SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "All-New X-Men" #17, which is on sale now.
The war between the X-Men and Inhumans as depicted in "IvX" has only increased in intensity over the past few months. When last we left the battle in "IvX" #2, the X-Men had stormed New Attilan and detained many of the more powerful Inhumans (and some of the Inhuman citizens) in the hellish dimension known as Limbo.
In addition to the main event series, the battle has spilled out into several other series in the form of tie-ins. This week's "IvX" tie-in, "All-New X-Men" #17 by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley, shows just how personal this war has become for one young X-Man in particular.
Months ago in "All-New X-Men" #13, Iceman finally found himself a guy to date. After being dragged to a club by his teammates Idie and Evan, Bobby struck up a conversation with Romeo -- an Inhuman. While subsequent issues shifted focus as Madelyne Pryor unleashed her demon hordes on Earth, we learn in this month's issue #17 that Bobby and Romeo have already been on quite a few dates.
Date #1 involved running -- except not the kind of running that Bobby was used to. You know, the kind of running that doesn't involve hills and the outdoors.
Bobby chose the second date, a one-on-one showdown in a laser tag arena.
Romeo was a bit surprised that laser tag was even still a thing, and also surprised that Bobby -- who's just a little younger than him -- even knew what it was. Of course Bobby's a time-displaced teen, plucked from the past just a few weeks after he joined the X-Men. And while that means this Bobby comes from the early 60s in publication history, Marvel's sliding timescale -- and teen Bobby's affinity for Run-D.M.C. and laser tag -- probably means he really comes from the '80s or early '90s.
Bobby and Romeo's third date was a group outing to a water park, with fellow X-Men Idie and Evan and an Inhuman named Sasha. That's where Bobby realized that Romeo was similarly head over heels for him.
"All-New X-Men" #17 opens up with the conclusion of Date #4, which concluded with a ride on Bobby's ice slide. The two said their goodbyes upon reaching Bobby's motel room (where the X-Men are hanging out after the destruction of their mobile home). Iceman promises to call Romeo, but he soon kicks himself for not seizing the opportunity right then to kiss him.
Unfortunately for Bobby, that fourth date leads right up to the start of "IvX," as the teenage Beast had just returned from the mutant summit seen in "IvX" #1. It was decided there that the X-Men would have to attack New Attilan and get the Inhumans off the table for a bit. Since Romeo lives on New Attilan, Bobby didn't take that news too well.
A short time later when the X-Men launched their attack, though, Bobby was surprisingly right up front leading the charge.
As the rest of the X-Men attacked the Inhumans, teleporting them to Limbo (as seen in "IvX" #2), Bobby slipped away in the melee to pursue his own agenda: find Romeo. After getting a tip from Sasha, Bobby found Romeo and, amidst the chaos, made the move he wanted to make a few nights earlier.
It turns out Bobby had no intention of fighting the Inhumans along with the X-Men, because that would mean fighting his first ever boyfriend (remember, Iceman just came out not too long ago!) and losing that relationship. With tears in his eyes, Bobby tells Romeo that he will "switch sides" if he has to, anything to keep Romeo safe and by his side. Romeo, in return, asks, "Can we just...go?"
The issue concludes with Iceman (and Romeo) tapping out of "IvX." For the time being, these two are content to let the adults fight while they hold on to their relationship. We know that Bobby's X-sabbatical won't last too long, though; he's going to be a cast member in Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina's "X-Men Blue," which drops in April. But for the time being, the teen Iceman's done with "IvX" -- and he's got his boyfriend by his side.
"All-New X-Men" #18 arrives in stores on February 1.