Bobby Drake, a founding member of the superhero team, will be outed as gay in an issue released this week

Bobby Drake, a.k.a. Iceman, was a founding member of the X-Men back when the Marvel Comics title debuted in 1963, making him one of the franchise’s oldest characters.

But in an issue that comes out this week, fans learn something new about him: He’s gay.

Iceman comes out when confronted by his psychic teammate, Jean Grey, who asks him why he makes lewd comments about their female associates. When Iceman defers, Grey says she knows he’s overcompensating for being gay – something she picked up on because she can, you know, read minds.

All-New X-Men No. 40 hit newsstands Wednesday, but the panels detailing Iceman’s revelations were leaked on the site 4chan and then went viral on Tuesday. The issue’s writer, Brian Michael Bendis, took to Twitter to say he wanted the issue to just “come out and just be. no press. no sensational headlines.”


Speaking to MTV, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said the seeds for this development had been sown throughout the history of the character.

“We look at this as being one shading of who he is. I think, personally that it is going to deepen the character, and humanize him even further, and make for fascinating stories,” Alonso said. “If you were a fan of Bobby Drake before, if you cared about him, I think this will draw you closer to the character, not push you away from him.”

Hints about Iceman’s sexuality have been dropped throughout the course of the comics. In the X-Men movies, Iceman is played by Shawn Ashmore and is a love interest for Rogue (Anna Paquin). In the comics, Bobby’s longtime love interest was Kitty Pryde, a character played in the movies by Ellen Page, who came out as gay last year.

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