In just a few weeks, writer Sina Grace will thaw out Iceman for another volume of the fan-favorite mutant's solo series, and this time, Grace and artist Nathan Stockman are pitting Bobby Drake against one of his biggest threats ever - Mister Sinister.
Iceman returns thanks to collection sales in the book market accoding to Grace, and that the original series was just "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to his ideas for Bobby Drake.
With the Iceman limited series launching on September 12, and an impending showdown between Iceman and Mister Sinister in the cards, Newsarama caught up with Grace about how Bobby Drake has grown since his previous solo series, what's up with Sinister's interest in his life, and the surprising (but effective) pairings of mutants Grace has planned for the series.
Newsarama: Sina, Iceman is back in a new volume. How’d the opportunity to return to Bobby Drake come up?
Sina Grace: Blame capitalism! The original series kind of took off in the book market, and Marvel knew I was eager to continue working with the character. I feel like we’d only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of exploring Iceman’s powers, and I definitely had a few more yarns in me with regards to pushing his story. Also I built that entire answer around an iceberg pun. Ick.
Nrama: Now that the title is coming back, what’s Bobby Drake’s status quo?
Grace: Bobby is starting to pursue what he wants in this world. He’s still teaching at the Xavier Institute in Central Park. We’re finding him in a spot where he’s his own boss in a lot of ways, and he’s learning to find his superhero groove, so to speak. When he discovers a crisis in the catacombs with the Morlocks, it sets off the series of events for the arc in a really neat way.
Nrama: How has Bobby changed as a person since you’ve been writing him?
Grace: My way of writing him this time around is that Bobby Drake is still himself, but a little more confident. His dad jokes are now just coming from habit rather than a place of nervousness. I guess in the first series, his approach to any problem was “What’s the solution?” And now it’s, “I have the solution… what is it?” I’m so excited to show readers how he handles himself in conflicts of all kinds. Plus, on the personal front, we are gonna get to see him love and hate being single.
Nrama: We know you’re pitting Bobby against Mister Sinister in your opening arc. What drew you to this classic X-Villain?
Grace: He seemed like the right kind of weird. [Laughs]
I’ve always been drawn to Mister Sinister in terms of vibes and power level, but he didn’t really fit in the first series. I think now that I’ve established Bobby as more of his own person, it’s far easier to position bigger threats in his direction specifically, rather than a larger X-Threat. Sinister’s sights are set specifically on Iceman, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.
Nrama: Speaking of which, what’s Sinister’s scheme here? What’s on the line for Bobby?
Grace: How can I answer this without spoilers?! I’ll say this: Iceman is an omega-level mutant with a lot of skill sets that you can’t just pick off a DNA strain. Sinister needs Iceman’s physical body to break some of these codes. So, there’s some stuff on the line!
Nrama: We know Bobby’s younger self is getting swept up in Extermination. Is that going to touch your story at all?
Grace: There will be echoes of the events in Extermination happening towards the end of my Iceman series. That’s all I can say at present.
Nrama: In the previous volume of Iceman, Bobby took on more of a leadership role both with the original Champions and his own students. Are we going to see that evolution of Bobby as a leader continue in this new volume?
Grace: We’ll see Bobby take more command over his life, but not as a team leader. Instead of going with the flow, or following someone else’s lead, Iceman is in a no-nonsense state of mind. What’s awesome is that he’s not reckless, so his heroism isn’t all bluster and ego.
Nrama: You’re working with artist Nathan Stockman on this new volume of Iceman. What does he bring to the table?
Grace: Nathan Stockman is so rad. He can draw anything. His sense of humor really works with the series. The man is a great storyteller and always suggests things that make the action or the humor really click in a way I haven’t experienced before. He brings all the ingredients for a perfect fit.
Nrama: With Iceman’s return just around the corner, what can you tell us about the new volume that nobody knows yet?
Grace: Hmmm… Jubilee has a good joke in Iceman #1. Emma Frost shades Kitty Pryde pretty hard in issue two… Iceman and Bishop make a surprisingly good pair…