Iceman, one of the founding members of the X-Men, is out as gay.
In a few leaked pages from All-New X-Men #40, in stores on Wednesday, the teenage superhero is outed by his psychic teammate Jean Grey, who calls him out for saying inappropriately sexual things about their teacher, Magik.
The Iceman who is outed here is the teenage version of the character, who has been living in the present day with his time-traveling teammates. The older, present-day Iceman we've known for years has been living as a straight man.
But young Iceman has a pretty good idea of why the older version of himself never came out.
There's been a lot of fan speculation over the years about Iceman's sexuality, and several writers have hinted at this in print, but author Brian Michael Bendis has made this canon.
And suddenly Iceman — who has appeared in most of the X-Men movies and animated series — is the most famous LGBT superhero.
He's not even close to the first gay X-Men character, though. Other LGBT X-Men include Northstar, Karma, Anole, Rictor, Shatterstar, and Benjamin Deeds, who was created by Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen.
This story is still in progress, and we're likely to see young Iceman talk to older Iceman about this before Bendis ends his run on the X-Men titles in May with Uncanny X-Men #600.
Hopefully this will push present-day Iceman to come out too, since the time-displaced X-Men are likely to go back to their era at the end of Bendis' run on the X-Men.
Bendis wasn't thrilled to have the pages from All-New X-Men #40 leak in advance.
But he's already getting praise from grateful fans who've been hoping to see more diversity in superhero comics.
Marvel issued this statement from Brian Michael Bendis about his decision to explore this aspect of Iceman in All-New X-Men.
There are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality. The X-Men, with the conceit of time travel, give us a fascinating platform in which to examine such personal journeys. This is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told.
Bendis further elaborated on his plans for this story in an interview with Comic Book Resources.
This isn't the final statement on Bobby's very unique story. And it is not a universal statement on sexual identity, it's Bobby's unique one. The other portions have already been written and are being produced as we speak. Before I leave the X-Men on Uncanny #600, more layers will be peeled off of this, including what this means for older Bobby. I think we address all the big questions. As [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso told MTV, a big part of the conversation when I presented this idea was, what happens next? What are we attempting to do here? Marvel was satisfied with my answers, and hopefully many other people will be as well.