Origins: Bobby Drake
“It is a cool fall night in 1963! The place is a small town in Nassau County.” Thus begins the story of Bobby Drake. These origin stories finally turn away from Cyclops and show us another member of the team, Iceman. Bobby Drake is just a teenager with strange powers, completely unaware of who he is about to meet.
Bobby is walking home a date, a real close minded bitch named Judy. Bobby is young and naive and doesn’t know any better, so they’re being quite romantic. Suddenly they are attacked. A bunch of goons are being all macho and alpha-male in an attempt to show Judy who the “real man around here is!” Did people in the 60s just attack random people on the street to attract women? The bullies turn out to be correct in that they are the ‘real men’, but not in the way they had hoped. Bobby shows his mutant side.
It doesn’t take Bobby long to knock these assholes down a peg. He freezes the lead bully solid, sending the rest scattering. He’s saved the day, but he’s also revealed his powers. Judy, terrified and ignorant, shows her true colors as she runs away, telling Bobby she never wants to see him again. What a waste of time she was. Don’t worry Bobby, later you’re going to meet this girl named Zelda who’s really cool and really understanding and really out of the picture quite suddenly I think at least twenty issues ago. Bobby Drake is a playa.
Not knowing what to do, and pretty terrified himself, Bobby rushes home to his parents. Here we get to see Mr. and Mrs. Drake, and get an idea of where Bobby grew up. It’s already clear that he didn’t grow up in the lap of luxury like Warren, but he also wasn’t shuffled through orphanages like Scott. So far his childhood seems the most typical of the average American youth at the time.
He tells his parents what happened, and they hardly have time to react before there is an angry mob at their front door. Word travels quick in this town. Mr. Drake goes outside to calm down the mob, their former friends and neighbors, but it is to no avail. They charge into the house, violently attacking Bobby.
Of course all he can do is throw snowballs at everyone until they subdue him and take him to the sheriff. Here Bobby waits for a trial, or whatever other judgment these prejudiced, mutant hating people decide to dish out.
Charles and Scott are chillin out together at the Xavier Mansion, a perfectly normal thing for an elderly man and a teenage boy to be doing. It actually reminds me of Chris Griffin and Herbert. Never mind though, because they’re about to continue an age old tradition of locating new mutants using
Cerebro the television! Wait, no, this time it’s the newspaper. I still don’t see why Charles needs that big computer to find mutants. They read Bobby’ story in the news, and they rush to help.
Bobby is waiting in his cell, and the issue ends hinting that he will get a visit from his future teammates. One of the most vivid memories I have of the old X-Men cartoon from the early 90s was Beast awaiting trial in his cell, refusing escape attempts from both Magneto and the X-Men. Henry believed it was important to have faith in the justice system, and allow it its due course. Will Bobby have as much conviction? We’ll have to wait and see.
And finally, it’s worth noting that there is a goof in that last image. Cyclops is wearing his new costume that he got in issue 39. He should be wearing his original costume. The costume he is wearing was made by Jean, who he hasn’t even met yet.