'X-Men' Comic Book Leak Outs Marvel Superhero

Writer Brian Michael Bendis says the issue is part of a "much larger story."
Stuart Immonen/Marvel Entertainment
Writer Brian Michael Bendis says the issue is part of a "much larger story."

A leak of pages from this week's issue of All-New X-Men has spoiled an unexpected development in the life of one of Marvel Entertainment's original X-Men — and, in the process, launched a complicated, intense reaction from fans online. Spoilers ahead.

The four-page sequence from All-New X-Men No. 40, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar and scheduled for release tomorrow, features telepath Jean Grey telling Bobby Drake, better known as Iceman, that he's gay. After the character initially denies it, he admits that it's true, saying: "I don't know what I want to do with all of this yet."

Following the leak Monday evening, the spoiler was reported on LGBT news sites including The Advocate, Logo's NewNowNext blog, Gay Times and Pink News, before quickly becoming a hot topic on social media.

Much of the discussion centered around three separate elements of the scene: the fact that the "future" version of Bobby Drake is canonically straight, as discussed in the scene itself, the fact that Jean Grey essentially outed Bobby without his consent, and an offhand comment from Jean that some believe is her dismissing the possibility that Bobby might be bisexual ("Maybe I'm bi," he says. "They say everybody is," she responds).

In a statement, All-New X-Men writer Bendis told THR, "there are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality. The X-Men, with the conceit of time travel, give us a fascinating platform in which to examine such personal journeys." (The time travel mention refers to the central conceit of the All-New X-Men series, in which teen versions of the heroes are brought to the present day to confront their adult selves.)

Perhaps putting many concerned fans' minds to rest, Bendis promised that the leaked scene "is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told.”

Iceman isn't the first out member of the X-Men; the team also includes Northstar, who married his boyfriend Kyle in a 2012 issue of the Astonishing X-Men series.