Disclaimer Stuff: Characters belong to Marvel; I'm just borrowing them for a while. I'm not making any money, so don't bother to sue me.

An Interview with the Iceman
by Lady Kate

They say you can always tell where the X-Men have been just by the damage we leave behind, but that's not true.

Just yesterday we squared off against some Sentinels downtown -– a decidedly non-friendly bunch, I might add – and today you can hardly tell we were there at all. Especially since the cops stopped doing the chalk outline thing for robot remains.

Okay, so maybe a car or two got toasted. C'mon. It was rush hour. There must have been three hundred cars on that one street alone. They probably have more fender benders than that any other day of the week.

Yeah, sure, a few storefront windows got smashed. I know. Big deal. I'm telling you, a hailstorm would do more damage.

And all of our innocent bystanders got away with nothing more severe than a case of nerves and, in some cases, probably some really sore throats from all that screaming they did. Which is really annoying, by the way. Nothing worse than trying to save someone who's hollering in your ear.

Come to think of it, some of those bystanders didn't look like they were in the best of shape, huffing and puffing as they ran away, so I'll bet there might be one or two suffering from stiff legs this morning. But that's it. That's the extreme limit of our casualty list. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

No, I'm not in denial.

No, I am NOT.

What are you talking about? Oh, like the Avengers could do better? I doubt it. Anyway, don't come after us on that one. Why don't you ask the dorks who made the Sentinels why they fuel them with such flammable propellant?

Well, anyway, the streets looked pretty clear to me. If any of that stuff got spilled, the rain washed it away.

Yeah, maybe the Avengers or the FF can't count on the weather always cooperating, but we X-Men have been pretty lucky that way. It's a trade secret.

Yes, I have met the FF before. No, they seemed okay. Quite polite. Well, really, do you think stretchy-man, see-thru-girl, rock-dude and flaming-boy are gonna be calling us "muties" just because we were born with our abilities, instead of being stupid enough to fly straight into cosmic rays and get some freakish powers that way???

No, you can't quote me on that! I was illustrating a point!

Listen, do you want this interview or not?

Okay, then, ask some half-way intelligent questions.

Wolverine? Not a lot of height, but a hell of a lot of attitude. Pretty tough. Well, I know he's taken on the Hulk several times, I think. To hear him tell it, he kicked his butt each time. You might want to double-check that with the Hulk, though. No, I'm not gonna do that for you. That's your job anyway.

Okay, who are you talking about now? Oh, that would be Storm. Is she the reason…? Well, maybe. Can't give away all our secrets. But, like I said, we don't usually have to worry about the weather.

The red-head used to be Marvel Girl -– what a dumb code name, hey? And Marvel Woman was, like, even dumber, so she didn't bother with that. She was Phoenix for a while, but that's a long story that we don't even want to go into, except to say that there was some bad karma attached to the name. So for the longest time, she was just The Woman Who Couldn't Think of a New Code Name, and now she's gone back to using the Phoenix name. "From the ashes of creativity arises the same old name that was there before." No, that's not her motto. No, don't bother, because I'll deny saying it.

Well, in her defense, code names are a bit tricky. They've got to be at least sort of descriptive. And most of the good ones are taken. You kind of want to stay away from recycling someone else's old code name, too. No, not just the bad karma thing, but there's always someone who's going to be upset that you pilfered it. And really, the Phoenix name does suit her, cause she's a hot babe. Heh heh.

Maybe you'd better leave that part out, cause she's married.

Hey, you ever notice that there seem to be lots of strange hair colours on the mutant women? I mean, you don't see flaming red hair like that very often -– not outside a comic book anyway. And we've got a purple-haired woman on the team, and I used to date a green-haired girl, and that white hair is really odd on a black woman. And then there's that weird migrating white stripe in Rogue's hair, that used to be on both sides, then just one side, and then it went to the middle of her head, just like a skunk stripe, and now instead of migrating again, I think it's expanding--

No, I don't think I'm rambling. It's just kinda weird is all. Think about it. Most of us X-guys have normal hair. Mostly browns and blacks … Well, yes, on him the blond hair does stick out, but it's the blue skin that makes it look odd.

Look, let's forget it, because you're obviously missing the point. The point is … well, don't you think it's weird that the stripe in Rogue's hair doesn't stay put???

Fine. Be that way.


Okay, okay, don't freak out. Let's just get it over with. What do you want to know?

The downside to superheroing? Oh, man. Where to begin? Well, for one, leaping into action at the drop of a hat is a real nice idea, but you can't always be wearing your costume under your clothes. I mean, in winter, the extra layer comes in handy, but it's hard to hide a spandex costume under your shorts in summer. I've pushed for summer uniforms -– you know, cut-offs maybe, and sleeveless outfits -– but apparently that's not high on the list of priorities.

The whole costume thing is a little tiring, actually. A big X on your chest?! You're just asking for people to use you as target practice. Still, I guess it could be worse. You should see the fear in the team's eyes once the fashion czars have decided it's time for an image overhaul. I'm actually pretty lucky, I guess -– I'm always iced over, so I don't have to deal with most of the dumb fads. Like the million little pockets that no one ever used, those big clunky astronaut boots, or capes … I mean, no one's worn capes since the beginning of the last century! Come on. Less is more!

What? … Okay, that's not what I meant by 'less'. Yes, so I did once run around in a swimming-trunk kind of outfit. What can I say? I was young and confused … But you couldn't tell once I iced up, I swear!

Yeah, yeah, okay, back on topic…

Another job-related peril is that if you gain an ounce, the whole world knows. The camera is merciless. It's also truly amazing how many unflattering photos end up in the paper. They miss all my graceful, supremely photogenic moments of heroism and zoom in on the instant that I get my foot caught in a sewer grate or something and I'm screaming for backup. I swear, they do it on purpose.

Plus, "superheroing" isn't really a recognized profession, so we always end up having to list ourselves as mostly unemployed on tax returns. That kind of sucks. Most of us sort of get an allowance from our founder-guy, and that's a little hard to take when you're an adult. Sure, you can work part-time to top it up, but it's hard to buy a car with your savings from working at the gas station. And to top it off, most of us live in the same house together. Just like boarding school or something. Is it any wonder I act like an eternal teenager??

And then, of course, there's always the possibility that one of us is going to get maimed, tortured, blinded, paralyzed, killed, kidnapped and/or brainwashed. I guess those things would definitely be in the "downside" column.

Don't even get me started on the whole "mutie" thing. I mean, please. Let's get over that and move on. It's getting tiresome. You know who I blame for that? That Claremont columnist who works at the Daily Bugle. I swear he coined the whole "mutant menace" term. Ever since he started writing columns, it seems like our lives have got more and more difficult.

Well, yes, maybe he is a very nice person at heart. Maybe. But from where I'm sitting, he's a big fat pain in the … posterior.

Yeah, well, Beast is always trying to get me to improve my vocabulary. Sometimes, a few words actually wear off on me.

Biggest, baddest supervillain? Um, well, I guess it depends on who you ask. We all have our own axes to grind. But, personally, I really can't take a guy named "Mr. Sinister" seriously. He's just trying too hard. The Brood mostly showed up when I wasn't around, and they always struck me as Alien-ripoffs anyway.

Dark Phoenix -– well, she's a pretty heavy duty baddie, but we don't often talk about that. There's that whole "bad karma" thing I mentioned earlier, and quite a body count. Honestly, though, her background and motivation are kind of convoluted. Good stage presence, though -– I'll give her that. Very dramatic.

And the Goblin Queen? I don't think goblins are scary -– they're just weird. Nice outfit, though.

Apocalypse has a pretty good name, and a good track record for villainy, plus he's got the four horsemen thing going, which is a nice touch. The giant "A" on his belt is kind of dorky, though. Like we wouldn't know who you are without the big clue on your belt buckle?

Magneto is also a pretty big heavyweight in the "villain" area. In recent years, he's really worked hard on his credibility, you know with the EMP stuff and the whole Genosha thing. But I still gotta say, he loses marks for all those stupid magnet thingamabobbies he was using way back when we first went up against him. If you want people to take you seriously, don't stick a giant magnet on your spaceship.

No, I guess a lot of people don't remember that.

Yeah, okay, so we were lightweights back then too. At least we were just teenagers!

No, I'm not saying that you're a lightweight just cause you're a teenager. I'm just saying…

How old are we now? Uh, let's not go there. Every now and again, I've tried doing the math, and it never quite seems to work out. It could be some kind of time-spatial disorder that we haven't quite tracked down, but the less we talk about it, the better.

Anything I'd like to say in closing?

Can't think of anything in particular. Let's just add something about the awesome Iceman being an awesome nice man -– hee hee!! -– and maybe have a flattering photo of me for once. That way I can send a copy home to my folks and maybe they won't think I've completely wasted my life.

Yeah, I know this article is for a school paper. I figure I'll work my way up.

Oh, hey, wait, I know what I want to say. Did I mention that I have a degree in Accounting? Well, I do. So, in closing, I'd like to say: Stay in school, kids. You'll never regret a good education. Just look at me. Mild-mannered accountant by day, and a superhero by -– well, usually by day, actually. Contrary to popular belief, most supervillains –- and bad guys in general -– still tend to keep daylight hours. HOWEVER, if you were to be maimed or incapacitated or just generally disliked by your superheroing coworkers and asked to leave, you will be able to fall back on your degree, which will hopefully somehow cushion the blow.

Inspiring words, aren't they? Well, hopefully that's enough for your article.

Where can you send a copy? Just how dumb do you think I am? Don't answer that. I'm not giving you the address to our super-secret impenetrable hideout. Let's see, I suppose I could have you mail it to a post-office box. Why don't you--

"Ah simply cannot believe you're still hoggin' the phone!"

Hold on just a minute (muffling phone receiver with hand) -– Look, can you keep your voice down just the smallest bit? I'm kind of just wrapping things up here--

"Ah don't care! Ah want to make a call, an' you've been tyin' it up long enough, Bobby--"

NO! Don't use my name!!!

"Oh, f'r goodness sake--"

Okay, okay, just give me a second. And be quiet! (uncovering phone receiver) Err … a very important situation has developed. I'm afraid I have to go. Immediately. No, no, I'm not in any danger. It's just … duty calls, and all that. I'll be in touch, and thanks for the opportunity--


(hastily) Goodbye!


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