The writer of Iceman pays homage to Bobby Drake’s co-creator!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Forgive the pun, but in 1963, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the coolest character in comics: Iceman! Debuting alongside his fellow mutants in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #1, Bobby Drake not only revealed himself as the youngest of the bunch, but also the class clown. The frozen hero has grown quite a bit since then, but ICEMAN writer Sina Grace still sees the connections going back to those earliest appearances when he looked more like a walking-talking snowman than the experienced X-Man we’ve come to know and love.

We talked with Grace about how a toy probably introduced him to “The King,” the personality Stan and Jack infused Bobby with, and how all that influenced his own work.

Marvel.com: How did you first discover Jack’s work? Do you remember what you thought of it at the time?

Sina Grace: I think maybe the first time I saw Jack Kirby’s work was in some UNCANNY X-MEN #1 reprint that came with an action figure? Growing up, I remembered always being drawn to it over some of his other contemporaries. Like, I’m pretty sure I’m the only kid in the world who was like, “Why is this Neal Adams guy drawing X-Men in later issues?!” [Laughs]

Marvel.com: When you knew you wanted to make comics, did you go back, look at his work and learn anything that helped you in your own process?

Sina Grace: My experiences learning from Kirby’s art were always about how to communicate a lot of information with the constraints of being under deadline. Jack was so prolific, and his art was always dynamic. I examined that. I remember seeing an exhibit with his originals for the Masters of American Comics exhibition, and just spending solid minutes looking at every detail, every brush stroke. Thanks Glen David Gold for contributing so much of your collection to that!

Marvel.com: Iceman obviously looks different now than he did when Jack drew him, but what do you think makes that a classic look?

Sina Grace: Jack’s representation of Bobby is sort of how I love him best: being a walking, talking snowman could be fodder for embarrassment, but our boy leaned into it and was in on the joke from the get-go. Jack always drew him with humor and levity, when he could have been far more angsty about his skill set in those early years.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked on a lot of different kinds of books in different fields, like Jack did. Do you think he inspired you at all in that way?

Sina Grace: I wouldn’t say that Jack directly inspired me to go ahead and play around with genres and art styles, but I will say that I was always inspired by the way he was able to evolve his style while staying consistently true to what made something deserving of the Kirby signature.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Sina Grace details the Marvel Legacy reunion of the original Champions!

He’s getting the band back together!

As Marvel Legacy begins, ICEMAN #6 sees writer Sina Grace and artist Robert Gill restore Bobby Drake’s other team…the Champions!

The super group—which debuted in THE CHAMPIONS #1 over 40 years ago—consisted of Iceman, Black Widow, Hercules, Ghost Rider, Darkstar, and Angel. And on October 4, as Iceman assembles a team to “protect those who can’t protect themselves,” a familiar foe returns to counter the Champions and all that they hold dear.

We met up with Sina to map out a Champion reunion four decades in the making.

Marvel.com: What about Iceman’s past made you want to revisit the Champions?

Sina Grace: Outside of the X-Men, the Champions are the most important team Bobby Drake has ever been a part of. Bobby also found himself in a unique place at that time—back then, Iceman lived in Los Angeles as a student at UCLA, considered the “kid” of the team. And when my editor told me Black Widow would be dead by the time my issues happened [due to the events of Secret Empire], suddenly all the stories synced up with his journey in ICEMAN.

Marvel.com: Of this group, Bobby and Warren Worthington have known each other the longesthow would you describe their relationship today?

Sina Grace: I would describe Bobby and Warren’s relationship as “bromantic,” to say the least. Readers will get to see the pair lean on each other as friends. For anyone reading ASTONISHING X-MEN, they’ll see that Warren needs Bobby’s comfort and guidance more than ever before.

Marvel.com: Darkstar’s probably the least known member of the Champions at this point. What’s her situation as this story picks up?

Sina Grace: I sort of play into her odd-woman-out vibe. She’s trying desperately to cling to some kind of normalcy—to be some kind of reliable—after Natasha’s death. And it’s a struggle. Darkstar plays into the concept that, “It’s easy to be a hero; it’s hard to be a human.”

Marvel.com: Hercules and Black Widow are well-established heroesdoes Bobby look up to them in some ways?

Sina Grace: We’ll get to see some new layers behind Bobby’s relationship with Black Widow. It’s interesting—in the aftermath of Natasha’s death, Hercules isn’t really able to play leader at the moment…which gives more reason for Bobby ending up front and center in this story. If anything, readers can expect to see Hercules as more of a wingman for Bobby (cue intense ellipsis)…

Marvel.com: How does Ghost Rider fit into these team dynamics?

Sina Grace: He’s got some great moments, and he really gets some cool bits in issue #7. Robert Gill and I had so much fun choreographing the fight scenes to not only play to Ghost Rider’s strengths, but also to the visual strengths of each of these insanely different characters. For as much as these characters grieve and struggle, they have a lot of fun too!

On October 4, Sina Grace and artist Robert Gill bring the Champions together again with ICEMAN #6!

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A cold front seems to be approaching Marvel Legacy!

Writer Sina Grace takes Bobby on a trip down memory lane in ICEMAN #6, and with everything going on in Bobby’s world as of late, something tells us he’s going to give a very warm welcome to this cooling off period. A slightly awkward reunion in Los Angeles with teammates from his youth is bound to be less emotionally draining than his life back in the same city as his parents, right?

Marvel.com: Bobby has been a member of a lot of pretty legendary teams throughout his run, what made you choose to reunite the original Champions team?

Sina Grace: The Champions chapter of Bobby Drake’s history appealed to me the most not only because of the awesome/eclectic cast of heroes in the MU, but I was also drawn to his headspace at that time – he’s The Kid on yet another team. Plus, I wanted to try and use the landscape of Los Angeles (my literal hometown!) to my advantage.

Marvel.com: How has Bobby changed since his days with the Champions? How have they changed?

Sina Grace: From a fighting standpoint, Bobby has become way more powerful, and I feel like he’s ready to be more of a leader. Angel’s sort of an emotional mess. The other folks in The Champions have a lot of stuff to talk about when they reconnect in Los Angeles.

Marvel.com: How does this affect the team’s dynamic? Any awkward catching up going on?

Sina Grace: Everyone is a bit detached, so it’s funny that the coolest guy on the team is going to warm them up. The kid never realizes that they’re sort of the glue of any team: the one everyone likes to tease, and the one everyone looks to for a bright smile, or a quick chuckle.

Marvel.com: What’s going on in the book? What new troubles await our heroes and what’s their plan to combat them?

Sina Grace: Honestly, this is the first time I’ve had to dance around some storylines that affect the entire MU! Between the stuff that goes down in the issue where Iceman fights Juggernaut (number five), and the aftermath of the epic Secret Empire arc, everyone’s a bit shaken– to their literal core. The Champions return together for comfort. While they’re in Los Angeles, there’s some interesting foul play afoot. I don’t want to say too much about who they’re up against, but it’s a fun spin on the theme of “Legacy.”

Marvel.com: What can we expect from the art in this book? A new take on the old hero’s, a bit of a throw back to the classic style, maybe a bit of both?

Sina Grace: We’ll have a few throwback panels sprinkled in the first few pages of their reunion, but I just want to let Robert Gill go flippin’ nuts and have a blast! His approach to Bobby is so lighthearted and similarly vibrant. There’s that Nick Bradshaw energy he was throwing in the Jason Aaron WOLVERINE & The X-MEN books. I’m so lucky to have him tackling a story that really juggles action, drama, and humor throughout the event.

Marvel.com: A big part of the series has been about Bobby getting comfortable in his own skin and attempting to get closer to his family, how will that play into this reunion?

Sina Grace: Let’s just say he’s really happy to be in Los Angeles, taking a break from context. But we’ll see some of Bobby’s perspective on raising a kid who became such a special hero.

Marvel.com: What’s next for our favorite cool kid on the block?

Sina Grace: Bobby’s going to be re-evaluating how he moves forward in life. He’s learning how to make decisions that feel right, and it’s going to speak to his journey as a hero in a legit way. Similarly, fans can expect to see the time displaced Bobby real soon! Not in the Champions story, though.

Marvel.com: What is your personal favorite scene in the issue? Any inside jokes you can clue us in to?

Sina Grace: There’s a scene where Bobby sends a group text to see what his teammates are up to for the night. The panels that show how each of the Champions spends downtime in L.A. slays me. That’s my favorite scene, and it’s also the most humorous moment.

Also, who knew Johnny Blaze was so funny? Folks will see! I kind of write him a little bit like the Marvel Ron Swanson. Few words, lots of whiskey.

Marvel.com: Anything you can add or tease?

Sina Grace: All I want to say is that I feel like I’ve found my groove with this series, and the Champions story is a fun two-parter for readers who’ve been picking up since issue one, but it’s also a delightful way to hop in on the Iceman train! Also, look out for some visual Easter eggs in the arc. 😉

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Can Bobby Drake survive his most terrifying encounter yet?

Bobby Drake returns on July 26 in ICEMAN #3, written by Sina Grace with art by Alessandro Vitti, to face his scariest opponent yet: his parents.

In this new series Bobby’s life remains a bit complicated despite his desperate attempts to find both self and general acceptance, de-stress his life outside of the X-Men and have a little less icy relationship with his family. But lets face it: mutants attract drama, and in the words of a wise young prince, there’s no need to argue, parents just don’t understand.

Just how little do they understand? We caught up with Grace to find out!

Marvel.com: We know Bobby is headed home to visit his parents; what’s going through his mind? Anything he’s worried or excited about?

Sina Grace: After Bobby and Kitty’s adventure in West Covina [in ICEMAN #2], he’s feeling the urge to open up to his parents, and build a more honest relationship with [them]. He’s done dancing around the aspects of his life that he wants to celebrate—being a mutant, his sexuality, etc.

Marvel.com: What’s Bobby’s daydream scenario of how his visit plays out?

Sina Grace: In Bobby’s “best of” scenario, his parents would [sense] something was going on, and basically hand him the opportunity to feel like he can open up without shame or judgment. Basically, he’d love if they did the work for him!

Marvel.com: What’s actually in store for him at this family get together?

Sina Grace: Unfortunately for the Drake parents, their new home, and all of their nice things, the Purifiers are staging an ambush. The runt that Iceman took out in the first issue mattered a great deal to someone higher up…

Marvel.com: You can see in ICEMAN #1 that Bobby and his parents aren’t exactly on the same page; can you describe a little more in depth the dynamic of their relationship?

Sina Grace: Bobby’s relationship with his family, for me, comes from the same DNA as characters in a David O. Russell film: overpowering, Irish Catholic, and a little sassy. Bobby’s got to get his wit from somewhere!

Iceman #3 cover by Kevin Wada

Marvel.com: Briefly describe the perfect life for Bobby from his parent’s perspective.

Sina Grace: Historically speaking, Bobby’s parents are happiest when their son is living his life in bullet points they can toss around as bragging rights to friends: “Bobby’s got a degree. Bobby bought a house. Bobby proposed.” His life doesn’t follow any traditional road map, and that makes them uncomfortable.

Marvel.com: What does Bobby have in common with his parents, and where do they differ?

Sina Grace: I think the easiest way to sum up their relationship, in terms of what they have in common and how they differ, is that they love each other, but they don’t like each other.

Marvel.com: Does their relationship grow at all?

Sina Grace: Papa and Mama Drake do end up seeing their son in a different light. I’m not sure whether or not readers will expect it, but to that point: I want the reader’s relationship with Bobby’s parents to grow in a way where you see them as humans.

Marvel.com: Is there anything you can tease about what’s in store for Bobby? Any surprises?

Sina Grace: Fans should expect a few more friendly faces to pop in the book over the next few issues. In terms of surprises, I have some pretty intense stuff lined up with Bobby and his journey to understand his powers a bit more! Keep on reading!

Lightning Round!  

Marvel.com: Bobby’s biggest pet peeve with his parents? SG: Judgment. Marvel.com: His parent’s biggest pet peeve with him? SG: Unaccomplished. Marvel.com: What is their parenting style? SG: Catholic Marvel.com: If his parents had mutant powers what would they be? SG: Rock skin. Marvel.com: It’s Christmas: what does Bobby give them? SG: Personal trinket. Marvel.com: What do they give Bobby? SG: Sweater and gift certificate. Marvel.com: What are his parent’s best qualities? SG: Dedication. Marvel.com: Their worst quality? SG: Obstinate. Marvel.com: What would they say is Bobby’s best quality? SG: Intelligence. Marvel.com: His worst quality? SG: Immaturity. Marvel.com: If they could change one thing about each other what would it be? SG: Perspective. Marvel.com: Do cool jokes run in the family? SG: Sometimes.

Don’t miss a single cringe-worthy family moment in ICEMAN #3 by Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti, out July 26!

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Sina Grace prepares Bobby Drake for a reunion with Kitty Pryde and more!

It may be spring, but there’s a cold front heading your way this June in the all-new series ICEMAN, written by Sina Grace with art by Allessandro Vitti!

To prepare you for the brewing storm we spoke with Grace to find out just what to expect and here’s the deal: The new series follows present day Iceman working through some of the more human aspects of his life that he has never really dealt with, like relationships, sexuality and how to be a successful adult. We understand those feels, Bobby. Oh and let’s not forget there’s a younger Bobby running around town who, according to Grace, slays life; nothing like competing with yourself.

So just who is Bobby Drake?

“He’s the funny guy who shoots ice out of his hands and says one-liners,” states Grace. “So instead of working around that I said, no, he’s very compartmentalized. And so we are looking at what comes after the laughter.” But let’s be clear: there will not be a shortage of one-liners. “I like the jokes I write for him,” the writer clarifies. “They aren’t jokes I could say, but when Bobby cuts them they work.”

And when ICEMAN #2 hits on June 21, you can bet several of these jokes poke fun at the weird, ex-girlfriend-but-still-fellow X-Man dynamic he has cooking with Kitty Pryde. “Awkward is an understatement,” muses Grace. “But Bobby and Kitty are both very responsible super heroes so they’ll never let what they haven’t worked out get in the way of helping people, or the world.” So when a new mutant’s powers emerge, the two former lovebirds set out to give him ye ol’ X-Men spiel, but things start to get a little slippery. “The situation definitely exacerbates what’s been left unspoken,” teases Grace.

Iceman #2 cover by Kevin Wada

Kitty has to deal with the fact that her ex-boyfriend is gay, and Bobby still isn’t exactly the, “Hey girl, let’s sit down and talk this through,” type. Luckily, his walls might be melting just a tad though. “He’s admitting that there is stuff to talk about and it can’t just be swept under the rug with a joke,” confirms Grace. So while they do progress it may take a few more awkwardly tense encounters before they can really put behind their history together to a copacetic friendzone future.

Oh and as an added bonus I’ll let you guys in on a little inside secret: Turns out Grace really likes “Sex and the City,” go figure, so artist Vitti decided to run with that, pretty literally, by giving Iceman a whole line of slick kicks that even Carrie Bradshaw would envy. Probably lost you at the “Sex and the City” reference, but hey at least you can say you know what it’s like behind the scenes!

Be sure to catch all the action, adulting progress, and cool shoes in ICEMAN #1 out June 7, and ICEMAN #2 out June 21!

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A charter member of the X-Men receives his first ongoing series by Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti!

Bobby Drake’s never had it easy. Protecting a world that hates and fears mutantkind and all that saving the world stuff meant he never spent too much time focusing on the man beneath the ice.

Coming up in ICEMAN, Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti chip away at what makes Bobby Iceman while forcing him to come to terms with some of the hard truths revealed by his time-displaced younger self. We talked with Sina about his work on the book and where he plans to take the original king of cool.

Marvel.com: Older Bobby’s been having a tough time dealing with his role as an X-Man, his personal life, and coming out as gay. What was most important to you about writing this new chapter in Iceman’s journey?

Sina Grace: The most important thing for me is making a book that I feel stays true to the X-Men legacy, and honors Iceman’s history. Editor Daniel Ketchum and I both think there’s a great story to tell with the older Bobby Drake facing himself in the mirror and making the decision to step up and use this as a way to become a greater hero. That, and making people laugh. I want to make readers LOL IRL.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little about the dynamic between the elder Iceman and Iceman the Younger? What exactly is happening there?

Sina Grace: What I’ve seen of their interactions to date, the two have the best relationship between all off the [original five time-displaced] X-Men and their older counterparts. There’s a lot of mutual pride going on; a lot of brotherly love vibes. They both have a lot to learn from each other, and it’ll be cool to show how that reflects on the super hero side of things as well as the personal side.

Marvel.com: Watching young Bobby go after what he wants, older Bobby’s feeling like he needs to get his life in gear. Does he have a plan yet or is he ice sliding by the seat of his pants?

Sina Grace: Without spoiling much, there’s a little of the former and the latter! I will say that there’s no clear “hero quest” waiting for him, which is what I’m sure Bobby would prefer than the work he actually has to do. There’s tons to explore with his powers, too. What does hiding a secret from yourself do to your own potential, y’know?

Marvel.com: What kind of challenges lie in Bobby’s path? I’m assuming we’re going to see some super-powered slugfests, but are there subtler obstacles he’ll have to deal with?

Sina Grace: We’ll be seeing some familiar bad-guy faces—and some new ones who will make Bobby’s life pretty tough. I’m allowed to say that Juggernaut will be crashing his way into an earlier issue of the series! The biggest obstacle that I feel Bobby has waiting for him is dealing with his parents. Anyone who knows Bobby’s dad knows that the man does not like when anything is outside of his comfort zone. I’ll leave it at that.

Iceman by Kevin Wada

Iceman by Kevin Wada

Marvel.com: And with the revelation that Iceman is in fact gay, would it be fair to say the book will look at a lot of the coolest X-Man’s relationships and how they might change?

Sina Grace: What’s nice about this being an X-Book, is about the power of finding acceptance in the face of adversity. Bobby’s friends will always be his friends; but some folks will have reactions. There’s going to be an ex-girlfriend or two that he’ll have to have a difficult talk with. That’s all I can say without spoiling the fun we have in store for readers.

Marvel.com: And please tell me we’ll be watching as Bobby dives into the dating scene?

Sina Grace: You better believe that we’ll see Bobby try his hand at dating! The thing to keep in mind is that he’s only just dealing with that part of his identity, so he won’t be quite as confident in getting what he wants the same way his younger self is. This is a Marvel book, so we’re having a great time working out how Bobby will find romance, hurdles [and] all! Iceman can save the world from all kinds of pending doom, but can he even lock down a first date?

Marvel.com: Finally, I know I’m going to be reading ICEMAN, but why should everyone else pick it up?

Sina Grace: At its heart, ICEMAN is going to be everything that is to be adored about an X-Men title: It’s funny, it’s got action, and there’ll be lots of feels. Alessandro Vitti is one of the most dynamic storytellers in Marvel’s stable right now, and he’s pushing my imagination to new heights.

Follow Marvel.com and our social channels for the latest on ICEMAN and the rest of ResurrXion!

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