find out this Spring if fans vibe with my approach, but it’s felt organic and true to everything I’ve known about Bobby Drake.

Interview with ICEMAN Writer Sina Grace

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