Iceman #8 from Marvel Comics by Sina Grace, Robert Gill, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino continues the look at the adult Iceman's exploration of his new world as an out and proud gay man with a look at something every gay man (and in honesty, everyone) has had: an awkward family dinner.
Of course, this is comics, and these are the X-Men, so this is one with a twist: this dinner involves Bobby Drake, his parents, and… his time-displaced younger self, who technically came out first.
It's a fun setup, and a big part of the pleasure of it comes from something I mentioned already. As I say, those awkward dinners are something all of us can relate to, whether LGBTQ+ or not, and again, this is where the book excels: it presents something that the LGBTQ+ audience has been lacking in terms of representation in Marvel comics, but in such a way that it is accessible to absolutely anyone.
It's also fun to see the banter between the older and younger Icemen, like an internal monologue laid out in the open. But we also see how the older and younger versions are different. The elder is more used to dealing with his parents and their pretty poor attempts at understanding their son, and the younger is more honest and forthright than the elder is used to.
Meanwhile, we get the continued hint that bisexual bad boy Daken is up to something that will inevitable come back to bite Bobby, and there's superhero intrigue yet to come.
Oh, and not to forget, the issue features one of the cutest 'text message' moments towards the end.
Gill and Rosenberg's art is wonderful here, as they have developed a strong feel for representing the emotion of a scene in a down to earth and detailed manner. That is lovely to see. And when things get superheroic, Gill's linework is so frenetic and energetic while being clear and clean; it makes for an easy to follow comic that is a joy to look at.
Iceman #8 continues to be one of the X-Men books with the most heart and a strong understanding of emotional stakes, bringing them into the realm of the superhero.