REVIEW: Iceman #6 – “Endings and Beginnings”

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Writer: Sina Grace
Penciller: Robert Gill
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Price: $3.99

Release Date: 10/4/17

The Champions of yesteryear gather together to mourn the loss of Black Widow, who died during Secret Empire. Their trip down memory lane is made more difficult when Bobby realizes the old HQ has been turned into a gym, but Angel has a plan.

Plot: The boys walk into a bar and proceed to remember their fallen friend when Darkstar joins the group. While the others are reminiscing, however, Bobby deflects and eventually takes out his anger on movie props.

The next day, our favorite Iceman seems to score a hot date – or at least a fun group outing with a potential date. Bad guys can’t ruin this one… Unless someone gets the idea to build sentinels for the X-Men to fight in the name of starting their own props and effects company.

Story: The current Iceman run has made its mark by being one of the more character-driven stories on the stands, and Iceman #6 is no different. Even as someone who has never read old Champions stories, the team’s conversations about Natasha and their own pasts were not only easy to follow but also relatable and heartbreaking. Especially the different ways each character dealt with their grief, which does not always manifest in the beating of fists or even the shedding of a single tear.

Sina Grace uses this issue to turn the tables on the age old adage, “Media vita in morte sumus.” Instead, in the midst of death we are in life, and Iceman #6 certainly drives that point home by having the loss of Natasha be what brings characters like Hercules and Darkstar back into Bobby and Angel’s orbit. Not to mention how quickly the team comes together to play wingman for Bobby, allowing readers to continue the journey towards his self-discovery which has been steadily building since the start of the run.

The only complaint I have is that the “villain” – who really was more of a reckless citizen – was a little under-developed and almost didn’t need to be included. That being said, the subplot certainly set up a fun fight for the next month’s installment. Plus it made for a super sweet splash page.

Art: Rachelle Rosenberg’s pastel palette perfectly compliments Robert Gill’s soft lines, creating a warm and welcoming environment throughout all of Iceman #6. The art team certainly knows how to mesh with the theme of old friends revisiting past haunts.

There is a pretty vibrant shift from the oranges and yellows that seem to indicate the mourning period, and the blues and purples than throw Bobby Drake right into his future and a new lease on life. Of course, part of it this shift is due to a literal change in scenery, but the artworks take it to level eleven. As a final point, even though the final confrontation felt a little tacked on, I cannot deny that it was gorgeous to look at.

Verdict: Iceman #6 takes another story’s tragedy and mines it for some excellent character work, not just for Bobby Drake but for a few of his friends as well.

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

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