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Thursday, March 14, 2013

X-amining Iceman #1-4

"The Fuse!/Instant Karma!/Quicksand!/The Price You Pay!"
December 1984 - June 1985

In a Nutshell 
Iceman visits his parents and confronts the physical manifestation of oblivion. 

Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Alan Kuppenberg
Inker: Mike Gustovich
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Bob Budiansky
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Issue #1: In a far off land, a hidden being dispatches two servants, White Light and Idiot, to retrieve someone for him. On Earth, Iceman returns to his hometown of on Long Island for his dad's retirement party. Along the way, he becomes smitten by a young woman named Marge. That night, fed up with being harrassed by his family and upset by the constant needling from his parents about being a superhero, Iceman storms out of the party and bumps into Marge. They grow closer as they discuss their families, but then White Light and Idiot attack. Iceman holds them off as Marge and her family mysteriously vanish, but Marge's home is destroyed in the process, and Iceman's parents are furious that he exposed his mutant powers to the his whole family. 

Issue #2: White Light and Idiot are destroyed by their master, who then dispatches a woman named Kali to find what he seeks. In New York, Iceman discovers a strange device in the wreckage of Marge's house. He accidentally activates it and disappears. Meanwhile, in 1892 England, Marge and her family watch as Bobby is sent through time. Marge's family insists that she should help him, but she refuses. Bobby ends up in 1942 New York, and is shot in the arm escaping a suspicious cop. He passes out and awakens in the apartment of his younger parents. Kali and her minions attack, drawn to the strange device that sent Iceman through time. Marge finally intervenes, appearing before Kali and telling her she's in the wrong time, then opening a portal that will bring Kali to Marge. However, Iceman's father was injured in the fight with Kali, and dies. A horrified Iceman realizes that with his father dead in 1942, he'll never be born.


Issue #3: As a result of the death of his father before he was born, Iceman finds himself in the realm of Oblivion, the embodiment of non-existence and the being who has been seeking Marge. She has defeated Kali, and Oblivion tells Iceman that Marge is his daughter Mirage. He's reconstituted Iceman so that he can bring her to Oblivion in exchange for his continued existence. Iceman is transported to an idyllic small town and finds Marge. He tries to reason with her to return to Oblivion, but she refuses. A fight breaks out between them, which ends when Marge knocks out Iceman. Suddenly horrified by what she's done, she vows its time to face her father, and takes Iceman with her into Oblivion's realm.

Issue #4: Marge confronts Oblivion, and Iceman realizes he's treating her the same way his parents have been treating him. Fed up, he attacks Oblivion, and manages to overpower him. But Marge, realizing she can't exist without her father, intervenes and restores Oblivion. Defeated and exhausted, Iceman is consumed by Oblivion, but Iceman refuses to give up. Motivated by his love for his parents, he bursts forth, ready to fight once more. However, Oblivion stays his hand, humbled and intrigued by the power of love he felt while Iceman was inside him, a power greater even than Oblivion. He turns back time and restores Iceman's father, then sends him home. Iceman and his parents have a heart-to-heart, and they come to terms with his life as a mutant and role as superhero. He then leaves with his teammates, hoping to make his parents proud.  

Firsts and Other Notables
Iceman appears here at a time when he was a member, alongside former X-Men Angel and Beast, of the New Defenders. Once a loose coalition of heroes centered around Dr. Strange, Namor the Sub Mariner, Silver Surfer and the Hulk, about two years prior to this series The Defenders was re-titled The New Defenders, and featured for the first time a consistent lineup, anchored by the three former X-Men, operating out of Angel's New Mexican home. This new team was featured in more traditional superhero adventures than the former, more oddball original Defenders - like the Avengers, they even received government clearances.  

The climax in issue #4 features Iceman declaring he's done feeling self-conscious about himself, his powers and his role as a hero, and will move forward with a newfound confidence in himself. This becomes a recurring beat for his character in the years ahead, as various events at various times will cause him to once again swear off being a pushover and be confidant in himself once and for all. 


Iceman's parents appear and feature heavily in this series, as Bobby grapples with his somewhat strained relationship with them. Both have made previous appearances, notably in the Iceman's "Origins of the X-Men" backup story in the sixties, but their appearances have been rather inconsistent, both in terms of their physical appearance (both are noticeably older in this series than they appear later) and personality. His father particularly suffers from this. Having initially reacted poorly to the revelation that his son was a mutant before accepting it in the wake of the public attack on Bobby in his origin story, he's back to being uneasy with his son's mutant nature (and his role as a superhero) in the first issue of this series. By the end, he's once again come to terms with it, but by the early 90s he'll be back to being portrayed as something of bigot (both towards mutants and other minorities in general) for several years before ultimately accepting Bobby for who he is once again in the wake of the mid 90s crossover "Operation: Zero Tolerance".


I suppose this is technically the first appearance of Oblivion and his daughter Mirage/Marge, as well as some of Iceman's cousins and random family members, but as Oblivion only appears in a few issues of Quasar after this series and the rest have yet to appear again, this is definitely more of a "firsts" note than a "notable" one. 

This series is written by J.M. DeMatteis, an established and well-respected industry veteran who had long run on both Captain American and The Defenders (including the initial New Defenders issues) prior to this. He will go on to write, amongst other things, the seminal "Kraven's Last Hunt" Spider-Man story before settling in for a lengthy run on Spectacular Spider-Man and other Spider-Man titles throughout the nineties (including Amazing Spider-Man #400, the issue which seemingly killed off Aunt May). However, he is arguably most well known and acclaimed for scripting, over Keith Giffen's plots, the "bwa-ha-ha" Justice League of the late 80s and early 90s at DC Comics.

Art comes from Alan Kuppenberg, also a long time, though less acclaimed, industry vet. Like DeMatteis, he previously worked with Iceman on issues of The New Defenders

A Work in Progress
Iceman, last seen in X-Men studying to be an accountant, as since left school to devote himself full time to being a superhero as one of the New Defenders, much to the consternation of his parents. 

I Love the 80s
One of Iceman's neighbors, spotting him changing in the yard, believes him to be both a godless Communist and a sexual deviant.


Marge's "father" references Mr. Roberts being on TV. The only show I could find by that name ran for a season in 1965, so I'm not sure if that's specifically a reference to that show or something else.


Iceman's parents getting married in 1944 and Iceman being born in 1959, as suggested by the second issue, no longer quite fit in Marvel's sliding timeline.


Young Love
Iceman spends most of this series mooning over Marge, more or less falling in love with her at first sight and planning their wedding minutes after meeting her, until he learns she's the daughter of Oblivion.


Human/Mutant Relations
In one of the series few references to events in the X-books, in issue #1 Bobby mentions the rising anti-mutant sentiment in the country following Dazzler outing herself as a mutant in Marvel Graphic Novel #12, despite the X-Men having exposed Reverend Stryker in "God Loves, Man Kills", an event Bobby had thought might have eased tensions.  


One of the local cops in Iceman's hometown specifically does not like mutants at all. 


Teebore's Take
I'd never read this series before, and that combined with the fact that it wasn't handled by the X-office, such as it was at the time, and I've never heard terribly good things about it, led me to initially pass it over for consideration of coverage. Then I thought that all those same reasons might make it interesting to examine: to read something I hadn't read before, to see how one of the original X-Men was being handled outside the confines of X-Men, and, if nothing else, it might be something so bad it's fun to read. Well, I can say that I was right in that this certainly was interesting. By which I mean, it is pretty much a mess.

There is a legitimately interesting idea at the core of this series, and J.M. DeMatteis is by no means a bad writer. He is, in fact, both well-respected and well-accomplished in the industry, known for imbuing his stories with a fair amount of both humor and psychological insight. Unfortunately, he sets Iceman, a character better suited to the former, in a story that's more focused on the latter (I feel bad for any kids who, seeing these issues on the stands back in the day and recognizing one of Spider-Man's happy-go-lucky amazing friends from TV, decided to pick up the series, only to discover a story in which, amongst other things, Iceman nullifies his own existence by going back in time and unintentionally killing his father). The concept of a superhero coming to terms with his personal issues by fighting a personification of oblivion isn't an inherently bad one (heck, super hero comics thrive on that kind of stuff), it's just one that's hard to get too invested in when the superhero in question usually fights most of his foes by cracking jokes while throwing chunks of ice at them . To stick Iceman, a character at this time (and, arguably, still to this day) generally recognized as being relatively lighthearted and goofy in disposition into a story like this is certainly ambitious, but that ambition ultimately doesn't pay off.   

Next Issue 
Uncanny X-Men #189 has Amara and Rachel taking on the town, while New Mutants #24 deepens the Cloak and Dagger mystery.

21 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks absolutely dreadful. Kupperberg is known to me as a guy who did a few pretty bad fill-ins for Amazing Spider-Man in the 80's (the ballad of lonesome Pinky is memorably bad), and he's clearly just drawing Bobby's mom as Aunt May, even though she should be about 50-some years old. Gustovich's biggest achievement is a sustained run on a Milestone book, so you KNOW he's good! (Trivia: my LCS guy is a former Milestone inker: he did 21 issues of "Blood Syndicate" compared to Gustovich's 27 issues of "Icon." Unfortunately for inkers trying to get jobs after Milestone, it's hard to get noticed when your portfolio is full of hideous art)

    Beyond having pretty terrible art, this has some baffling decision-making all the way through. Why does Iceman deserve a solo limited series at a time when people actually read limited series? I don't hate Iceman, but he works best as a "buddy" character, so adding Beast (a far better character) would've improved the story even if nothing else is changed. Plus, I mean, the citizens of Iceman's towns would have a reason to be like "ugh those mutants!"

    It also seems like Marvel was just not interested in making easy money by doing something to incorporate Iceman or Firestar with Spider-Man, considering the only reason they merit any attention at all at this time was due to their presence on that show. How hard would a simple Iceman/Spidey/Human Torch team-up for four issues story really be? Instead we get this bizarre Back to the Future riff where Iceman goes through time?

    And Oblivion still gets showcased in "cosmic judgement" type scenes. He also was revealed as the realm of death where Maelstrom met Quasar and some other Guardians of the Galaxy in that (awesome) series. It's a pretty cool reveal as we pan out from Maelstrom talking and reveal that he's actually standing on the enormous, floating cape of Oblivion.

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  2. "I feel bad for any kids who, seeing these issues on the stands back in the day and recognizing one of Spider-Man's happy-go-lucky amazing friends from TV, decided to pick up the series, only to discover a story in which, amongst other things, Iceman nullifies his own existence by going back in time and unintentionally killing his father..."

    Then you feel bad for me. That was exactly my situation. I was a huge fan of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and somehow I wound up with an issue of this series. I think I got it at the 7-11 or a drug store or something (back when comics were sold in such places). The random issue I got was #3, I think (it's the one with a pinkish background where Iceman is surrounded by a bunch of villains). I didn't understand it and I didn't like it. I've never read the rest of it.

    My only other comments are that A.) it's interesting that this story considered "God Loves, Man Kills" to be in-continuity, and B.) that I don't mind this story being swept under the rug because Scott Lobdell did much better things with Iceman, his confidence, and his father in the 90's.

    Dobson -- "Kupperberg is known to me as a guy who did a few pretty bad fill-ins for Amazing Spider-Man in the 80's..."

    Me too. Even as a kid I thought his art was pretty lackluster and even ugly. There were certain artists that got a lot of work from Marvel during the Shooter era who really shouldn't have been let within ten feet of a flagship title like Spider-Man. But I think Shooter sometimes placed a greater value on the ability to meet a deadline over talent, so he went with the workhorses.

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  3. To be fair to Shooter and Marvel, fill-ins were really just an unfortunate side-effect of the strict monthly publishing schedule. Yeah it would be great if you could get Art Adams to do 4-5 throwaway Spidey issues for the next time Ron Frenz missed a deadline, but for the most part those fill-ins were just giving work to guys like Kupperberg who wasn't talented enough to be the permanent artist on a Marvel book (he was briefly the regular penciler for The Invaders, but the rest of his career at Marvel is random fill-ins). It's not like it was a problem unique to Marvel or Shooter.

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  4. "Mister Roberts" is a 1955 film starring Henry Fonda and James Cagney.

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  5. Iceman's father was ridiculous. His public objection to Iceman's "oriental" girlfriend Opal in the early 90's was laughable (read it - he bitches for pages about Iceman's girlfriend, to her face no less, while Iceman and his mom just sort of SHHH him). There's racists, bigots, and people who are kind of anchored in a different time, but I remember the Iceman's father of those issues sounding more like the Red Skull. Now there's a super villain team up for you.

    With all the changes in appearance and personality over the years, I'm convinced Iceman actually has three fathers that rotate in and out.

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  6. "Mr. Roberts" is probably televangelist Oral Roberts.

    You know why Iceman can't become a breakout character? He goes through the exact same arc in every Iceman-centered story. Goofy to serious (or more responsible), unfulfilled potential to usefulness, over and over again. If only someone would give him a second dimension!

    - Mike Loughlin

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  7. @Dobson: Why does Iceman deserve a solo limited series at a time when people actually read limited series?

    The only thing I can think of his the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends connection (Firestar gets her own limited series eventually as well). That said, I agree that Iceman works best as a buddy character alongside someone else.

    It's a pretty cool reveal as we pan out from Maelstrom talking and reveal that he's actually standing on the enormous, floating cape of Oblivion.

    It sounds like Quasar was filled with neat scenes like that. I really need to sit down and read it someday.

    @Matt: I've never read the rest of it.

    You're not missing much. And my condolences to hoodwinked Younger Matt. :)

    it's interesting that this story considered "God Loves, Man Kills" to be in-continuity

    Indeed. I guess maybe it was just Claremont who didn't consider it part of continuity at the time?

    I don't mind this story being swept under the rug because Scott Lobdell did much better things with Iceman, his confidence, and his father in the 90's.

    Agreed. The fact that this is so thoroughly swept under the rug was one of the reasons I was initially going to skip it, but then I thought it might be fun to find out WHY it never got referenced. I was wrong.

    @Anonymous: "Mister Roberts" is a 1955 film starring Henry Fonda and James Cagney.

    Which, if Wikipedia can be believed, was also a stage play and formed the basis for the TV show by the same name. So maybe they were watching the movie on TV.

    @Dan: he bitches for pages about Iceman's girlfriend, to her face no less, while Iceman and his mom just sort of SHHH him

    Yeah, that whole scene was pretty awful.

    I'm convinced Iceman actually has three fathers that rotate in and out.

    I don't think you're wrong.

    @Mike: "Mr. Roberts" is probably televangelist Oral Roberts.

    Ah, that could be. Though "Mr. Roberts" is in quotes in the dialogue, suggesting a title of some sort, but maybe that was the name of his show as well?

    He goes through the exact same arc in every Iceman-centered story. Goofy to serious (or more responsible), unfulfilled potential to usefulness, over and over again.

    Well said.


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  8. [quote]You know why Iceman can't become a breakout character? He goes through the exact same arc in every Iceman-centered story. Goofy to serious (or more responsible), unfulfilled potential to usefulness, over and over again. If only someone would give him a second dimension! [/quote]

    I think you nailed it. I really enjoyed his spikey look of the early 90's and was curious where they'd go with it. They didn't go anywhere. AoA showed Iceman using his powers in crazy ways that I thought were teasers for what would happen in 616. They weren't. When Post shattered his chest and Emma Frost showed him just what he could do with his abilities if he tried, I thought things were finally going to get interesting. They didn't. When Chuck Austen had him turning permanently into ice, I thought... I hate Chuck Austen. But you see my point.

    Not only his powers, but his personality. The fact that he still acts as ridiculous as he does is kind of absurd. A year and a half ago when Wolverine and the X-Men started, Wolverine gave him a "tough love" talk and told Iceman he better step up his game. Seriously, he's been around for 50 years and he's still being scolded for being a dork. He was always a poor man's Human Torch, always will be.






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  9. The main reasons for doing a limited series in the '80s would either be 1) a noteworthy story about a character or concept that couldn't otherwise be done, or 2) test the waters for a permanent solo series. The Iceman LS qualifies for neither.

    DeMatteis often did excellent work on personal, psychological stories, but Iceman is not a character that needs one. His powers and concepts are not aligned with that, nor does he already have enough stories about him personally told that it adds depth to his character.

    And it certainly does nothing for him to prepare him for either a solo title or to enhance his stature for a larger role in the Defenders. Nothing in the series builds on him as character. He does not gain any rogues gallery (Oblivion is a Dr Strange or Silver Surfer type of character and utterly inappropriate for Iceman) of his own, give him an interesting supporting cast, or establish a new status quo that justify him being a solo hero.

    I agree with the others that Marvel did not handle the opportunity for them from the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon. It seems to me that if they introduced a Spidey-Iceman team in Marvel Team Up, followed by a Spidey-Firestar, and then did both in a three issue arc they could have introduced the concept in the real Marvel Universe and then had a limited series on that.

    It would have never been a permanent team, but it would have been nice to show that the three of them - all outcasts or minor team members - becoming friends and helping each out from time to time, could have been a good addition to the Universe and won over some of those cartoon viewers into regular comics readers.

    - Chris

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  10. This series is written by J.M. DeMatteis, an established and well-respected industry veteran who had long run on both Captain American and The Defenders (including the initial New Defenders issues) prior to this. He will go on to write, amongst other things, the seminal "Kraven's Last Hunt" Spider-Man story before settling in for a lengthy run on Spectacular Spider-Man and other Spider-Man titles throughout the nineties (including Amazing Spider-Man #400, the issue which seemingly killed off Aunt May). However, he is arguably most well known and acclaimed for scripting, over Keith Giffen's plots, the "bwa-ha-ha" Justice League of the late 80s and early 90s at DC Comics.

    Wow, nostalgia overdrive. DeMatteis was one of my favorite writers back in the day. I read and own everything you mentioned here. He took a bald heroine, that hadn't been the least bit interesting to me beforehand, and made her the most interesting character in New Defenders. Her struggle with being forced to join the team after being humbled by Odin was very appealing to me. The Gargoyle, an old man trapped in a hideous hellspawned body and created by DeMatteis, was also fascinating to me. Gotta go. Time to drag out some old New Defenders comics...

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  11. DeMatteis was one of my go-to writers for awhile. I got burned out on too many overwritten hippy-dippy comics (biggest offenders being Vertigo one shot Mercy and short-lived ongoing Seekers Into the Mystery), but still rank Moonshadow and Brooklyn Dreams among my all-time favorites. Sometimes his writing was suited to super-hero material ("Going Sane" in Legends of the Dark Knight, "Kraven's Last Hunt" and other Spider-Man comics, JLI) and other times it collapsed under DeMatteis trying to force his pet themes into the narratives (Superman: Where is Thy Sting, X-Factor, Iceman). He's more hit than miss, I'd say, and I'll still check out his comics if they don't look too flaky.

    - Mike Loughlin

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  12. @Chris: The main reasons for doing a limited series in the '80s would either be 1) a noteworthy story about a character or concept that couldn't otherwise be done, or 2) test the waters for a permanent solo series.

    I do wonder if Marvel might have been trying to cash in on the success of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which is a little bit #1 but also a little bit something else. I'm pretty sure that's how Firestar got her limited series.

    Then again, I have no idea how well rated that show was, but I'd imagine its average audience was still significantly higher than the sales of any comic book, even back during this era.

    ...could have been a good addition to the Universe and won over some of those cartoon viewers into regular comics readers.

    Yeah. It kinda reminds me of how thoroughly Marvel bungled taking advantage of the success of the first X-Men movie. Which just goes to show Marvel has always had issues translating the success of its characters in other areas into increased comic book sales.

    @Mike Bunn: Time to drag out some old New Defenders comics...

    I've read very little of that series (just a handful here and there) but it's something I've wanted to check out for awhile, both for the loose X-Men connection and just because it's one of those series that rarely gets talked about, but when it does, its usually talked about favorably.

    I know Marvel released a trade collecting the first few issues, but I'm not sure if they continued ahead with later volumes.

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  13. Mike L. -- "I got burned out on too many overwritten hippy-dippy comics..."

    I'm kind of the same way with DeMatteis. He's done some brilliant stuff over the years, mainly -- in my opinion -- with Spider-Man, but he can occasionally be a bit too much of a "bleeding heart" for me. I don't mean that by any means as an insult; it's just the best phrase I can come up to describe what I mean.

    Teebore -- "I'm pretty sure that's how Firestar got her limited series."

    Firestar did get her limited series because of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, but the difference there is that she did not exist in the Marvel Universe. She was created specifically for the TV show, and the limited series was her first appearance in a comic book.

    Which isn't to say this series wasn't created to capitalize on the cartoon's success, but Firestar's series had a much more unique reason for existing.

    I still remember back when Kurt Busiek was promoting the "Heroes Return" Avengers relaunch, and he teased that one of the members would be a character who originally debuted in an "alternate universe" and then moved into Marvel comics afterward. I recall lots of guesses that it might have been an Ultraverse character, since Marvel had recently aquired that universe. Obviously, as it turned out, he was talking about Firestar.

    Teebore -- "I know Marvel released a trade collecting the first few issues, but I'm not sure if they continued ahead with later volumes."

    To my knowledge, there was only ever the one collection of New Defenders. It must not have set the sales charts on fire, because that was a few years ago now.

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  14. @Matt: She was created specifically for the TV show, and the limited series was her first appearance in a comic book.

    Wasn't her first appearance in a comic Uncanny #193? I'm pretty sure that predates her limited series (though events in the series itself predate that issue), and I seem to recall that issue being billed as such in price guides and such.

    I still remember back when Kurt Busiek was promoting the "Heroes Return" Avengers relaunch, and he teased that one of the members would be a character who originally debuted in an "alternate universe" and then moved into Marvel comics afterward.

    I remember that too, as well as the Ultraverse speculation. All things considered, I thought Busiek's clue and the answer were pretty clever.

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  15. "Wasn't her first appearance in a comic Uncanny #193?"

    Hmm, looks like you're right. I had no idea! I guess I never paid attention to cover dates and just assumed the story that was set earlier was published first.

    So Chris Claremont wrote the first Marvel Universe appearance of Firestar? I had no idea! I wonder if it was editorially mandated, like Dazzler? I would assume it wasn't his idea.

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  16. @Matt: I wonder if it was editorially mandated, like Dazzler? I would assume it wasn't his idea.

    I wonder about that too. It's kind of a chicken/egg thing. In her first appearance, she's a member of the Hellions, and that becomes a key part of her limited series.

    So did Claremont decide, after being told to use the character, to make her a Hellion, and then DeFalco, who wrote her limited series, run with that, or did DeFalco or Shooter or whomever told Claremont to use her come to him with the idea that she'd be a Hellion?

    Then again, Claremont always had a penchant for picking up and using little-used female characters, so maybe he decided to use her all on his own, but then was unable to write her limited series (which came out around the same time as X-Factor launched, I believe.

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  17. The art's pretty darned bad, yeah. It also makes no sense that editorial didn't squeeze a Spider-Man appearance into #1 (and its cover) at least.

    December 1984 - June 1985

    Wow... A bimonthly miniseries is not a great idea unless that's explicitly part of the concept.

    Iceman's parents are furious that he exposed his mutant powers to the his whole family.

    That's pretty much what I carry with me from reading the first issue way back when. I'm not saying I missed anything by failing to follow up, but I had no idea that the rest of the story got so cosmic.

    Marge confronts Oblivion, and Iceman realizes he's treating her the same way his parents have been treating him.

    That's
    what sets Bobby off? Oblivion, the supremely powerful lord of the realm of Oblivion, dispatches mystic antagonists to fight him and sends him through time and is responsible for the death of his father before he could be born, but sympathetic generational misunderstanding is the catalyst for his big triumph?!?

    like the Avengers, they even received government clearances

    Proof that everyone's suspicious of mutant superheroes only when they're X-Men...

    One of Iceman's neighbors, spotting him changing in the yard, believes him to be both a godless Communist and a sexual deviant.

    This is the Marvel Universe. Maybe she thought that he was a sexual Deviant.

    The only show I could find by that name ran for a season in 1965, so I'm not sure if that's specifically a reference to that show or something else.

    I think it was the 1955 film Mister Roberts Bobby's dad was talking about, since he specifies "on the tube" rather than just saying "on" with the television part being assumed as would probably happen with a TV show (although with stilted dialogue like this that might not be true).

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  18. Blam -- "This is the Marvel Universe. Maybe she thought that he was a sexual Deviant."

    Heh... you just reminded me of a line from the "Atlantis Attacks" crossover, where the Thing referes to Ghuar the Deviant as a "pervert" because he can't recall the name of his race.

    An unfortunate note about that crossover is that Ghuar is frequently referred to as "the Deviant priest". In light of all the Catholic church scandals in recent years, I'm not sure Marvel would use that phrasing nowadays.

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  19. @Blam: A bimonthly miniseries is not a great idea unless that's explicitly part of the concept.

    Seems like that would be the death of a limited series, doesn't it? But the Beauty and the Beast limited series is bimonthly as well, I believe.

    Proof that everyone's suspicious of mutant superheroes only when they're X-Men...

    Indeed. The New Defenders also had ahalf naked bald chick and an orange gargoyle, so it isn't even like you could write it off as "well, Captain America and Iron Man are there, too". :)

    This is the Marvel Universe. Maybe she thought that he was a sexual Deviant.

    Ha!

    I think it was the 1955 film Mister Roberts Bobby's dad was talking about, since he specifies "on the tube" rather than just saying "on" with the television part being assumed as would probably happen with a TV show

    Well reasoned, not that, as you said, reason plays much of a role in this story...

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  20. ...but as Oblivion only appears in a few issues of Quasar after this series...

    And hot damn was that a great series. I've only read the first 30-odd issues, but it really cemented Gruenwald as a good writer to me, even more so after I read his fantastic Squadron Supreme series. Pity he's deceased now.

    @Dan:There's racists, bigots, and people who are kind of anchored in a different time, but I remember the Iceman's father of those issues sounding more like the Red Skull. Now there's a super villain team up for you.

    I would read that comic in a heartbeat.

    With all the changes in appearance and personality over the years, I'm convinced Iceman actually has three fathers that rotate in and out.

    I laughed too hard at this, then I realised that this applies to a lot of characters, and then I laughed even harder.

    @Teebore:
    It sounds like Quasar was filled with neat scenes like that. I really need to sit down and read it someday.


    Marvel released a trade of Quasar Classic, collecting the start of the run. It's the only one out so far, but hey, if you buy it you might convince them to put out another!

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  21. I loved it. I just re-read #1, as I was *about* to put it in my 'sell' pile. Well, I'm glad I did because this is rare Bronze Age X-men comic that I can see myself reading again.

    The plot is hokey, but the dialogue is great, the art is straightforward and simple, I didn't find myself tripping over endless exposition -- *yet* the issue took me more than 5 minutes to read.

    Add in some deliciously cheesy villains, and you've got the makings of a solid superhero comic from a bygone era.

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