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X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #161 – Luciano Vecchio Discusses ‘Marvel’s Voices: Iceman’

Plus, 6 eXclusive preview images from upcoming X-Men comics!

Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!

When I was collecting questions for X-Men Monday #150 this past March, the character the most X-Fans asked about was Iceman. Everybody wanted to know what the Destiny of X era had in store for Bobby Drake. Well, now we know! (At least… for now. Oh, and you did read Marvel’s Voices: Iceman, exclusive to Marvel Unlimited, right?)

Listen to the latest episode of the X-Reads Podcast!

Given how much X-Men Monday readers care about Bobby, focusing an entire X-Men Monday on the coolest mutant was a no-brainer. Fortunately, Marvel’s Voices: Iceman writer and artist Luciano Vecchio was happy to stop by and answer a few questions.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Luciano Vecchio’s Twitter

AIPT: Welcome to X-Men Monday, Luciano! As this is an X-Men column, I just have to ask: What was your first X-Men eXperience?

Luciano: Well, my first X-Men experience was through Iceman himself, in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon when I was a little kid. When I was young I had a chaotic mix of X-Men exposure. I’m from Argentina and without a local edition I would get my hands on translated editions from Spain or Mexico of random comic arcs, jumping from classic Uncanny X-Men #168 to ’90s Jim Lee era and back to Days of Future Present, while watching the ’90s cartoon on TV and later X-Men Evolution and the first movies. Super chaotic but it all made sense somehow. By the time I was fluent in English, I followed everything Grant Morrison did, so New X-Men was my ultimate entry point to what was the current mainstream back then.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Moving to the present, how did the opportunity to explore Iceman’s life as a solo superhero in an Infinity Comic series come about? Was this something you pitched or were you approached by the X-Office?

Luciano: I got the offer. Even if I am primarily an artist, I expressed to my editors my interest in writing too and showed my creator-owned work as writer/artist. I got my first Marvel writing credits in Marvel’s Voices #1 and Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1, in short stories about LGBT+ representation in the Marvel Universe and in the superhero genre, which is my favorite field to work in. And to be honest, when my editor on Iceman, Sarah Brunstad offered me the chance to write and draw an actual mini, it took me by surprise and I almost said no out of insecurity. Thankfully I shook it off and started working full gear on a pitch that became the story that you see now.

AIPT: X-Fan @tmlanier87 loves Bobby’s new costume. Where did you draw inspiration from for Iceman’s new look?

Luciano: Thank you! I wanted to encapsulate iconic elements from across his history, and I admit I’m not a fan of making him spiky, so I focused on what else defines him visually: I started with the basic silhouette with boots to anchor to his first appearance. The full bodysuits of the young Iceman in All-New X-Men are some of my favorites he’s worn, so I wanted that costume format, but keeping it full white so the visual doesn’t change too much when being frosted up or not. The “X”s around the ankles come from the All-New X-Men costume too, but adapting it to the current typography and X-Brand lead to playing with the “X” and “I” shapes as blue highlights here and there, and combining them to create an Ice logo. And of course I’d give him the facial hair and icy scruff we were promised for so long as soon as I got the chance.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: X-Fan Luke said you always convey a deep understanding of characters and their histories in your stories. Did you have to do a lot of backreading for this Iceman series? If so, what were some of your favorite stories you revisited?

Luciano: I did! I reread a lot. Of course the previous volume written by Sina Grace is a favorite and a road map of sorts. I started there and then jumped to key points across Bobby’s history, from first appearance to recent Marauders, and as I started to “see the Matrix” of his life, my story began to emerge from it.

AIPT: X-Fan V really appreciates your unique efforts in focusing on long-neglected LGBTQIA+ themes, stories, and characters in comics, whether it be for an official job or through your brilliant fanart. V was curious to learn whether you suspected Bobby to be gay before he was confirmed as such and did you pick up on the little clues and subtext that writers put in over decades like Bobby taking Rogue, a girl he couldn’t even touch, to meet his bigoted parents, Emma hinting he’d be good at interior decor after reading his mind, or his queer panic over Cloud’s gender transient form? If yes, what did the confirmation in an official X-Men comic mean to you?

Luciano: I can’t say I was too invested into speculating if he was or not, because as a reader back then I didn’t like dealing with the frustration of hoping for a representation that at the time seemed impossible to materialize. When it did finally happen, it made perfect sense to me and I identified with the experience of trying too hard to stay in denial for as long as I could. And it put so much of his journey in a new perspective that renewed my interest in him as a character.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Iceman’s love life receives a lot of attention in this series. Of Bobby’s recent love interests, who do you personally prefer? X-Fan TJ Finecey needs to know!

Luciano: Of the two that we focus on in this series, I always wanted to see more of Romeo and get to know him better since he got so little page time before. I have a thing for “the one that got away” stories, charm and empath power sets. And I started understanding Christian and liking him more and more as I wrote about him and his more intimate dynamic with Bobby. So I ended up honestly loving them both for different reasons.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: On a non-romantic front, X-Fan 1407 Greymalkin said Iceman has been part of some great duos over the years. Of Bobby’s famous partners in crime, who’s your favorite?

Luciano: For nostalgia reasons, Firestar, as you can see in my arc even if it refers more to the classic cartoon than comics. I like his historic friendships and frenemyships with X-Women (Kate, Emma, Jean, Rogue) and reinterpreting them from a gay man perspective. And I liked giving a little spotlight to his gay non-romantic friendships with Rictor and Northstar, and would love to see him reconnect with his New Defenders ex-teammates.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: X-Fan @all.new.all.different said that you’ve provided a resolution to decades of tension between Bobby and his father. What was it like writing this milestone, and what does it mean for Bobby in the future?

Luciano: I knew I wanted this series to be an important chapter in Bobby’s life, and this is something we all will have to deal with sooner or later. And it was a dynamic and a constant that I felt had run its course in Iceman’s life.

I knew I wanted it to read as anti-climatic and out of the blue, as it usually is in real life, and focus on the confusion and irresolution that is left behind, and how Bobby deals with that from now on.

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: A second question from X-Fan Luke (good questions, Luke!), who said that in your Infinity Comics, you seem to enjoy playing with the scrollable comic format and the unique possibilities it offers compared to page-by-page comics. What were some of the things you had to learn/adjust to for these projects in terms of art and storytelling, and did you have to keep a possible print release in mind when mapping out the individual episodes?

Luciano: I had my doubts at first about the format since I worked before in different experiments of webcomics, like the previous incarnation of Infinity Comics, which was a semi-animated tapping experience, or another that was a continuous horizontal scroll, and neither felt like they fully worked for me.

But this vertical scroll, once I started working on it, I liked it more and more. The reading experience mimics what we otherwise do with our phones all the time on social networks, so it became very intuitive and offered unique narrative tools. I started the assignment hoping for a possible print release and trying to think of both, but then I decided to focus on things as they are at the moment and put my full effort on what works best for digital. I trust it will translate perfectly to print format if and when the time comes.

AIPT: Finally, Iceman is one of those X-Men characters who has endless potential — both power-wise and story-wise. How do you hope readers view Bobby Drake after reading your series?

Luciano: With love, respect, admiration, and identification, as the full-grown hero and iconic brand he is on his own!

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Well said, and hopefully there are more great Iceman stories to come. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Luciano!

Marvel’s Voices: Iceman may have come to an end, but the X-Men’s adventures continue — here’s an eXclusive look at what’s to come, courtesy of X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White!

In the neXt edition of X-Men Monday, writer Gerry Duggan returns to reflect on the first 12 issues of X-Men — and what a 12 issues they were!

X-Men Monday #161 - Luciano Vecchio Discusses 'Marvel's Voices: Iceman'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!


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