Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Days of X-Mas: Iceman (1984)

J.M. DeMatteis picks up Iceman during his time as a Defender. Oddly enough, this series seems to take indecisiveness as Bobby Drake’s main characteristic. He’s not sure what he wants to do with his career, what he thinks of his parents, or really, anything. The only times he seems to be more confident is during his fights.
It’s interesting that this is another one of those 80’s limited series where the X-protagonist faces off against weird fantasy or sci-fi villains. Longshot, Nightcrawler, and this mini all have that odd thing in common. Was that by some weird editorial fiat or something?

I mean, when I think of an Iceman story, it is hard to imagine the right foe is Oblivion, the personification of the concept in the Marvel U. In the big confrontation at the conclusion of the mini, Oblivion just drops Iceman down his shirt, and Iceman sort of spins around and convinces Oblivion to let him live. Wait, what?

Seriously, this is just crazy! DeMatteis has a history of  externalizing internal concepts, and I think that works sometimes. Not so much here. Even the comparison between Bobby Drake and Oblivion's daughter doesn't really hold up, even if they do go through some of the same emotions.

Alan Kupperberg’s art is clean and clear. I like his take on Iceman; it’s a very boxy design, with the slabs of smooth ice looking particularly neat in comparison to modern Iceman. Kupperberg draws some weird, weird stuff here, but I'm certain it was in the script. Oblivion's realm isn't exactly Hell, but it sure isn't Heaven.

All in all, this is actually kind of hard to grade. It's such a weird book!


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