In this issue we close the arc on the ice age that Iceman has inflicted upon the Earth while powered up by The Apocalypse Seed. In the last issue we ended with the seed coming loose and being swallowed by Mystique, giving her the powers of Apocalypse. Interesting enough, the powers manifested within her more were Apocalypse’s shape shifting and immortality – not quite the Godly powers Iceman seemed to develop which could truly have brought death to the entire globe.
With Mystique powered up, it quickly switches from a battle between the X-Men and Iceman to the X-Men and Mystique. No progress is being made until Thor makes his return from being stabbed and uses his Godly powers to immobilize her momentarily. Clearly the seed hasn’t given her all of its power as Iceman was able to nearly shrug this off while she’s stopped cold.
Not wasting the opportunity, we see Kitty swoop in and save the day by reaching in and taking the shard of the Apocalypse Seed from Mystique’s body. At this point? It’s an all out return of a super powered Iceman! Even without the seed he still seems to have enough power to have quite a bit going on.
In one panel he takes out all of the heroes and knocks them out. In the next an evil version of himself is talking to Opal about her lying to him about their son. Apparently he’s also in another area where one version of himself is having a conversation with another where this all boils down to him having Daddy issues. In another scene he is confronting Mystique for betraying him and taking the seed for herself.
All of these scenes mix back and forth with one another and ending with Mystique telling him that she knew he was evil all along and look what he was able to do when it finally surfaced.
As the X-Men leave, we see three of them walking through the snow and it’s clear that Iceman has a lot of power even without the seed. He offhandedly points out that he could kill everyone on the planet with a thought but the X-Men are willing to stand against him if they have to.
At this point, a part of himself rises up almost appearing to still be empowered (or controlled) by the seed he no longer possesses and attacks him and the X-men. He makes his choice and defeats it, saving them all.
After this confrontation we fast forward to Wolverine and Iceman alone talking. Bobby asks why he is being given another chance since if he were to ever slip, he could fall right back into taking the world out on a whim. Wolverine, having once been Apocalypse’s Death, has first hand experience with how such a change can stay with you even when it is supposedly gone. He leaves as Kitty enters to try to talk some sense into him. They talk and he says he now has to wear a mask in front of everyone because he really enjoyed the freedom what he did and now has to go back to being plain old Iceman.
She leaves the room and it’s unclear if they are still going to attempt to be a couple or if the fact that he may have just killed thousands of people and be able to kill the entire world is going to be an issue.
I felt there were some really powerful moments here. I also felt that Bobby got let off extremely easy at the end of this. He’s still on the team and for the most part nothing is really happening to him. It’s almost a let down with Cyclops being America’s most wanted after recent events.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #65
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta