Issue(s): Iceman #1, Iceman #2, Iceman #3, Iceman #4
The cover of the first issue announces (embarrassingly) that "He's young.. he's on his own... he's out for a good time...". The series starts out with Iceman returning to his parents' home for his father's retirement party. He's concerned that his parents won't respect his decision to abandon accounting and return to super-heroing. This is potentially an interesting avenue to explore, but it's muddled with a newly introduced idea that Iceman has always had trouble making up his mind about what he wants to do with his life, and any sort of actual character development is abandoned in favor of Iceman getting attacked by a number of agents of a cosmic entity called Oblivion.
Iceman has fallen in love with the girl next door, Marge, but she turns out to actually be Mirage, the daughter of Oblivion.
Oblivion, who by definition has nothing...
...has been lonely, and that's why he created his daughter.
In the end, Mirage is merged into her father, Oblivion is subdued by Bobby's love for his parents, and Bobby's parents reconcile with Iceman's decision to be a super-hero. The Beast and Angel show up to take Iceman back to the Defenders.
In issue #1, we learn Iceman's ethnicity, for what it's worth: half Irish-Catholic, half Jewish.
I'm sure this sold well enough, but i doubt it really satisfied kids looking to see that cool guy from the Spider-Man cartoon fight some super-villains. Or maybe i'm just projecting.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Defenders #131-132. I had a little hesitation about that considering that the Beast was on a leave of absence from the Defenders beginning in issue #131. And with the ending of this series having Angel and the Beast show up claiming there's an emergency they need Iceman for, it didn't seem to fit well. But i was already speculating that the three ex X-Men either had an undocumented adventure or Iceman just asked his buddies to show up at his parents' house at a predetermined time to get him out of there in case his family reunion wasn't going so well. And Jay's comments below convinced me to go with the MCP placement. This does need to go after Dazzler: The Movie.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Beast, Iceman, Madeline Drake, Mirage (Oblivion's Daughter), Oblivion, William Drake
The title to #2 refers to the John Lennon song.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 5, 2012 8:14 PM
I believe this Iceman mini-series was placed between Defenders 131 & 132 because 131 was the last issue featuring J.M. DeMatteis & Alan Kupperberg, it had Angel, Beast & Iceman together at the start of Beast's lecture tour in Brooklyn (Iceman's parents' home in Port Jefferson, Long Island isn't far) and Angel & Beast appear at the end of this mini-series without the rest of the Defenders (probably to "rescue" him from visiting his parents).
Iceman is going through a huge bout of self-doubt and low confidence here which works, considering his thoughts in the issues leading up to the bizarre and humiliating trouncing he received in Defenders 131.
In Defenders 132, he's shown to display much more confidence and, in fact, almost single-handedly destroys a dangerously mutated plant organism. His confidence remains high from that point on and to have him wallow in self-doubt between Defenders 135 & 136 seems very out of character.
Another minor placement clue may be in his vision of his teammates in Iceman #3, Gargoyle still has both of his hands which, by Defenders 135, one had been chopped off (and not yet regrown).
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | June 27, 2013 1:28 AM
Hi Jay, thanks for the feedback. This is definitely subjective, but you've convinced me to move it. It helps bring me back in the line with the Marvel Chronology Project, too, which is a nice bonus. It did require me to move the Dazzler graphic novel but that doesn't seem to be a problem.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 27, 2013 9:30 AM
DeMatteis later said that this series was a "mistake", but it was the biggest-selling thing he'd ever done.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 26, 2014 9:12 PM
Mark, I'm curious as to why you say the title of #2 refers to a John Lennon song. Now it was a Lennon song from 1970, and DeMatteis is a huge fan, but it's a popular phrase, very prevalent by the mid 80s, so I'm unsure how anyone (even DeMatteis) could say for certain how the title came about?
Posted by: Nick Yank | December 13, 2015 3:04 PM
Iceman: I love you!
Nice save there, Bobby. Wouldn't want anybody to think you're gay or anything.
Posted by: Max_Spider | December 13, 2015 4:26 PM
I'm not sure how popular it was as a phrase in the mid-1980s; I certainly don't recall anyone saying it. The song itself did become much more well known due to it being used in some commercial.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 14, 2015 7:07 PM
I had no idea Oblivion first appeared in this book. I always assumed he was a Gruenwald creation. I've always had a problem with Oblivion. First, there's his design, with the ratty cloak reminiscent of Nightmare but the gigantic muscles of Thanos. Like, are you a gaunt ghost or a hulking predator? Pick a theme! Second, how is he really different from Death? At this point the Marvel universe is starting to suffer from cosmic bloat.
Posted by: Andrew | January 27, 2017 8:16 AM
Can anyone confirm whether this mini series was reprinted in the UK either in Marvel UK or a Secret Wars back up story. I vaguely recall reading this but it's been such a long time I can't remember.
Posted by: JSfan | January 27, 2017 10:24 AM
I got this mini around 1994 or so. I think I fell asleep reading it. Cosmic was the wrong way to go with Iceman especially for 4 issues, but that's DeMatteis, I guess. The new character designs are bizarre. Kupperberg does some interesting layouts, but overall the art is as boring as the writing.
Posted by: Wanyas the Self-Proclaimed | January 27, 2017 10:49 AM
@JSfan - Yes, the early issues of the UK reprints of Secret Wars comic also featured reprints of this Iceman mini-series (as well as some of the first few issues of Alpha Flight). I can understand them choosing to reprint Byrne (then probably at the peak of his popularity) but not sure why they chose to reprint this series, maybe because they thought people would recognise Iceman from the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon.
As this was one of the first comics I ever read, at about age 7, I have a certain fondness for it and can't really judge it objectively. I can see it's not for everyone, and as Fnord says it would have been too thoughtful for most fans of the cartoon, but I'm glad it exists and when I read it now I see certain panels I'd forgotten but that were part of my childhood.
At the time I had no idea who the Defenders were, and for the next few years the only thing I knew about the Champions was their appearance in the dream sequence here. I think I was disappointed when I eventually picked up a Champions comic and it wasn't as weird as I'd imagined it was going to be.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | January 27, 2017 3:58 PM
@Andrew: I've heard that Eternity and Death are related to time, while Infinity and Oblivion are related to space; Eternity represents the time that living things have, and Death awaits at the end of it, while Infinity represents the space that things exist in, and Oblivion awaits outside of that. I can't remember where I heard that, though.
Posted by: Thanos6 | January 27, 2017 4:19 PM
@Jonathon, son of Kevin. Thank you for confirming my suspicion. I wish I still have those magazines but, alas, I threw them away. Regrets.
Posted by: JSfan | January 27, 2017 7:50 PM
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