Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and nineteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Just like the last few months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Marvel’s marketing department allowed Scott Lobdell to do some interesting developments with Iceman’s look.
A few weeks back, I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed about whether Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira really created two new characters in “Uncanny X-Men” specifically to see if they could come up with characters who Marvel couldn’t turn into action figures (and, of course, hilariously enough, the characters WERE then turned into action figures).
Scott Lobdell was not only kind enough to answer THAT legend, but he then supplied his OWN X-Men toy-related legend! Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!
This was the early-to-mid-1990s, when Marvel’s marketing department (especially when it came to toys) had a rather major say in how the comic books were being written. Lobdell, though, was thinking of doing something new with Iceman. He recalled, “Someone had pointed out to me that flat-white-characters never seem to pop off the page… like White Tiger, Iceman and, to a certain extent, Silver Surfer. I thought ‘Hmmm. Maybe I can figure out a way to make Iceman more interesting.'”
So Lobdell then asked “Uncanny X-Men” editor Bob Harras if he could mess around with Iceman’s look. Basically, he wanted to know if he “could have Bobby be more fluid in his appearance. He could create ice anything, after all, why wouldn’t he change the appearance of his ice body if he wanted to?”
Harras tells him no and the reason is that Marvel had licensed their characters out for toys and Iceman had JUST had a toy released in 1993 and the licensor would be pissed off if the comic book character suddenly didn’t look like the toy that they were selling…
Lobdell conceded the point, but then did a story where Emma Frost, who had been in a coma for a couple of years, suddenly sent her mind into Iceman’s body and she caused his body to be all contorted and weird in “Uncanny X-Men” #314 (by Lobdell, Lee Weeks and Bill Sienkiewicz)…
This way Lobdell still got to do his idea, but as a temporary thing.
Well, sure enough, guess what happened?
Almost like clockwork, marketing came up and asked if we couldn’t use “that version of Iceman because we could use it to sell even more toys!”
So I got what I wanted (a newer, cooler Iceman) and the toy people got what they wanted.
Here was the new comic book Iceman…
And here was the new toy Iceman…
Thanks for the cool story, Scott!
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!