It has been some time since I last talked about All New X-Men and I decided to check in on the series with #40.
It is the beginning of a new storyline with all of the X-Men back on Earth after being in outer space for their crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy a few weeks ago. It is also the issue where it is revealed that Iceman is gay. This is something that was teased about and now its canon. There is no question that comic books need more diversity. One way to achieve that is to make changes to existing characters like this. I know there are some people out there who have a problem with this and think that new original characters should be made instead of altering existing ones. That debate continues on elsewhere. For now here lets just talk about how this piece of storytelling plays out on the page.
As I said the X-Men are on Earth and Magik shows up to bring them some burgers to welcome them back from outer space. Comments are made about Magik’s sexy outfit and hotness. One of them come from Iceman so Jean Grey asks to talk to him. Jean and Bobby go off and at first he is not sure what she wants and finally Jean just says “you’re gay.” My reaction: that was kind of a dick move on Jean Grey’s part. I get that she can read minds and thus is going on more than just suspicion but still calling Bobby out on his sexuality like that before he has had time to come to terms with it on his own seems like kind of dickish thing to do. At least she does it out of earshot of the others. Jean Grey may have started it awkwardly but she is trying to be a good friend and seeing his future self be by all appearances not gay has been messing with Bobby’s mind. By the end of the conversation young Iceman seems much more comfortable knowing he is not crazy and they return to the others. They don’t tell anyone else what they talked about. They are not going to say anything until Bobby is ready for everyone else to know.
In other events of this issue it turns out Angel is one of the people that got all cosmically powered while in outer space. Angel and X-23 are still together and working through their respective dysfunctions in their quest to have a stable relationship. Also X-23 has colored streaks in her hair now. Well lots of people go through a phase like that.
And then there is the bit that will become the main story of this arc. Remember when the mutants got together and made an island called Utopia where they could be safe and live in peace. And then it was destroyed and lots of mutants died. Well it turns out that some mutants have been surviving in the ruins undetected. They want to be left alone so when some looters show up they blast them. But then a transport full of SHIELD agents shows up to investigate and they blow that up too. I don’t think murdering a bunch of SHIELD agents is the best way to go when you want to be left alone but we don’t have the whole picture yet of what these survivors have been through. Among then is Elixir, the gold skinned mutant with healing powers. I remember back when Elixir was introduced in the New X-Men series with a bunch of other young mutants. That was a great series, now all the characters from it seem to be dead or in continuity limbo, sigh. The Utopia survivors seem to be led by Tabitha Smith AKA Boom Boom. And Random is there, remember Random, from the 90’s. I don’t recognize the others.