In the last issue of Astonishing X-Men, we were still seeing the X-Termination event happening and while the event is over there are still repercussions occurring in the Marvel Universe. This issue shows the beginning of exactly one of those repercussions. Back in the Age of Apocalypse, Iceman had become a force of nature in itself in how evil he had truly become. This issue goes back to one of the last events in the X-Termination story line where Dark Beast had stuck a piece of Apocalypse’s Death Seed into the standard 616 Universe Iceman and what results from it.

While I’m sure there will be more fallout from the X-Termination story line the focus on this issue is clearly Iceman. Bobby Drake has always been one of the most laid back and wise cracking member of the team. Not so much with what he had seen in the Age of Apocalypse (and I’m sure that Death Seed isn’t helping things much.) Offhand I’m REALLY glad we’re getting some more closure on these events and they weren’t just swept under the rug.

The story opens with Bobby having a sit down with his psychologist and letting her know he is having dreams that don’t fit well with him. We quickly find out that she has recently been replaced by Mystique which I’ll get into shortly.

Also during this time we see Thor get completely out of whack over on The Avengers side of things. I can only assume this is the going to come back and have Thor play a part in this mini-series. Otherwise I can’t imagine why he would be popping up here.

When he leaves here he meets up with Kitty and a few X-Men for coffee where we first here that potentially the biggest ice storm of all time is brewing. The look of this issue fully fits the darkness that is coming and you can practically feel the chill in the air with the muted tones and look of every panel. Things don’t go well as one after another of Bobby’s ex-girlfriends start showing up and all state that he was the one that called them. Kitty is not too happy with how things work out but ends up taking them all somewhere else.

Things clearly aren’t going well for Bobby.

That night things progress in the crazy department as Mystique makes a quick trip to visit Gambit. She waits for Gambit to be off the phone with Jubilee (who is soon returning to the X-Men so it’s a good lead in either for that or for her being part of this event which could lead into that.)

When Gambit gets off the phone Mystique shows herself and after a brief and not too violent fight tells him that things aren’t right with Bobby. Her sneaking in makes more sense now as she’s one of Bobby’s ex’s so even though shes extremely on the outs with the X-Men due to the events in All New X-Men and the regular X-Men titles it still can fit assuming he had some secret way to get in touch with her. (If that isn’t the case I really have no idea why she’s involved.)

At the same time this is happening Bobby is walking around the X-Mansion and overhears a conversation Kitty is having with Wolverine. She misses the way that Colossus used to look at her and knows that he would never have missed one of his ex-girlfriends the way that Bobby clearly missed his. She’s hurt and alone but clearly Bobby only hears the fact that she misses Colossus.

Things clearly aren’t going well for Bobby.

If that wasn’t clear before we now see Iceman leave the X-Mansion and travel through the snowstorm that is increasingly getting worse. In the thick of it Iceman shows up looking more like the Iceman from the Age of Apocalypse Universe and the book closes with the Death Seed being shown off.

I haven’t seen a focus on Iceman in quite awhile and as I loved the take on him being evil in the Age of Apocalypse I can’t wait to see him being evil in this one. I was a little let down with how quick X-Termination seemed to wrap things up but as we’re seeing elements of that story line continue in Astonishing X-Men I am excited to see where this goes!

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta