Iceman (3rd series) #11

Issue Date: 
May 2018
Story Title: 

Sina Grace (writer), Robert Gill & Sina Grace, (artists), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Kevin Wada (cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Darren Shan (consulting editor), Chris Robinson (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Iceman is on a date with Rictor, but is pre-occupied, daydreaming about leading an X-Men team and about being with Judah Miller. Rictor is unimpressed and realizes that neither he nor Iceman want to be on this date. Iceman gets a call from his mother, asking him to come by the house. Iceman asks Rictor to join him, and he does, and he discovers that their neighbor's house is glowing with energy. Iceman and Rictor go to investigate, to find some strange mutant activity in the house, the walls of which are lined with clippings about the X-Men. They soon find Iceman's parents’ neighbor, Mr Poklemba, a middle-aged man, who is having trouble dealing with his mutant power. He lashes out at Bobby and Rictor, and causes the floor to open up on them, with Rictor plummeting to the basement, where he finds himself fighting strange creatures made of earth. Iceman follows Mr Polkemba into his room, while the house starts to come apart thanks to the energy Mr Polkemba is releasing. Mr Polkemba is worried about being locked up, and as the house continues to break apart, Bobby freezes the whole house, and assures Mr Polkemba that he won't be locked up. Rictor is saved from the rock creatures when Polkemba's powers calm down. Later, Bobby is back at the Xavier School and phones his dad to let him know that Mr Polkemba is being talked to. William asks Bobby to come by and visit them, but as he ice-slides out over the city, Bobby tells him that right now he needs to be alone and think.

Full Summary: 

'Nailed it!' Iceman exclaims as he bursts through a Sentinel's head on his ice-slide, resulting in the Sentinel exploding. Iceman slides towards the ground, where he is joined by his teammates, Cannonball, Beast, Chamber, Dust, Oya and Michaela Ladak. He grins: 'Civilian casualties? Zero. Property damage? Wicked minimal. Boyfriend kissage? Imminent' as he removes his jacket and takes his boyfriend, Judah Miller, in his arms.

'Hey, Judah' Iceman smiles. 'Bobby, your cunning and selflessness are such turn-ons... and who knew you were the greatest leader of all the X-Men ever?' Judah asks. He tells Bobby that he loves him, and that applying the “Dri” model to teamwork helps to keep each member accountable for their actions.

'Bobby? Hello? You were the one asking me about running a team, Bobby' Julio Esteban Richter a.k.a. Rictor states as he waves across the table they are sitting at. 'Huh? Yes, here. Hello. Teamwork' Bobby Drake replies, before asking if he should lead an X-team or not. They are sitting opposite each other in a restaurant called Pho Gettaboutit, in Midtown. 'Can I state the obvious?' Rictor asks. 'Neither of us want to be here, Rictor?' Bobby replies. 'That much was clear when you asked me out for lunch, not dinner. Plus, I have a real name' Rictor mutters. Bobby apologizes to Julio on all accounts, adding that he thought dating a fellow queer X-Man would be a better fit, but they have both spent the better part of pho talking about their exes. 'I guess we're trying to ignore the fact that we can't get what we want' Bobby supposes. Rictor admits that he isn't being much fun, either – as Shatterstar is the only person he has got eyes on, whether he likes it or not. He adds that the quiet, stoic type is what he needs, as Bobby's nervous banter gets exhausting.

Bobby's phone begins to ring, and he tells Rictor to hang on, as it's a true end to their date – 'It's my mommy' he jokes. 'Hey, Mom, is it important?' Bobby greets his mother, Madeline Drake, who is nervously looking out the window of her home, and tells Bobby that he needs to come out to the house.

Bobby hangs up and Rictor asks him if everything is all right. 'Sort of. How do you feel about Long Island? This will be fun, swear' Bobby grins.

'This will be fun, I swear!' a very young Bobby Drake grins to a classmate. 'Hurry, he's coming! That snow is probably slush at this point!' Bobby's classmate exclaims as he opens the classroom door as their teacher walks towards the classroom. Bobby holds a snowball in his hands and tells the other boy not to worry, as for some reason his hands stay cold for a really long time.

The boys hide in a closet in the classroom, as the teacher enters the room. 'Finally... weekend here I come!' he declares, while the boys laugh – and suddenly hear their teacher shout 'AUUUUGH!' before the teacher opens the closet door and drags them both out, 'Which one of you boys came up with the snow-in-the-boots prank? Pneumonia isn't funny!' the teacher exclaims, his boots sopping wet. 'It was all Bobby, Mr Winklestein!' the other boy tattles. 'What? You told me to do it!' Bobby retorts, while their teacher holds them by their ears. The other boy points his finger at Bobby and tells the teacher that he forced him to guard so he could brag to everyone. 'I swear to God, Mr Winklestein! He's trying to be the class clown!' the other boy remarks, while Bobby realizes that his parents are going to kill him.

Bobby and Rictor stand on the front lawn of the Drake house in Long Island. Bobby's parents Madeline and William are with them, as they look across the road, where a house is glowing with pink energy. William remarks that Mr Poklemba has always been a little strange, that he keeps to himself for the most part and is probably retired. He adds that he saw Poklemba rambling to himself at an Home Owners Association meeting, and Madeline declares that he was worried about mutants – it was the only thing he would talk about. 'Those are powers flying out of his house, right? We heard noises and now that' Madeline asks.

Bobby tells Rictor to come with him, as they will go neutralize this geezer and get him to Kitty. Madeline grabs Bobby's hand and tells him that Mr Poklemba may be peculiar, but asks Bobby to be kind to him. She adds that she feels awful, wondering if he keeps to himself because he doesn't want the neighbors finding out, and that he is always alone, she thinks he's probably scared. 'This is a first' Madeline adds. Bobby smiles at his mother and assures her they will be “downy gentle”.

Across the road, Bobby and Rictor stand on the front porch. 'Hey!' Bobby exclaims as Rictor uses his vibration powers to knock the front door down. 'We knocked...' Rictor remarks. They steps inside and examine the house, which is in a dire state – rubbish and filth everywhere. 'This week on “Hoarders”...' Bobby mutters.

'Bobby, look out!' Rictor exclaims as some pink lights move towards them. 'As if, fireball' Bobby replies as he freezes the lights with ice. 'What the hell!' Rictor shouts, ducking as more lights burst out of the wall next to him. Rictor readies another vibration and asks Bobby what he thinks – telekinesis, or perhaps he is projecting all of this. Bobby finds a picture on the wall, 'Rictor, look at this... did he... draw all these?' Bobby wonders, looking at the picture.

'It's just a drawing! It's no big deal!' William Drake shouts as Madeline holds up a drawing of the Drake family – William, Madeline, Bobby... and a snowman. “Not a big deal?” Madeline quotes, asking William how long they can keep pretending there is not a problem here. She tells her husband to put it all together – that it is the same thing every time – snow pranks in July, these weird drawings, puddles all around the house that don't smell like pee. 'You want me to be the one to say it?' William asks. 'You think we're raising a little mutie?' he exclaims, gritting his teeth angrily. Madeline declares that she does, and that if it is true, they have to do something now before it becomes a problem. They are unaware Bobby is standing outside the room listening to them – until there is a bump and a crash, and Madeline goes into the corridor, where she finds a vase has fallen from a table in the corridor. Madeline doesn't see Bobby sitting around the corner and tells William that the wind knocked over the vase his sister gave them. 'I'll clean it up in a minute – where was I?' she remarks, while Bobby thinks to himself that it isn't true – he isn't a mutant. 'Please God, don't make me a mutant. I won't be a mutant. I'm not crazy. I'm not a mutant'.

Rictor looks at the various pictures taped the walls and tells Bobby that his mom's neighbor seems a little loony. 'I don't think that's PC. He'll need a little extra TLC, that's all' Bobby replies, adding that from what he can tell, Mr Poklemba's powers seem to affect things on an elemental level. Rictor asks Bobby if he thinks he can stabilize this guy, to which Bobby replies 'Like my mom said, he's scared. We'll walk him through the birds and the bees of mutantdom'. Bobby looks at Rictor and points out that they can't stress Mr Poklemba out any further, and that mutants are triggering to him, so they have to be careful about their approach – when suddenly, a middle aged man in a dressing gown lumbers towards them, scissors in one hand, clippings in another, he asks them what they are doing in his house. Bobby begins to introduce himself as the son of Mr and Mrs Drake, but Mr Poklemba releases more of the pink energy towards Bobby, who switches to his ice-form and blocks the blasts with an ice-shield. 'I was warned about you mutants! I'm not like you!' Poklemba shouts, angrily.

'You hear that, Ric? Not a mutant' Bobby remarks, as suddenly, the floor beneath them gives way as Poklemba's powers dart about the floor, and Rictor falls into a large open hole, while Bobby maintains himself on an ice-slide. He calls out to Ric, who screams, before landing on the basement floor. Bobby asks Ric if he is all right down there, and reports that Poklemba locked himself in his room. 'I'm fine... for now' Ric calls back.

Looking around the basement he sees more pictures, and more sparks of energy dart about. Ric instructs Bobby to calm Poklemba down, as he is only getting more agitated and losing control. Bobby replies that he will come get Ric, then they can take Poklemba together, but Rictor assures Bobby that his seismic powers have got him safe, so the quicker Bobby takes him out, the quicker this all goes away. 'I trust you!' Rictor adds as he uses his powers to knock back some debris which is suddenly flung towards him.

'Charles may trust you, Magneto... but I never will' Cyclops remarks as he looks out a window in the X-Mansion. 'Seriously pensive, Slim' Bobby calls out as he slides towards Scott, and asks him if they can chat for a second. 'Of course' Scott tells his longtime teammate. Bobby switches from his ice-form to his blue and white costume, and prefaces by saying that this may be a topic for Storm, but that she is always necking with Forge in the rain – even indoors. Bobby then explains to Scott that he feels different after the fight on Asteroid M – like he is more powerful, like he can have a big role in the X-Men. He switches back to his ice-form and leaps back onto an ice-slide, as Wolverine strides into the corridor and declares that the Cajun Rat ain't treating Rogue right, and that he is hanging with Jubilation and being a bad influence.

'Logan!' Scott exclaims, before asking Iceman if they can talk later, as Wolverine is angry. 'Way to prioritize me over someone you seemingly loathe, Cyke' Bobby thinks to himself, before frowning and looking sad as he replies 'Yeah... sure. My stuff can wait'.

Bobby knocks on the door to Poklemba's room and wonders if he should show him the beauty of their powers, but decides that is too cheesy. 'Time's running out, Iceman!' Rictor calls out from down in the hole. 'This is madness!' Rictor exclaims as he releases more power, he warns Bobby that if he can't get Poklemba to calm down, then this house is kaput. 'At the rate he's going, he's gonna destroy the entire foundation of the house with us in it!' Rictor exclaims. 'That would be bad for the neighborhood property value' Bobby remarks, to which Ric tells him that nervous banter does not save lives. 'Seriously, Bobby. Handle it!' Rictor shouts, annoyed as he casts forth more energy against the debris blasting towards him.

Bobby looks at the walls and wonders if there is anything he can do with the apocalyptic drawings and news clippings about X-Men. He is already feeling the implicated weight of talking one guy down from the ledge in light of his abilities to run a team. 'Also, wow – did we really get all this bad press?' Bobby wonders, looking at the articles taped to the walls.

'Iceman...!' Rictor shouts as large rock creatures rise up from the floor, materializing from Poklemba's power. 'Okay, fine! I'm on it!' Bobby calls back as he creates some ice-armor around his body, and an ice-sword. 'The visions keep coming, the slip-ups happen. I know God is listening!' Poklemba shouts from within his room – which is also a mess. Energy darts about the room as he declares that he prays and prays for these problems to go away. 'I won't be like you people. I WON'T BE LOCKED UP!' he shouts.

Bobby reverts to his human form and decides that a different approach is needed. He then opens the door to Poklemba's room and enters, telling the older man that if it feels like he is losing his mind, he is not. 'GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!' Poklemba shouts, angrily. He jumps onto his bed, and holds a baseball bat as he turns to Bobby. Energy rushes through the room, as the floor begins to rise and the walls begin to collapse in. Bobby greets Mr Poklemba and introduces himself as William and Madeline Drake's son. He asks Poklemba to put that thing down, so they can have a talk about kids and prayer. Bobby adds that he has no beef with a good pray, but promises Mr Poklemba that it won't fix everything.

'Your parents say you've been praying, Bobby' a priest remarks, looking at some papers as he sits behind a desk in a stark office, telling the young boy sitting before him that his outbusts are occurring with more frequency. The young Bobby looks back at Pastor Block and assures him that he has tried everything – read the pamphlets he gave him, to which Pastor Block tells Bobby that his parents don't think he is trying hard enough. 'We can't be the only ones praying for you' he remarks, before asking Bobby if he has seen the news, about how mutants are treated – the disgusting ones forced to live in the sewers. 'Yes, but my friend Chris says -' Bobby begins, to which Pastor Block holds up a paper called “God's Order” and tells Bobby that propaganda always sounds interesting – that is how they convince the young and naive. He hands the papers to Bobby and tells him that he got these last week, and that the text may help guide him when he is weak. 'Is that why it feels good when my powers – outbursts – happen?' Bobby enquires. 'That's the definition of temptation, Bobby' the priest explains. Bobby tells him that he will try harder, and that he doesn't feel like a mutant. 'Attaboy' Pastor Block remarks, before asking Bobby if there is anything else he needs to discuss while he has his time. Bobby hangs his head and pauses, before responding 'No, Sir'.

Bobby edges closer to Poklemba, 'Lemme guess how it feels inside your head – like a lot of hands. Big hands, little hands, all trying to grab your insides?' Bobby asks, adding that somewhere in the chaos is safety, but that he is too lost to pick the right hand. Poklemba continues to hold the bat up and explains that it is like noises, and he can't figure out which one to listen to. Bobby asks Poklemba to lower his body temperature to settle his nerves, then he can take him to get help. Bobby assures Poklemba that he will only do that when he is ready. 'You're in control here, buddy' Bobby adds.

Back in the basement, Rictor is trying to hold off the rock creatures that rise from the ground. 'Iceman! Hurry up and put him down already!' Ric calls out.

'Liar' Mr Poklemba snarls. 'LIAR!' he shouts as he releases more energy into the room, which rocks about, and energy spirits move towards Bobby – who suddenly flash-freezes the entire room. 'Okay, needed to ease the tension. But see – you remain unfrozen. I'm on your side. We're going to walk out of this house together' Bobby tells Mr Poklemba, who looks around, confused.

Bobby holds up one of the articles from the wall and tells Poklemba that they can do something, help him control his powers. 'You're terrorists' Poklemba declares. 'Some of us are, but the X-Men aren't' Bobby responds. Poklemba appears calmer, and asks Bobby how he knows they won't lock him up and kill him – call him a weapon and destroy him. Bobby asks who “they” are, and asks whether reality can be worse than what he is putting himself through now. Back in the basement, Rictor is overwhelmed by the creatures, who are starting to smother him. 'If Frosty can't finish this, I gotta take care of it -' Ric utters, when suddenly, the lights and the creatures vanish. 'Or not. I can't believe he actually did it!' Rictor exclaims.

'... and I don't have to be a super hero. Or hurt anyone?' Poklemba asks as he sits on the edge of his bed. Bobby sits next to him and replies 'Only if you want to on the first part, only if you have to on the second'. Bobby then admits to Poklemba that he had a hard time coming to terms with being a mutant, and for a very long time, he thought “If I have a kid, I pray they don't end up like me”. Bobby adds, that it was like the child's life would be easier if they didn't have to be a mutant, but nowadays, he knows everything he loves about his life comes from that part of his identity. 'You can go back to being quiet Mr Poklemba down the street, if you want' Bobby adds. Poklemba tells Bobby that is comforting, and that he doesn't mind being alone. Bobby smiles and reveals that he knows a lot about having your status quo upended. 'And I got you beat when it comes to personal introspection avoidance. Say that five times fast'.

'It's Storm. She wants everyone in the cafeteria' Bobby informs his time-displaced younger counterpart, and his teammate, Marvel Girl. 'You good with all this?' the younger Bobby asks. 'Gooder than good. Goodest' Bobby replies. 'Another thing I'm already “gooder” than you at – grammar!' young Bobby teases. Bobby assures them that he is fine, and tells the time-lost mutants that he will catch up with them in a second. But when they are gone, he switches to his ice-form, and smacks items off a desk. 'NOT NOW!' he shouts, angrily. 'Nosy redhead, destruction-bringing... time-traveling life-unraveling little ice twerp! I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS RIGHT NOW!' Bobby decides that he needs to get out of here, needs to think – and needs to stop thinking out loud. He covers his face and wonders where he goes, and what he does: “Hi Dad, I really need to talk to someone who won't judge me for having unresolved feelings for men. Got a sec”? Bobby mocks. 'Ugh' he groans, before he returns to his human form and tells himself to deal with that later, to go and be Iceman. 'You'll still be a mess tomorrow' he remarks. 'What's one more day?'

'Wow, all that happened because he felt put on the spot? He'll be okay though' William Drake remarks as he speaks to Bobby on his cellphone. Bobby is back at the Xavier School and slides out the main entrance on an ice-slide, telling his father that “okay” is generous, that Poklemba spent a long time stewing in that house. He adds that the teachers at the Institute will help him make sense of what is going on. Bobby then thanks his father for calling him, rather than the cops. 'Your mother's idea' William replies, before asking Bobby if he wants to come back and tell her this story in person. 'Your mom – we wouldn't mind seeing you' William adds. 'Olive branching, are we?' Bobby smiles, as his ice-slide moves higher and higher above Central Park, he tells his father that he will come by this weekend – as right now, he kinda needs some time to be alone and think.

Characters Involved: 


Madeline & William Drake
Mr Poklemba

In Iceman's daydream:
Judah Miller
Beast, Cannonball, Chamber, Dust, Michaela Ladak, Oya

In flashbacks:
Bobby at different ages / Iceman

Mr Winklestein
Madeline & William Drake
Cyclops, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Iceman & Marvel Girl (time-displaced original X-Men)

Story Notes: 

Iceman and Judah broke up last issue.

It was mentioned in passing in Iceman (3rd series) #9 that Rictor and Shatterstar were no longer together. The two of them were most recently seen in New Tian in Secret Warriors (2nd series) #3, although there was no mention of their relationship status. They are later seen having brunch together in New Mutants Dead Souls #2, although no mention of their status was made.

“DRI” – the Designated Responsible Individual. A management method developed by Apple.

“Hoarders” is an American reality TV documentary series which has aired off and on the A&E Channel since 2009 and looks into the lives of people who suffer with compulsive hoarding disorders.

The battle on Asteroid M that Iceman refers to during the flashback scene occurred in X-Men (2nd series) #3.

The final flashback scene takes place during Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600.

Final issue of Iceman (3rd series). Iceman joins the cast of X-Men Gold with X-Men Gold #23, and will return in a solo mini series in September 2018 with Iceman (4th series) #1.

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