X-Men character Bobby Drake – otherwise known as Iceman – was outed in Wednesday’s issue of All-New X-Men No. 40.

Iceman Is Gay

In the issue, the members of the X-Men team head back to the past, assuming younger versions of themselves. In the past, X-Men original Jean Grey, who can read minds, asks Bobby why he calls women “hot,” when he’s gay. Bobby refuses to acknowledge that she’s speaking the truth at first, despite the fact that he knows her talent for mind reading.

Explaining the reveal of Iceman’s sexuality, writer Brian Michael Bendis said that he wanted to explore Iceman’s struggle to come to terms with being gay – and promised that the outing was only the beginning of the storyline.

“There are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality,” Bendis told CNN. “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 also took to Twitter to make sure fans of the comics knew that it was never his goal for the story to get such widespread media attention.