Iceman Storyline with Phoenix tagging along
In the last issue, Iceman embarked on a “solo” mission to Japan. Sure, Jean Grey tagged along. Though really, she was only there to justify the X-Factor title. Every time you think she was going to do something cool with her astral powers, it was basically a tease. Number 64 continued the story, in which Bobby Drake must rescue his girlfriend, Opel.
The cyberpunk Yakuzas are still creating havoc. Opel’s grandfather, Tastu’o, demands that she chooses one of them as a suitor. She still refuses. After all, she’s with Bobby. But this one named Hiro just might make a case for himself.
A Game of Drones
Hiro tells Opel the story of her parents. Perhaps hearing this, she might have a better understanding about her grandfather’s intents. The flashback borrows a little from Romeo and Juliet, and a little from DC’s Huntress. Lovers from feuding families, Opel’s mother sneaks her to America, while her father is murdered. When Tatsu’o learned of Opel’s existence, he sent out his cyborgs so that his legacy could carry on.
Now, these cyberpunks have upgraded from their purple suits to golden ones. It’s funny they refer to themselves as Lord Tatsu’o’s Cyber Force. This issue was published in ’91, whereas the Image/Top Cow title premiered the following year.
The story climaxes into a battle between Hiro and Bobby. It’s almost like two rams fighting over a mate. What makes it even more brutal is that they agree to do so without powers. Iceman morphs down to Bobby Drake. Without his ice form, he’s just a guy in an X-Factor uniform. Whilce Portacio’s design is quite aesthetic: a blue jumpsuit with a yellow X down the whole body. Kinda looks like those in the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie. I think somebody was taking notes.
While the art was great, the story was still lacking. I know this was a chance to let Iceman shine – perhaps give him some development. But the title is called X-Factor, not Iceman featuring a brief cameo by Jean Grey.