Confirming a long-held fan theory, pages from "All-New X-Men" #40 have leaked online ahead of Wednesday's release that reveal Iceman is gay.
Debuting in 2012, the series centers on the five original X-Men - Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Jean Grey - who are brought from the past to the present to confront their counterparts.
In the latest issue, written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled by Mahmud Asrar, Bobby Drake comments on the "hotness" of Magik, leading telepathic teammate Jean Grey to pull him aside and point that he's gay and appears to be overcompensating. After an initial denial and a suggestion that he might be bisexual, Iceman finally agrees with Jean that he's "full gay."
Although Iceman has had romantic relationships with numerous female characters, from Opal Tanaka and Polaris to Mystique and Kitty Pryde, few have lasted long (seemingly fueling persistent speculation about the X-Man's sexuality).
An exchange in Wednesday's issue addresses both canon and potential objections from some readers, with young Bobby asking, "How can my older self not be [gay] but I am?" before continuing, "Because maybe he couldn't handle being a mutant and gay in a society that has issues with both? And one is easier to 'put away' than the other?"
"There are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality," "All-New X-Men" writer Brian Michael Bendis said to CBR. "The X-Men, with the conceit of time travel, give us a fascinating platform in which to examine such personal journeys. This is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told."