The coldest comfort there is.
Robert “Bobby” Drake, born in Long Island, New York, is the youngest of the original five X-Men. Even if you never knew his real name, his superhero moniker was one of the easiest to guess. Iceman, obviously, has the mutant ability to lower temperatures around him. He uses this ability to project intense blasts of cold and create super-dense bio-ice that he utilizes in many creative, if not often in comedic fashions. Matter of fact, his powers first emerged during a date, during which he and his companion encountered something of a “bully.” It ended with the young man trapped in a block of ice.
Bobby was thrown in jail for his actions, but was soon freed by none other than Cyclops and Professor-X. He accepted the offer to join his academy, and subsequently, the X-Men. There, he developed his first “ice-form,” although it made him look more like a snowman than anything else. By the time he and the rest of the X-Men exited the 1960s, he’d grown experienced enough to mature his appearance into what we are more familiar with today.
During an encounter with the giant mutant/living island, Krakoa, Bobby was among the X-Men that found themselves imprisoned by the creature. He and the rest are eventually saved by the new crop of X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975.
Iceman’s adventures would occasionally take him from the X-Men. While seeking higher education at UCLA he helped form the first iteration of the superhero team, The Champions. Later, he and former X-Men teammates Beast and Angel, would come together and join the Defenders. Not long after that, Iceman would retire from superheroing long enough to become an… accountant. In between counting other people’s money, he traveled back in time and took on the cosmic embodiment, Oblivion and somehow survived.
This brings us to more modern-day Iceman. He would rejoin Cyclops, the newly resurrected Jean Grey, Beast, and Angel and form the first version of X-Factor. During this era, he and his friends would come into conflict with heavy-hitters such as Loki and Apocalypse.
After the Muir Island arc which pit him and others against Shadow King, X-Factor was disbanded. He and the rest of X-Factor would regroup in time for the 90’s era of X-Men. Iceman was made part of the Gold team, led by Storm. During the decade, Iceman would come to learn the true extent of his powers.
Emma Frost, one of the world’s most skilled telepaths, briefly took control of Bobby’s body. Not being held back by Bobby’s complacency, Emma utilized his powers in ways he’d never imagined. This would disturb him for years to come. All the way up to his encounter with a villain called Post (a minion of Onslaught). He, Wolverine, Storm, and Cyclops fought him and won, but at the cost of Boby’s chest being shattered while still in his “iced-up” form. Terrified to know what might happen if he shifted back, he remained in his ice-form until he could confront Emma. After some taunting, she did eventually show him how to reconstruct himself.
Iceman is regularly utilized in the time following but is rarely focused upon. It’s not until Astonishing X-Men where he’s infected with the Death Seed that we see some progression. The Death Seed pushed Iceman well beyond anything he’d accomplished with his powers. It also forced him to confront his issues with his past loves including Polaris, Mystique, and Opal. Iceman began using his powers with more creativity past that point. He began to create golems of various size and even demonstrated levels of omniscience while controlling them.
The next big step in Iceman’s long storied career is personal and infamous among fans. Perhaps even divisive. After the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men, Beast thought it’d be a good idea to bring the X-Men of the past, to the future. He seemed to think if their younger selves (mainly Cyclops) could see what they’d become, they’d make different choices. Yeah, it was a silly idea. However, while Iceman’s younger self was in the present, teenaged Jean Grey made the startling discovery. Iceman was, in fact, gay. Which meant adult Iceman had been in the closet for years. Forced to confront this aspect about himself, Iceman finally came out to his friends. Since then, he’s been on a journey of self-rediscovery.
Off the Pages
Iceman has always been a fan-favorite. Mostly likely to due to being 1/3 of the very popular show, “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” in the ’80s. However, the creators of X-Men: The Animated Series didn’t choose him for the ’90s show. He did guest star in one episode titled “Cold Comfort.” In it, he’s searching for his missing girlfriend and former X-Man, Polaris. He, with the help of the X-Men, discover that she’d willingly joined X-Factor and was in a new relationship with another man. It’s not until the 3rd season of X-Men: Evolution was he seen on the small screen again.
Iceman’s obscurity wouldn’t last. He was steady, at times even heavily, utilized in many of the X-Men movies. He’s portrayed by actor Sean Ashmore in X-Men, X2, X3, and Days of Future Past. Iceman was also cast in the X-Men Anime and has been used in many video games such as X-Men: Children of the Atom, the Capcom “Vs” series among others.
- Iceman might be immortal. In his ice-form, he’s been shattered once or twice and been able to reform his body!
- Despite his current sexual preference, Iceman had developed feelings for his teammate Rogue. Which didn’t help his relationship with her then-boyfriend, Gambit. Or did it?
- Like Storm, Iceman’s powers allow him to self-regulate his internal temperature, as well as withstand extreme and hostile environments.
- To create ice, such as the kind he uses to create his famous ice-slide, Iceman needs water. Without a sufficient amount of moisture in the air, his powers are limited.