As media slowly adapts to reflect a more balanced approach to the real world, we are beginning to see more gay characters on the screen. One area where we have not seen much representation, however, is the popular genre of the comic book superhero. Shawn Ashmore has been playing the role of Bobby "Iceman" Drake since the very first X-Men film and has recently stated that he would be interested in exploring the character as gay in a future X-Men film.
Within the current run of X-Men comics the Iceman character has recently come out. Ashmore recently told IGN that he would be willing to do the same thing in the films, calling it the "most interesting" thing they could do with the character in the films. Ashmore admits that doing so might be difficult within the context of the previous films, as Iceman has had on screen relationships with both Rogue and Kitty Pride, which might make the change difficult to accomplish.
At the same time, the comic book version of the character also had relationships with women prior to his own coming out, so it’s not like the issue hasn’t been dealt with before. We’ve also recently gone through an entire timeline reboot within the film franchise, so we expect numerous things to change. The butterfly effect can have numerous unforeseen consequences. Maybe a major shift for Iceman is one of them.
A gay Iceman would certainly add a potentially prominent gay character to the most popular film genre in the world. While Bobby Drake has always been a supporting character in the X-Men movies, his focus has often been as a love interest for major female characters, so shifting this key aspect of the character could be a big deal. The world of comic book adaptations is only getting larger and gay characters are becoming conspicuous by their absence. Pure probability should have created some by now, but it hasn’t happened.
Even if there was interest in taking the character in that direction, it will be some time before there’s an opportunity to do so. Next summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in a time period too early to see Iceman as anything more than a child, so it’s unlikely we’ll see the character at all. While we know there are plans to continue the X-Men franchise past that movie, nothing specific is known at this time. Depending on the success of the upcoming Deadpool and Gambit, we may see more standalone features than traditional X-Men team ups. There’s no guarantee that Iceman will even be in any future movies as they may be looking to change up the formula with new characters in the next films.
What do you think. Should Iceman follow his comic counterpart and come out? Aren’t we overdue for a gay superhero?