Iceman #3 by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti and Rachelle Rosenberg is really the cornerstone issue for the series thus far.
This issue follows the night that Bobby Drake goes home to visit the parents, ostensibly to come out to them as a newly minted gay man, Instead, Bobby finds himself facing the same kind of old-fashioned thinking that led to his years-long struggle with his other minority status: mutant.
Much like the "Have you tried not being a mutant?" scene from X2, this issue expertly highlights the issues that many in the queer community can face from parents and family and friends who have had decades of set in ideas and notions about life that can cause struggle and worse when suddenly the new comes into their world.
In fact, altogether, the creative team have crafted an issue here which would have worked perfectly well as the very first issue in the series, and it works really well that way. It feels like a real statement of intent for the Iceman series, highlighting the characters new life, and new struggles, but also on his power and sheer awesomeness as a hero.
The initial two issues were equally great issues and fun reads, but this issue feels the strongest yet as the statement of intent of the series.
The awkward dinner scene in particular is a highlight. Grace crafts a scene that both highlights the struggle faced by a queer individual with set-in-their-ways family, while also not demonizing the family. Yes, they use some poor language without thinking, but there is no hate here — it's fear.
It was a scene that felt immediately relatable to any reader, whether or not they are also part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Then we get to the fight scenes.
Vitti's art really shines in this issue, nowhere more so than in the powered-up Iceman. His Iceman looks powerful, and awesome, and my favourite style of drawing Iceman, malleable. I like when Iceman plays with his form with his powers, bulking up, adding spikes, and more. It looks cool, creative and instantly reads the incredible extent capable for Bobby Drake.
All in all, Iceman #3 may simply be hands down the best issue of the series to date, and gives the most succinct and complete idea of the creative teams goals. It leaves me excited to see just where they go next.