Warning: contains spoilers for Marauders #18!
One of the many great things about comic books is getting to see awesome superpowers in action. But while a hero’s unique abilities can be a force for good, they can also cause problems of their own, if not outright disasters. A prime example of the downfalls powers can have is Bruce Banner, whose transformations into the Hulk have often led him to go on destructive rampages that endanger everyone around him. Unfortunately, Marvel just revealed that while Iceman‘s powers aren’t quite so dangerous, the X-Men hero leaves behind a major problem after his battles.
Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, is one of the original five X-Men from Professor Xavier’s very first team of mutants. Over the years, he’s become increasingly skilled at using his cryokinesis powers to the point where now he is even classified as an Omega-level mutant. On the battlefield, Iceman has used his powers in a variety of different ways, frequently shooting ice-beams to freeze his opponents in place and creating ice slides to get around quickly. Though these moves have proven very effective in a fight, they also result in a major problem after the conflict is finished, which is only now being brought to light.
Marauders #18 by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, Matteo Lolli, and Edgar Delgado takes place in the small island nation of Madripoor, where the anti-mutant group known as Homines Verendi is trying to buy up land from under impoverished citizens. In order to thwart the hate group’s plans and help the island’s poor community, Krakoa’s mutants decide to purchase the land instead. After unveiling a new, free hospital staffed by former villain Masque, the Marauders continue to grow more popular with the people by making more purchases and engaging in some kind deeds. Unfortunately, this instigates Verendi to launch an attack on Iceman, Bishop, and Pyro with their new army of genetically enhanced soldiers called the Reavers. As the mutants clash with their enemies, Bishop notices several media crews nearby and realizes that it was all a set-up by Verendi to show mutants in a bad light.
Surely enough, the end of the issue shows Donald Pierce, an ambassador from Madripoor and member of Homines Verendi, discussing the incident at a United Nations meeting. He argues that the Marauders are working to destabilize Madripoor’s economy and impede on the government’s “revitalization of crime-ridden slums.” To drive the point home even further, Pierce also points out a particularly troubling problem resulting from Iceman’s involvement, saying, “Madripoor has no snowplows, of course. They’ll be shoveling tons of ice into the harbor by hand.” After stating his case, Pierce requests that the UN bar the Marauders from entering Madripoor and ultimately succeeds in swaying his audience.
While Pierce’s comment about Iceman may just seem like a random detail, it actually helps point out a major problem with Iceman’s powers: the cleanup. Considering all of the ice that Bobby creates during a fight, it’s honestly surprising that more people don’t mention the mess that he leaves behind. After all, his ice-slides sometimes stretch on for several city blocks. While some cities, like New York, are certainly more equipped than Madripoor to handle snow and ice removal, Iceman still creates a pretty huge burden for people whenever he starts getting fancy with his powers.
Many around the globe can likely relate to the frustration people must feel after Iceman slides through town, especially during these winter months. Hopefully, after this new UN ruling, Bobby will be able to look more closely at how his powers affect average citizens and work on removing his own mess. While mutant-racists Homines Verendi created a situation to make the mutants look bad, leaving the destitute citizens of Madripoor to deal with his powers by hand is still partially on Bobby’s shoulders. With the X-Men now under global scrutiny, Iceman needs to enter the next stage of controlling his powers – handling the clean-up.