Iceman & Psylocke: Running Solo

Two X-Men hit the spotlight in their own solo adventures next month

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PSYLOCKE #2 cover by David Finch
By Marc Strom

The idea of stepping out on your own can frighten some, but for the X-Men it only affords a greater opportunity to shine.

On November 4, PSYLOCKE #1 and X-MEN ORIGINS: ICEMAN #1 bring two stalwart members of Marvel's Merry Mutants to the forefront as Chris Yost and Harvey Tolibao delve into the psychic ninja's present while Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Phil Noto return readers to the earliest days of one of the original X-Men.

According to Yost, Psylocke feels a strange type of obligation to return her former body to Japan.

"Well, if you can't feel responsible for your own body...it's such a bizarre, creepy situation," notes Yost. "At one point in issue #1, she's just staring at her body, on the medical exam table. Not an experience a lot of people get to enjoy. But it's just one more horrible, bizarre thing in Psylocke's life. Blinded, mechanical other-dimensional camera eyes, body swap, Crimson Dawn, death, being remade by her insane brother, universe-swap-at some point, it has to affect her. This is it."

Psylocke's solo series also features the return of the villainous Matsu'o, who previously played a significant role in our heroine's life.

"Matsu'o has a very real, long-standing connection to Psylocke," recounts Yost. "After all, [she currently inhabits] the body of his one true love, something he is responsible for. As for why he's interested in her right now, he has his reasons. Horrible, horrible reasons."

PSYLOCKE #1 cover by David Finch
Since Psylocke's creation more than 30 years ago, she's typically acted in a supportive or ensemble role, but Yost sees this limited series as an opportunity to really bring her into new territory.

"I think when any one of the X-Men is with the team, it's easy to get caught up in the big picture stuff, like the end of their species, fighting Dark Avengers, mutant messiahs, all the big 'X-Men' stuff," he comments. "But it's always great to put the spotlight on a character like this, because let's face it. Horrible things happen to these people, and they almost never get to deal with it. So with Psylocke on her own, getting attacked in a very personal way like this, we really get a chance to get inside her head and see how she's dealing with a very challenging life."

Following up on that, Yost promises to push Psylocke further than she's ever gone before.

"Betsy is a battle hardened warrior who's been to the end of the multiverse and back again," relates the writer. "She's seen it all. But everyone has their limit. We'll get to see if Psylocke [has] found hers."

Meanwhile, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa flashes back to the formative days of Bobby Drake in X-MEN ORIGINS: ICEMAN #1 with a story the writer jumped at for a number of reasons.

"Iceman's always been one of my favorite characters, ever since I grew up watching the 'Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends' cartoon, and I'd been wanting to take a crack at him for awhile when this opportunity came up," confesses Aguirre-Sacasa. "To me, there's also something really

X-MEN ORIGINS: ICEMAN #1 preview art by Phil Noto
appealing about super hero stories before they put their costumes on-when they first discover their powers, before they join a team, etc. Those stories are, to my mind, at once more primal and grounded, as they say in Hollywood. More mythic. And the truth is, when someone asks you to write one of the original X-Men, you don't ask too many questions, you know?"

The one-shot marks the second time Aguirre-Sacasa has tackled the origin of an original X-Man following ANGEL: REVELATIONS, though he explains that the two stories have a number of differences.

"The canvas in ANGEL: REVELATIONS was much larger, of course, since that was a [limited series] and this is a one-shot," the writer compares. "But they're also very different characters. Warren's a child of privilege, a golden boy. Warren's much more of a regular suburban teen, with regular suburban teen problems.

"[On the other hand, Bobby has] parents who don't understand him, a girlfriend who's sending him mixed signals, a bruiser bully who has decided to make [his] life miserable, that kind of thing. What's interesting, of course, is how these different characters respond to their powers in a similar way. Which is to say, 'I don't want these. I don't want to be a freak.'"

When researching Iceman's solo one-shot, Aguirre-Sacasa went straight to the original interpretation of the character's beginning.

"I pretty much stuck to Iceman's origin as it was presented in UNCANNY X-MEN #45-#47 as a back-up feature," he divulges. "I expanded on certain elements in the mythology and pulled back on a couple of conceits that felt less relevant. But basically I tried to honor the original origin story as much as possible."

X-MEN ORIGINS: ICEMAN #1 preview art by Phil Noto
From Iceman's earliest days, though, Aguirre-Sacasa feels a number of the character's attributes have remained the same.

 "I kind of pictured him a little bit as the 'angry young man,'" he elaborates. "A little alienated, like James Dean in 'Rebel Without a Cause,' [and] with a bit of a chip on his shoulder to cover up his fears and insecurities. But he's a hot-head, for sure, which makes him fun to write."

Closing things out, the writer also wanted to pay respect to his artistic collaborator on this one-shot:

"It's all about Phil Noto's art. So simple and beautiful. Truly gorgeous."

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      Comments

      8 comments
      michaeltill
      michaeltill

      Psyched that Yost will be doing the Psylocke story. This should be good.Iceman? Meh.

      DYNASTYMAN
      DYNASTYMAN

      THAT WILL BE COOL. I HOPE SOMETHING CRAZY HAPPENS.

      Ultimate_Xorn
      Ultimate_Xorn

      I was wondering when they were going to come back to the Crimson Dawn stuff... great to see a Bobby centric story too

      HeroxMatt
      HeroxMatt

      haha, that ninja tackling Psylocke's legs on #2 can't believe his luck!

      littlemikey979
      littlemikey979

      looks like they will both be good, hopefully the art work for iceman is sharpened up a bit, it always seems like the back up artist get these side books and the art is not a great as on the regular series, ex. check out the armor wars(non-ultimate universe). of course the one-shot is going to have a heavier price tag on it then the regular book so why not get what we pay for eh marvel?

      Phoenixdude
      Phoenixdude

      It was about time he got his own Origins one-shot (a mini would have been better, but I will take what I can get :wink: :iceman:)

      kreemarvel
      kreemarvel

      [color=seagreen] I love Bobby. I'm looking forward for this one-shot.[/color]