So far, the 2017 ICEMAN series has strayed from focusing on villains and action. It has not established an overlying story arc either. Instead, writer Sina Grace opts for more character-centric stories to better develop an evolving Bobby Drake. Though the series thus far has not been the most engaging, there have been some memorable moments. Most notably, the dynamic between Bobby and Kitty Pryde may be the series’ highlight. That is, up until this issue. Unlike the previous two issues, ICEMAN #3 makes an impact. It is an independent story that succeeds in depicting the intensity and conflict of the beloved X-Man.

iceman #3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

A Family Affair

The narrative of ICEMAN #3 is quite simple. It begins with an awkward family dinner at the Drake household. Bobby’s parents are clearly uncomfortable when he discusses his heroic endeavors. Because of this, he feels less confident in his decision to come out to his parents. He fears that their disdain towards his mutant status will translate into a rejection of his sexuality. Despite his dejection, Bobby continues to attempt conversation with his parents. However, it is not long before a group of mutant-haters interrupts the dinner with the intent of killing Iceman. As a result, a tense face-off ensues between Bobby, who is striving to protect his parents, and numerous hateful enemies.

READ: Missed the last issue? Check out the official ComicsVerse review for ICEMAN #2!

Though the plot is straightforward, Iceman is given an opportunity to shine in this issue. He is a character who has faced prejudice and violent opposition. Despite this, he continues to have a positive outlook on humanity. Iceman maintains the capacity, and arguably the desire, to kill, but he refuses to. Even though Iceman expresses the will to kill the head of the anti-mutant gang, Iceman believes his life should be preserved so that he may witness the failure of his own prejudice.

iceman #3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Of course, it is not surprising that Iceman exhibits staunch self-control. However, it is intriguing to see his character embody so much rage. The current X-MEN BLUE series shows a younger, wide-eyed Iceman that has yet to display any of the complexities shown in ICEMAN #3. Because of this, Sina Grace’s characterization of Bobby Drake is perhaps the main success of this series so far. He gives audiences a well-rounded background to the beloved character that is missing in many adaptations.

A Badge of Courage

In parallel with Iceman’s characterization, the artwork led by Alessandro Vitti and Rachelle Rosenberg portrays the vastness of Iceman’s abilities. One sequence in particular showcases his ability to completely engulf his environment, therefore entrapping his enemies. Vitti’s illustrations successfully depict Iceman’s intimidating frame while Rosenberg’s coloring subtly shows how he encompasses his surroundings under his powers. The artwork ultimately exemplifies how commanding of a force Iceman can be.

READ: Want more Iceman? Check out what X-MEN BLUE is all about!

At times though, the artwork exhibits too much detail in its lines, creating distracting facial features. This combined with Joe Sabino’s mostly well-balanced lettering comes across as a tad clunky during the fight sequences. Overall though, the art of ICEMAN #3 is vibrant and engaging, emphasizing the vastness of Iceman’s formidable abilities.

iceman #3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Beyond ICEMAN #3

Though the ICEMAN series got off to a slow start, the third entry has certainly raised the stakes. The character-centric narrative is compelling, and, at times, inspiring. The artwork, particularly the coloring, is engaging and emphasizes Iceman’s magnitude. Going forward, I hope future issues do not fall flat. Bobby Drake maintains vast potential, which we now know of thanks to this issue. So, I look forward to getting better acquainted with Iceman, and I fervently hope he attains the closure he so desperately wants with his family.

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ICEMAN #3 by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
ICEMAN #3 brings engaging originality to a familiar X-Men character.
83 %
A personal and promising work

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