Iceman (comics)

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"Robert Drake" redirects here. For other people of that name, see Bob Drake (disambiguation).
This article is about the X-Men character. For the DC Comics character Ice Man, see Underworld Unleashed.
"Iceman" redirects here. For other Icemen, see Iceman (disambiguation).
Iceman
Iceman (Bobby Drake).png
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The X-Men #1 (September 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Robert Louis "Bobby" Drake
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations X-Men
X-Factor
Defenders
Champions
X-Terminators
The Twelve
Cataclysm Keys
Secret Defenders
Jean Grey School
Notable aliases Drake Roberts, Mister Friese, Frosty
Abilities
  • Thermokinesis
  • Cryokinesis
  • Hydrokinesis
  • Molecular moisture inversion and conversion
  • Thermal vision
  • Augmented strength and durability (Ice form)

Iceman (Robert "Bobby" Drake) is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a founding member of the X-Men. A mutant, Iceman has the ability of cryokinesis where he can freeze anything around him and can also turn his body into ice. Although he is an Omega-level mutant, Drake has yet to tap into his full mutant potential. Over the years he has taken more interest in developing his abilities. One of the original X-Men, Iceman has had a frequent presence in X-Men (and Spider-Man)-related comics, video games, animated series, and movies.

Shawn Ashmore portrays Iceman in the X-Men films, and voices the character in The Super Hero Squad Show.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in X-Men #1 (September 1963). Lee later admitted that Iceman was created essentially as a copy of the Human Torch, only using the opposite element for his power.[1]

Iceman has been featured in two self-titled limited comic book miniseries, one in 1984-85 written by J. M. DeMatteis and another in the 2000s by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, with art by Karl Kerschl. DeMatteis said of the first series, "It was my idea, so there was no one to blame but myself. I'll just say that it was a mistake and if the series made any sense whatsoever it was due to [editor] Bob Budiansky. That was a case where the editor's input was really needed - and Bob was a big help."[2]

A mainstay in most X-Men titles, Iceman has been a main character in both Uncanny X-Men and the second volume of X-Men and was also featured in the Champions and New Defenders as a member. He was a main character in the first volume of X-Factor, and a star in flashback stories when he was a teenager in X-Men: The Hidden Years and X-Men: First Class.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Robert Louis "Bobby" Drake was born in Port Washington, Long Island, New York, to William Robert Drake and Madeline Beatrice Bass-Drake. Bobby's powers first manifested when he was on a date with Judy Harmon, and a local bully by the name of Rocky Beasely tried to take Judy away for himself. Knowing Judy could not put up a good fight, Bobby pointed his hand at Beasely and encased him in a block of ice. Later, the local townspeople, having heard of the incident, came looking for him in the form of an angry mob. The local sheriff had no choice but to put Bobby in jail for his own "protection". While Bobby sat in his cell at the sheriff station, the outer wall was blown open, and a man named Scott Summers (Cyclops) walked in and offered to take Bobby with him. After Bobby turned him down, the two mutants got into a short battle, which was soon ended by the arrival of Professor Charles Xavier.

After Xavier spoke with Bobby and his parents, Bobby's parents suggested that he go with Professor Xavier to his "school for gifted youngsters". Bobby took the suggestion and left with Professor Xavier and Cyclops to become the second member of the X-Men. He is later joined by Henry "Hank" McCoy, Jean Grey, and Warren Worthington III as the founding members of the X-Men. Iceman quickly befriends Hank McCoy (Beast), and the two serve as comic relief for the team. Drake remains self-conscious regarding the fact that he is the youngest member of the group. Appearing in his original snow covered form, he first battles Magneto along with the rest of the team,[3] and later the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.[4] Bobby Drake's first girlfriend is Zelda.[5] Not long after, he takes on a new ice-covered form.[6] He then teams up with the Human Torch for the first time.[7] The two would become close friends as time went on. With the X-Men, he visits the Savage Land and meets Ka-Zar for the first time.[8] He then battles the Juggernaut,[9] and is badly injured in his first battle against the Sentinels.[10] He next battles Magneto by himself.[11] Later, he visits Subterranea for the first time.[12] Then, he and Beast battle the Maha Yogi.[13] During his original stint with the X-Men, Drake pursues a relationship with Lorna Dane, although the relationship does not last. Iceman is among the original X-Men captured by Krakoa, leading to a new incarnation of X-Men of which he is not a member. With most of the original team, he quits the X-Men.[14]

Champions and Defenders[edit]

Iceman moves to the American west coast to attend UCLA and becomes a founding member of The Champions of Los Angeles.[15] However, the Champions soon dissolve.[16]

Iceman is then abducted by Master Mold, and alongside Angel, he encounters the Hulk.[17] Iceman next aids the Thing in battling the Circus of Crime.[18] Drake retires from life as a superhero to earn a college degree in accounting - but apparently at a college on the east coast, not UCLA.[19] While in college, he briefly rejoins the X-Men to rescue the captives of Arcade's henchman, Miss Locke.[20]

Iceman is reunited with Beast, encounters Cloud, and then returns as a full-time superhero in an incarnation of the Defenders alongside his former teammates, Angel and Beast.[21] He also battles Professor Power's Secret Empire while with the Defenders.[22] After the Defenders disband, Drake embarks on his career as an accountant.

Some time later, Iceman encounters Mirage, the "daughter" of Oblivion. Iceman journeys back in time and meets his parents before he was born, and battles Oblivion and Mirage. He then reconciles with his parents.[23]

X-Factor[edit]

The original X-Men, including Iceman, reunite to form the superhero team X-Factor.[24] With this new team, he encounters Apocalypse for the first time.[25]

During his time with the team, Loki captures Bobby, hoping to use him to gain control over the Frost Giants. Loki enhances Bobby's powers and then extracts them to restore the size of the Frost Giants. Iceman is rescued by Thor.[26] Loki's tampering increases Bobby's powers to such an extent that he begins to lose control of his abilities. During a later battle with the Right, he is fitted with a power-dampening belt which actually helps him control his abilities. Once able only to sheathe his own body in a protective coating of ice, Bobby finds he can encase the entirety of the Empire State Building. With time, Bobby gains sufficient control over his augmented powers and is able to stop using the inhibitor belt. Believing he has achieved his full potential, Bobby does not attempt to develop his abilities further.

With X-Factor, Bobby then defeats Apocalypse's Horsemen.[27] Iceman helps watch over many of the younger superheroes, something he once was. Most notably, he and Beast help Boom Boom gain a more normal life. For a brief while, he also helps supervise the New Mutants and their sister team, the X-Terminators. They, in turn, save him from the deadly kiss of Infectia.[28]

Bobby also develops a romantic relationship with Opal Tanaka. After a session of ice sledding, she discovers threatening mail in her mailbox, a precursor to harassment by her cybernetically-enhanced relatives of the Tatsu Clan of the Yakuza, which Bobby helps her out with.[29]

After the Muir Island Saga, Iceman rejoins the X-Men along with the rest of X-Factor.[30]

Back with the X-Men[edit]

When he rejoined the X-Men it seemed that he learned to control his powers and no longer needed the inhibitor belt, this made him believe he reached the limit of his powers.[31] The X-Men were separated into two groups, Iceman was placed in the gold team, led by Storm, along with fellow original X-Men Jean Grey (now sans codename) and Archangel.[32]

One day he took Opal to eat with his parents, however his dad began humiliating her because of her Japanese heritage. The four are attacked by the Cyber-Samurai, which added to William Drake's prejudices about the girl.[33] When Bobby came across Mikhail Rasputin he used his mutant abilities on him. Bobby discovered that his potential was still far from being reached as he converted his body into ice, not just covered by it.[34] By turning his entire body to ice, instead of just wearing an icy exterior, Bobby now was capable of using his power in new, aggressive ways, adding spikes and padding to his ice structure.[35]

Too busy with the many threats that the X-Men faced every day, Bobby let his relationship with Opal deteriorate and, when they finally saw each other again after weeks, it was only to save her from an attack by mutant haters. Annoyed that she could only gain his attention by nearly getting killed, Opal broke off their relationship.[36]

Later, as he was checking on Emma Frost who was in a comatose state after the mutant Trevor Fitzroy unleashed the mutant-hunting Sentinels on Emma Frost and her students known as the Hellions, the mansion was hit by an electricity breakdown.[37] Emma woke up disoriented, possesses Bobby's mind and used his powers in ways Bobby never had; she froze an entire river and traveled through water. She was looking for her pupils but after finding out they were dead, she left Bobby's body.[38]

Bobby invites Rogue to tag along on a visit to his parents. Wrongly assuming a romantic relation, his father disapproves of Rogue, verbally attacking them with the same prejudices he expressed with Opal. This time, Bobby had enough and left after telling his father that he should just accept the fact that he is a mutant and he would never fit the definition he has of normal. He was upset that Emma exhibited greater control of his powers than he had. Since Rogue was having problems with Gambit, the two of them go on a road trip to ease their minds.[39]

During the Legion Quest, Iceman was one of the X-Men who goes back in time to stop Legion from killing Magneto. They succeed, but only partially. Legion does not kill Magneto, but instead accidentally murdered Xavier, his own father, years before Legion had been conceived much less born. This paradox caused the events of the Age of Apocalypse. At the last moment before the original reality ended, Iceman's fellow X-Men, Rogue and Gambit shared a kiss. When reality resumed, Rogue's mind-absorbing touch renders Gambit comatose. Having absorbed some secret haunting memories, she needs to get away from the X-Men and Iceman volunteers to join her on a road trip, though at the same time he was starting to see visions of Emma Frost. When Gambit awoke from his coma, he tracked them down and confronted Rogue about what she saw in his mind. She broke off their relationship officially and left for good. Iceman and Gambit returned to the X-Men.[40]

When the entity known as Onslaught first appeared, Iceman was chosen as one of his test subjects, along with Storm, Cyclops and Wolverine. They were pitted against a servant of Onslaught named Post, in a specific battle area of harsh environment to test the extent of their abilities. They won and were returned to the mansion. However, Iceman's chest had been shattered in his iceform during battle, making it impossible to change back to human form.[41] He confronted Emma Frost and demanded to know what she did to his powers in his body and how to save himself. She refused to help since she knew that Bobby would have to do it himself. When he captured her with his ice powers, she telepathically showed him his insecurities. By confronting Opal and his father in her simulation, Iceman realized that Emma was right and managed to transform back to his human body with his chest fully intact.[42]

When Graydon Creed was running for President (with a heavy anti mutant campaign) Bobby was chosen to infiltrate in the campaign, his father stand out in a crowd and spoke in favor of the mutants, this came as a surprise to Bobby. His father connection with Bobby was discovered, so the people that worked for Graydon captured him and almost beat him to death. Bobby decided to stay away from the X-Men for a while to be with his dad.[43]

Zero Tolerance came across and Bobby found and helped Cecilia Reyes who was trying to keep a secret that she was a mutant, they also joined with Charlotte Jones and the morlock Marrow, after Bastion was defeated he took Cecilia and Marrow to the mansion, and soon left the X-Men again for a while to be with his parents.[44]

Much later, the X-Men found evidence in one of Destiny's journals of a group known as the Twelve, including Xavier, Magneto, Cyclops, Phoenix, Iceman, Polaris, Storm, Cable, Bishop, Sunfire, Mikhail Rasputin and the Living Monolith. They also learned that the Apocalypse’s Horsemen had been kidnapping these mutants from around the globe. Iceman was captured in the woods near his home by Deathbird, who had become the Horseman War.[45] Gathering the remaining Twelve, the X-Men traveled to Egypt and confronted Apocalypse and the Skrulls. Apocalypse and his forces captured all of the Twelve during the battle, using them in a ritual to give the Chaos-Bringer a new body and incredible power. Magneto and Polaris created opposite magnetic polarities, Iceman, Storm, and Sunfire provided elemental extremes, Cyclops, Phoenix, and Cable gave the sheer power of family, Xavier represented the power of mind and Bishop and Mikhail stood for time and space, while the Monolith linked all their energies together. Nate Grey was to be Apocalypse's new host, a powerhouse to store his massive lifeforce. The Twelve managed to free themselves and Cyclops sacrificed his own body and lifeforce to keep Apocalypse from getting Nate. Though the new Apocalypse was defeated, Cyclops seemed lost forever.[46]

After that incident, Iceman helped the Beast to secretly enter Genosha, as he wanted to study the legacy-infected mutates. When the High Evolutionary released his anti-mutation wave, they were trapped in the war-ravaged country. With the aid of Magneto, they escaped and joined forces with the rest of the scattered X-Men. They raided the Evolutionary's satellite, disabled the mutation field and defeated Sinister, who had been manipulating the Evolutionary.[47][48][49]

Iceman was recruited by the living ship Prosh, along with other mutants, like Jean Grey, Mystique, Toad and Juggernaut, to preserve evolution and save it. In this journey Iceman developed his powers even further, which led him to not be afraid anymore of the natural course of his powers and he returned to the X-Men.[50] He joined a new team of X-Men, consisting of Angel, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Chamber, he was using his powers in a whole new way now, he was just channeling it and not turning his body into ice.[51]

Second mutation[edit]

During a heated battle with a recently-evolved Black Tom Cassidy, he received a chest wound. After returning to normal his chest did not fully recover and some parts of it remained icy, and he was unable to return them to normal. At first he became afraid of it but in time it made him gain a new attitude in life, even rude at some times.[52]

Nobody seemed to realize it at the time, but evidently this was an early sign of Iceman undergoing a secondary mutation of his own. When he repeatedly tried to evade his regular medical check-ups, school nurse Annie Ghazikhanian recognized that something odd was going on with him and pressured him to show her the wound. Bobby made her promise not to tell anyone and showed her that parts of his chest are now made of ice and he is unable to change them back to flesh and blood. Iceman wonders if he will entirely turn into ice on a permanent basis.[53]

He developed an attitude that, to some of the newer addition to the X-Men, like Stacy X, Juggernaut and Northstar, he comes across as rather arrogant, denouncing their status as team members, as they have not been around as long as he. Iceman even went as far as offending Nightcrawler by claiming that only the original five, and no one else, has the right to call themselves an X-Man.[54]

Bobby was further frustrated when Havok and Polaris announced their imminent wedding, him having carried a torch for Lorna for quite some time. In his frustration he turned to Annie, who had problems with the wedding too, as she was secretly in love with Havok. The nurse surprised him with the accusation of him being a racist - feeling comfortable as a mutant who could pass like a human when needed, opposed to being a fully obvious mutant or a “mere” human. With his secondary mutation manifesting, though, Iceman was in danger of losing this status. Shocked by the truth of her words, Bobby fully opened up about his fears, that as a man fully made of ice he could never feel the warmth of a physical relationship again. Touched, Annie allowed him to kiss her, but when Havok called off the wedding, wanting to be with Annie instead, she quickly dumped Bobby.[55]

Upon encountering Azazel and his followers, Iceman's body is shattered from the neck down. Afterward, he regains his entire ice form, but cannot change back to his human appearance. As a result, Bobby becomes both bitter and despondent because of this drastic change.[56]

Decimation[edit]

Main article: Decimation

After the events of the "House of M" storyline, Iceman finds himself to be flesh and blood again and believes himself to have lost his powers. Shortly after, while being held at gunpoint by the Leper Queen, Emma Frost "pushes" something in Bobby's mind that forces him to turn to ice. Further examination reveals that Drake had not lost his powers, but rather had unconsciously repressed them on his own. After this, Bobby is once again able to revert from ice to flesh.[volume & issue needed]

Rogue's Team[edit]

Iceman joins Rogue's team after she tells him that she wants him as a member. Their first mission as a team is to fight a new threat, a powerful group known as the Children of the Vault.[57] The team is successful and during this time, Bobby learns that he can be completely destroyed but then pull himself back together again. It was shown several times during the arc.

The next mission for the team was to locate a man called Pandemic and defeat him. The team was again successful, but Rogue was infected with a virus called Strain 88. Cable took the team, including Bobby, to his island so Rogue could get treatment.[volume & issue needed]

While on Cable's island, the team and Iceman began working to defeat the Shi'ar weapon known as the Hecatomb. During the chaos, he shared a passionate kiss with Mystique.[58] Even as he did so, he saved many lives by containing the explosion of the Conquistador, and, later, the Hecatomb itself.[59]

Blinded by the Light[edit]

As the team recovers from Hecatomb attack in Rogue's childhood home, it appears that Mystique and Iceman begin a romantic relationship.[60] This was a front, as Mystique was using Iceman and the X-Men as a Marauder spy for Mister Sinister.[61] Marauders soon infiltrated the house; they attempt to gain access to Destiny's Diaries on the order of Mr. Sinister (who has been gathering information about the future from anybody and anything that could foretell the future). Bobby and Cannonball escape from the Marauders in the X-Jet, with help from Emma Frost. They are pursued by Sunfire; they manage to get the better of him and take him prisoner, but not before he manages to cripple the jet. While Sunfire is unconscious, Iceman and Sam discuss the Mauraders' plan to eliminate all precognitive mutants and anyone with knowledge of the future as well as retrieving Destiny's Diaries before the Marauders can. During this time, Bobby displayed sub-atomic control of energy transfers when he prevented Sunfire from using his fire-based powers.[62]

Cannonball and Bobby, telepathically prompted by Emma Frost, attempt to recover the diaries which are hidden in a dilapidated brewery. Mr. Sinister uses the reverse-engineered version of Xavier's Cerebro to track the pair of X-Men to the brewery. The Marauders attack Cannonball and Iceman and overtake them. Bobby, while in his ice form, suffers a gunshot wound from Mystique, which severs one of his arms above the elbow. Mister Sinister, who takes Cannonball prisoner, attempts to telepathically erase his mind so that the X-Men will find him as an empty shell. Iceman attacks Sinister, distracting him, which allows both of the X-Men to escape.[63]

Messiah Complex[edit]

The New X-Men team decided to raid the headquarters of the Purifiers in Washington, D.C., but were forced to retreat. Pixie teleported them back to the mansion in a rush, but the entire team was scattered between D.C. and Westchester. Iceman, after recovering from his injuries, volunteered to go look for them and was given telepathic directions by Emma Frost.[64]

Iceman was successful in finding the New X-Men, most of them injured. On the way back, they found that the O*N*E* Sentinels guarding the Xavier Institute had become infected by nano-Sentinels and attacked the school. Iceman and New X-Man X-23 helped out in the battle with the O*N*E* Sentinels. With the help of Dust and X-23, the X-Men were able to survive this battle but the nano-Sentinel infected human escaped.[65]

Soon, Iceman participated in the final battle against the Marauders, the Acolytes, and Predator X. He was one of the X-Men who came running in to fight Predator X after it swallowed Wolverine whole. Unfortunately, he also witnessed his mentor, Professor Xavier, "killed" by Bishop's bullet that was not meant for him.[66]

Manifest Destiny[edit]

According to writer Mike Carey, "the events leading up to Messiah Complex, [when Iceman] got blindsided by Mystique" are "still preying on [Iceman] to a large extent" and "some of those events [will be revisited]. Bobby is questioning his role as a member of the X-Men and contemplating his trip west to San Francisco, but he's not entirely sure what his next move is going to be."[67] "Carey's Iceman story in Manifest Destiny takes place before the recent "Uncanny X-Men" arc that saw Iceman arrive in San Francisco, and follows Iceman as he travels west on a cross-country trip to the X-Men's new home."[67] Bobby was having problems controlling his powers once again, so he decided to visit Opal Tanaka, his ex-girlfriend. Opal advised him to call Beast and ask him about it, Beast said that it may be the neural inhibitor toxins that Mystique used on him months ago, but only by running tests on Bobby, Beast could have a straight answer. When he entered a plane with Opal a bomb detonates, and Opal reveals herself as Mystique. Iceman subsequently asked if she did so to mess with his head and she replies "No lover, your melting point." She shoots him out of the plane.[68]

Mystique followed him to the hospital and injected him with more neural inhibitor, this time enough to kill him, Bobby managed to find a way to use his powers to counter the effect of the toxins and he rose "good as new". When he confronted her again, they exchanged a passionate conversation. Mystique cried and realized she actually did care about Bobby and threw herself off a bridge seemingly killing herself, Bobby realized what she meant with "kill or cure" and was grateful.[volume & issue needed]

Divided We Stand[edit]

Iceman arrives in San Francisco, where he was set to meet Hepzibah, Warpath, and Angel. All four are caught in the effects of a city-wide illusion created by Martinique Jason, who used her powers to transform the city into a hippie paradise. Now calling himself "Frosty", he and the others are sent by Martinique to confront Scott Summers and Emma Frost. Emma Frost is able to break up the illusion and free everyone. They eventually set up their base of operations in San Francisco as X-Men.[69]

Secret Invasion and Utopia[edit]

Main article: Secret Invasion
Main article: Utopia (comics)

Iceman is one of the X-Men that assists in fighting the Skrull invasion in San Francisco.[70]

Iceman rescues Colossus from Venom[71] and is later made a part of a team to battle Emma Frost's Dark X-Men.[72] During the final battle on Utopia, Iceman teams up with the X-Students to take on Mimic.[73] Iceman had the labor of providing water to the population. He attempted to use humor to keep everyone's spirits up even though he believed that the situation was helpless and that the X-Men were living in the last days of mutantkind. Bobby then helped defeat Predator X and also helped stop Selene's resurrected army's invasion of Utopia.[volume & issue needed]

Second Coming[edit]

During the battle with Bastion's Nimrod Sentinels, Iceman is severely injured following an attack from one of them that reversed his ice form and left him with burns on his body.[74] He is only there for a short time because his mutant powers help him minimize the injuries he suffered and he is seen back in battle alongside Psylocke and the other X-Men.[75]

Five Lights[edit]

When Cerebro picked up the new mutant signatures, Cyclops sent X-Men to watch them until Hope could reach them. Iceman and Angel were sent to watch over the Light in Canada, Laurie. The transformation into a mutant was a painful experience and Bobby could not stand to listen to the girl in such agony. It was when the girl was about to kill herself that Hope arrived and was able to fully activate her powers.[volume & issue needed]

Bobby was sent to talk to a super hero public relations official. During the meeting she told him that she needed full disclosure of any of the X-Men secrets. Bobby hesitantly told her that Magneto was back and staying with the X-Men. The woman than asked if Worthington was funding them still, Bobby told her yes and asked why she wanted to know, she said because she was going to have a lot of overtime.[volume & issue needed]

Curse of the Mutants[edit]

During Curse of the Mutants an all out war of mutants against vampires, Bobby was blessed by a priest so his powers can function as holy water, a plan conceived by Cyclops.[volume & issue needed]

Regenesis[edit]

Early solicitations show that after Wolverine and Cyclops have a major falling out, Wolverine decides to branch off and open The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning back in New York.[volume & issue needed] Iceman is the first person Wolverine approaches and recruits to his new X-Men squad as both a professor and teammate.[volume & issue needed] Iceman is chosen because Wolverine feels he has the kind of spirit his the new school needs.[76][77][78] He has shared some kisses with Kitty Pryde.[79]

All-New X-Men[edit]

Following the war with the Phoenix Five, as Cyclops begins to lash out against government "oppression" of mutants, a chance comment by Bobby about how the old Cyclops wouldn't tolerate what he is currently doing inspires Beast to travel back in time and recruit the original five X-Men to stop Cyclops.[80] The past and present Bobby are particularly shocked when they see each other.[81]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Iceman creates an ice slide on the cover of X-Factor #27 (1988). Art by Walt Simonson.

Iceman possesses the power to instantly decrease the temperature of ambient water vapor in his immediate environment to below zero degrees celsius, thereby freezing it into ice. He is able to make ice that will not break unless he wills it to. In this manner he is able to quickly form a great variety of ice structures, including projectiles, shields, ladders, baseball bats, etc. He often makes ice slides which form rapidly beneath and behind his feet, moving him along the slick surface at high speeds. He is also able to form exceedingly complicated structures within relative short time, such as miniature cities.[39] Originally, Iceman's own body temperature would lower dramatically when his powers were active, reaching −105 °F (−76 °C) within a few tenths of a second (now his body usually converts to organic ice; see below). Iceman is immune to sub-zero temperatures; he is also able to perceive the thermal energy level of objects around him. Because cold is the absence of heat, Iceman does not actually 'emanate' cold; rather, he decreases thermal energy. As mentioned by writer Mike Carey, Iceman is "an Omega level mutant...[and] has powers that can influence the ecosystem of the entire world."[67]

In his early appearances, Iceman generally covered his body in a thick layer of what appeared to be snow; hence he looked more like a traditional snowman than an ice-man. Upon further training in the use of his powers, he was able to fashion an armor of solid ice around his body when using his powers, which afforded him some degree of protection against concussive force and projectiles. Later on, he manifested the ability to convert the tissue of his body into organic ice. He sometimes augments his organic ice form with razor sharp adornments to his shoulders, elbows, knees, and fists. Iceman has also been able to move rapidly to another distant location while in his organic ice form, being able to deposit his bodily mass into a river and reconstitute his entire mass a great distance away in a matter of minutes (by temporarily merging his molecules with those of the river). On one occasion, Iceman suffered a severe chest injury while in his ice form and was able to heal himself by converting back into his normal human form.[volume & issue needed]

Iceman is also able to reconstitute his organic ice form if any part of it is damaged, or even if it is completely shattered, without permanently harming himself. He can temporarily add the mass of a body of water to his own, increasing his mass, size, and strength. He can survive not only as ice, but as liquid water and water vapor. He can also transform his body from a gaseous state back to a solid, although it is physically and mentally taxing.[58][82] Iceman can also freeze sea water, as seen during the "Operation Zero Tolerance" story arc. While he usually does not use his powers in lethal ways his powers are so vast that it extends to the molecular level, to the point that he can freeze all of the molecules of an object/being with a thought; he once froze every single molecule of water within the body of David Haller.[83]

Iceman is also able to dissolve his own icy constructs.[39]

Iceman's powers were pushed to their limit while possessed by Emma Frost, who used Iceman to discover the fate of her Hellions. During this time Iceman was able to control all forms of moisture, freeze fluids inside people's bodies, travel as a liquid, solid or gas. Not even the combined might of the X-Men Gold team was able to stop Emma Frost in Iceman's body.[84] Following this, Bobby confronted Emma about how she was able to use his powers so effectively. While together they made some initial progress, she refused to train him further.[42] Instead he turned to Storm because they share similar elemental powers and she agreed to tutor him.[85]

When Iceman was injected with Sinister's neuro-inhibiter by Mystique, he was able to save himself by drawing in all of the ambient moisture around him, rapidly replacing his poisoned cells with healthy material before the injection could kill him.[86]

During the 2013 - 2014 "Battle of the Atom" storyline, Iceman's future self revealed that he has the ability to create semi-independent ice structures that can act on their own,[87] although one of these structures - demonstrating a Hulk-like physique and intellect - has gone on to join the future version of the Brotherhood.[volume & issue needed]

Aside from his superhuman powers, Iceman is also a fair hand-to-hand combatant, and received combat training at Xavier's School as well as coaching from the Black Widow and Hercules while serving with the Champions of Los Angeles. Iceman has as much combat training as Cyclops or Beast.[67]

Characterization[edit]

Personality[edit]

According to writer Mike Carey "one of Iceman's best personality traits is that emotionally Bobby Drake is like the ice he manipulates -- not cold but transparent. 'He's devastatingly honest. He is very up-front with his emotions and his thoughts all the time.'"[67] "Also, he's obviously incredibly brave both in terms of facing external, physical danger as well as facing up to unpleasant situations and admitting his own mistakes."[67]

This emotional honesty can often complicate matters for Bobby, especially in matters of love. Bobby is sometimes looked at as being immature by his teammates, as well as outsiders.

Friendships and relationships[edit]

Iceman is often the center point in dealing with the non-romantic friendships among the X-Men. While Bobby is often well liked by his teammates, his moodiness and occasional insecurities sometimes push them away. Bobby's best friends among the X-Men include Angel, Cannonball, and Rogue. Outside of the X-Men, he is good friends with Spider-Man for their shared sense of humor. He is also close friends with the Human Torch as their personalities complement each other and their respective powers are polar opposites. Originally, the Iceman/Beast friendship was one of the cornerstones of the X-Universe, but has recently been ignored by writers. With the other two original X-Men, Cyclops and Phoenix, Bobby has a little brother-big brother/sister relationship, with the latter being much more pleasant. Bobby is fiercely protective of those he considers friends, going as far as to threaten to kill his teammate Northstar for leaving Angel in a potentially dangerous situation, keeping constant vigil by Cannonball's bedside while Sam recovered from his injury from Sinister, and engaging in physical confrontation with Cyclops for questioning Rogue's judgment as a team leader.

Despite Iceman's often well-liked personality, he has always seemed unable to maintain any sort of long-time relationships, with one exception being Opal, although that too ended. Iceman also had strong feelings for his fellow X-Man Polaris, but she did not return those feelings, due to her feelings towards Havok instead. Northstar formed an unrequited crush for Iceman during their time on the same team, though Iceman never did find out about Northstar's feelings.[53] Iceman also began a brief relationship with the Xavier School's nurse, Annie, however she ended up leaving him for Havok, who had just left Polaris at the altar.[55] When Iceman attempted to rekindle his relationship with Polaris, that too ended abruptly and Polaris returned to Havok.[56] Iceman's latest attempt at romance was with the X-Men's enemy Mystique, who later betrayed him. Oddly enough, she still seemed fixated on him, stating that she will either kill him or cure him of his personal uncertainty.[86] Iceman began a relationship with Kitty Pryde.[volume & issue needed] However, Kitty breaks up with him after the Battle of the Atom.[volume & issue needed]

Physical appearance[edit]

Iceman's appearance in ice form has changed significantly over the years. In early X-Men stories, his appearance was reminiscent of a snowman, apparently because frost formed on his skin when he used his abilities.[volume & issue needed] Later, Iceman learned to cover his body with hard-but-flexible ice and adopted the crystalline appearance familiar to modern readers.[6] Later still, he developed the ability to actually become organic ice, appearing almost translucent.[volume & issue needed] He is virtually indestructible in this form, as he can reform his shattered body even if part of him is completely destroyed. As a result of an adventure in which his mind was "hacked" by Emma Frost, Iceman assumed a more grotesque transparent appearance, with organic bubbles, large veins, and spiky hair.[volume & issue needed] Since this experience, Iceman has regained control over his powers and refined his appearance with jagged spikes on his limbs, back, and hair.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

1602 - Roberto Trefusis[edit]

Iceman is Roberto Trefusis in the miniseries Marvel 1602, a member of the group of "witchbreeds" founded by Carlos Javier and led by Scotius Summerisle. He is the nephew of naval commander Sir Francis Drake. As in the Marvel Universe, he generates ice and can assume a physical ice form.

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

Main article: Age of Apocalypse

In the Age of Apocalypse crossover event, Bobby, along with the rest of the X-Men, is trained by Magneto.[88] Because Magneto is harder on his students than Professor X, Bobby lacks his 616-counterpart's sense of humor. Instead, Bobby becomes very cold and inhuman, making his teammates feel uncomfortable. In addition to his normal abilities, Bobby is capable of breaking down his body and merging it with another body of water to travel great distances in a matter of seconds. He can bring others along through a process that he calls "moisture molecular inversion", though it is a painful process for the passengers. Bobby is also able to reconstitute his body from broken pieces. Just before Apocalypse's defeat, Colossus stormed right through Iceman, causing him to fall into pieces in an attempt to reach his sister.[volume & issue needed] A couple of months later, Iceman, Exodus, Wild Child, and Morph were sent on a secret mission by Magneto; for a time, only Wild Child's fate was revealed.[volume & issue needed]

Iceman returned in the Uncanny X-Force arc "The Dark Angel Saga," when the title team was forced to travel to the AoA reality.[89] He abandoned the X-Men during a battle with the minions of Weapon X, who had by this time been transformed into that world's new Apocalypse, a defection later revealed to be the result of Iceman's having lost faith in his X-Men's ability to save their world. He was soon brought to Earth-616 by the Dark Beast, where he joined forces with Archangel on his quest to eradicate all life on Earth so he could create a new evolution process.[volume & issue needed] Tired of seeing the people he cared about being killed fighting what he thought to be an unwinnable war, Drake agreed to help Archangel - despite the latter's now being the mainstream Marvel Universe's version of Drake's X-Men's arch-enemy, Apocalypse - in exchange for transport to the relative paradise that was Earth-616.[volume & issue needed]

After X-Force defeated Archangel, Bobby managed to escape with McCoy and most of Archangel's other minions, but eventually broke away from them and went into hiding, living a life of hedonistic bliss in Madripoor. The "Age of Apocalypse" version of Nightcrawler - who, after being brought to Earth-616 along with the rest of his world's X-Men to help take down Archangel, decided to stay behind there in order to track down and kill the various villains who also came to the mainstream Marvel Universe - eventually tracked Bobby down to execute him for his treason. Nightcrawler is quickly overwhelmed by Drake's avatars, but eventually forces Iceman into a factory boiler room, where there's not enough moisture in the air for him to effectively use his powers. Nightcrawler quickly disables his former friend, and shoves him into an incinerator, killing the once noble hero.[volume & issue needed]

Earth X[edit]

During the series Earth X, Bobby had become trapped in his ice form, making him vulnerable to melting. He moves to the Arctic regions of Earth, and made an ice city for himself and the Inuit. Due to a series of events where Earth's orbital path moves, Bobby is able to return to the United States to aid in the battle against the demon Mephisto.

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Iceman was seen in Magneto's army during his rise to power.[90] Bobby later appears as one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse because Apocalypse rescued Bobby from a mutant internment camp that his parents had sent him to. Magneto sends Apocalypse to dispose of his rival Black Panther; when Apocalypse is attacked en route by Black Panther's allies, Iceman aids him by freezing Namor solid and attempting to attack Storm, but he is severely injured by Sunfire.[91]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

A zombified Iceman appears in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days alongside zombies Wolverine and Cyclops.[volume & issue needed] Ultimately, he is seen attacking Magneto. But Iceman perished at the hands of the Master Of Magnetism himself when Iceman is cut apart.[volume & issue needed]

Mutant X[edit]

When Havok was transported to the Mutant X universe, he found Robert Drake the victim of misfortune. The Asgardian god Loki amplified Bobby's powers to a dangerous level, leaving him unable to make contact with any organic thing for fear of killing it. Unfortunately, Tony Stark did not invent the power dampening device that was invented in the main Marvel Universe, so Ice-Man's powers remained permanently affected. Now going by Bob and calling himself Ice-Man, he becomes very bitter from his circumstances.

When Havok had a disagreement with Magneto and decided to leave the X-Men, Ice-Man was one of those who followed him, being a founding member of the Six. Not much is known of the early years of the team, but when Havok began to have an affair with Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four, Havok's wife Madelyne came running to Ice-Man. Consumed with jealousy at their intimate friendship, Havok sabotaged the Brute's experiment to cure Ice-Man, permanently damaging his brain and reducing Brute to a childlike state. When the mental degeneration occurred, Ice-Man made it his duty to protect Brute, especially from the insensitive actions of The Fallen.

In a freak accident where Brute jumped in front of a psychic blast from a deranged Charles Xavier to protect Havok, Brute regained his intellect as a bizarre side-effect.[volume & issue needed] Brute endeavored to help his friends instead of attempting to stabilize his own condition, leaving Ice-Man to once more feel responsible for his friend's well-being when he reverted to his former mental state.[volume & issue needed]

In the final epic showdown between all the heroes of Earth and the combined might of the resurrected Goblyn Force, Dracula, and the Beyonder, Ice-Man was one of the few to survive.[volume & issue needed]

New Exiles[edit]

After the New Exiles land on the world of warring empires, they encounter Dame Emma Frost, head of Britain's Department X and founder of Force-X. This team includes Roberta "Bobby" Drake, a female version of Bobby who is codenamed Aurion and displays ice-based abilities.[92]

Battle of the Atom[edit]

In the alternate future witnessed in Battle of the Atom, Iceman's future self is shown in a long brown robe with a long beard and ice staff, prompting the present Bobby to compare himself to a wizard.[volume & issue needed] He has also developed the ability to create semi-independent ice structures that can act on their own, although one of these structures - demonstrating a Hulk-like physique and intellect - has gone on to join the future version of the Brotherhood, resulting in the Brotherhood using the duplicate to reinforce the illusion of themselves as the future X-Men. The duplicate Iceman was defeated by the O5 Iceman, the present Iceman, and the future Iceman during the battle in the past (Prompting the youngest Iceman to note that they only needed one more Iceman for a five-a-side football team).[93]

Ronin[edit]

In the alternate reality of X-Men: Ronin Iceman is a murderous ninja in the employ of the Hellfire Club. He works with Pyro and Avalanche as part of the 'Shadowcat Clan' and battles the X-Men.

Shadow-X[edit]

New Excalibur battles an evil counterpart of Iceman, who is a member of the Shadow-X, the X-Men of an alternate reality in which Professor X was possessed by the Shadow King. They are brought to Earth-616 as a result of M-Day. He appeared to be mute and died during the final battle against Albion.

Marvel Noir[edit]

Iceman appears in X-Men Noir as one of the X Men, a crew of talented criminals. He is depicted as being very short-tempered and paranoid. He is dubbed "Iceman", and angrily insists others to refer to him that way, due to his custom of using an icepick as a weapon.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Iceman[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Bobby Drake is the youngest founding member of the X-Men. He ran away from his family at the peak of government-supported Sentinel attacks, fearing his family would be killed in such an attack.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Iceman never had the snowman look of his counterpart, instead generating a flexible ice armor from the beginning. Bobby establishes himself as a valuable asset, singlehandedly taking out the Ultimates once with a gigantic ice wall (see Ultimate War),[volume & issue needed] as well as singlehandedly halting an invasion by Colonel Wraith and Weapon X.[volume & issue needed] He was only able to be stopped by Rogue, who was in temporary possession of Marvel Girl's telepathy.[volume & issue needed] Professor X has stated that Bobby is one of the three most powerful X-Men.[volume & issue needed] During the World Tour arc, after enlarging his armor to form a gigantic ice troll, Bobby is greatly injured by Proteus,[volume & issue needed] which resulted in a lawsuit issued by his parents against Xavier.[volume & issue needed] Bobby eventually rebels against his parents, and later returns to the X-Men.[volume & issue needed]

While Bobby was away from the X-Men on a vacation, he had a girlfriend, but Professor Xavier erased all memories of her from Bobby's mind when he told her too much about the X-Men (he presumably also erased the girl's memories).[volume & issue needed] Upon her acceptance into the X-Men, Bobby begins to date Rogue.[volume & issue needed] The pair date for a considerable amount of time, but eventually break up due to Bobby's growing feelings for Shadowcat and Rogue's feelings for Gambit.[volume & issue needed] Eventually Rogue leaves, and Bobby starts to date Kitty.[volume & issue needed] After this, the two rekindle their relationship,[volume & issue needed] but problems erupted.[volume & issue needed]

In Ultimate X-Men #80, Bishop and Hammer, time-travellers from the future, comment on how powerful Bobby will one day become.[94] Cyclops disbanded the X-Men in Ultimate X-Men #81 and Bishop and Storm created a new team. Iceman stayed at the Institute as a student only until Xavier returned and reformed his X-Men.[95]

Professor X is later revealed to be alive and the X-Men return to the Xavier Institute, which is also when Iceman rejoins the X-Men line up.[volume & issue needed] Jean Grey soon discovers that fellow X-Man, Colossus, is using a drug called Banshee to enhance his mutant abilities.[volume & issue needed] The X-Men are highly against this, but Colossus manages to convince Rogue, Dazzler, Angel, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops to join him on his own X-Men team.[volume & issue needed] Iceman remains on Professor X's drug-free X-Men and fights the Banshee enhanced X-Men.[volume & issue needed] Xavier's X-Men win and the two teams combine again with nobody using drugs.[96]

The Ultimatum Wave hits the X-Men next killing several of the X-Men (Beast, Dazzler, and Nightcrawler).[volume & issue needed] Magneto and the Brotherhood attack the world and Iceman helps the world's heroes fight them off.[volume & issue needed] Most of the X-Men die, but Iceman (alongside Rogue, Storm, Colossus, and Jean Grey) is able to survive Magneto's attack.[volume & issue needed] He is last seen demolishing the X-Mansion alongside Rogue and Jean Grey and burying the deceased X-Men in its place.[volume & issue needed] He finds it hard to destroy their home, but he feels it to be the right thing to do now that Professor Xavier is dead.[97]

Later, Bobby Drake is kicked out of his home for being a mutant. With nowhere else to go, Kitty suggests to Peter Parkers' Aunt May that he move in with her, Peter, Gwen Stacy, and Johnny Storm (who also recently moved in their household). Aunt May agrees and enrolls Bobby at Midtown High under the guise of Bobby Parker, one of Peters' cousins and shaves his hair off to help keep his, Peter's and Johnny's secret identities safe.[volume & issue needed]

Without knowing where to go after Peter's death, Bobby Drake asked Kitty Pride if Johhny could come with them searching for a place where to live and hide from authorities.[volume & issue needed] They found the Morlock Tunnels where they live now and help mutants in danger. Firstly they rescued Rogue, who joined them, and later Jimmy Hudson (the son of Wolverine), came to them for help after escaping Stryker's imprisonment along with other mutants he freed.[volume & issue needed]

X-Men Fairy Tales[edit]

In X-Men Fairy Tales (issue #1), Iceman appears as a white wolf with icy breath named Kori (Japanese for ice). Before he is reached by Cyclops, he appears to have lost faith in friendship.

X-Men: The End[edit]

In X-Men: The End, Iceman appears as one of the instrumental characters in the defeat of Cassandra Nova and Khan and one of the few surviving X-Men.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Iceman and Lightwave in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
  • Iceman was one of the three main characters in the animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends voiced by Frank Welker. In a few episodes, he appears with his and Firestar's former teammates, the X-Men. In the episode "Vengeance Of Loki", he's revealed to be a government agent; his codename is "Windchill Factor Zero". In the episode "Mission: Save The Guardstar", Aurora Dante (Lightwave) (his half-sister) was introduced. One entire episode was devoted to Iceman's origin story. Throughout the series, Iceman has a romantic infatuation with Firestar.
  • He appeared in the 1992 X-Men animated series voiced by Dennis Akayama. He appears in the episode "Cold Comfort" as a former member of the team, who quit due to disagreements with Xavier. Iceman also appears in many flashbacks which include "Sanctuary Part 1" and "Xavier Remembers."
  • He appeared in the X-Men: Evolution animated series voiced by Andrew Francis. Iceman was meant to be the 8th X-Man of the show, but rejected in favor of Spyke. Not surprisingly, Iceman appeared more often when Spyke left. In the series, Iceman was a New Mutant and often acted as the unofficial leader of the New Mutants, as he was the most adept of the group.
  • Iceman appears in Wolverine and the X-Men,[vague] voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. He appears as a member of the X-Men who left after Professor X went M.I.A. after the Institute was destroyed. Wolverine and Beast went to re-recruit him back on to the X-Men but his parents refused to allow him to return to the team after what happened. Being 18, Bobby had the choice to either stay at home or return to the X-Men and he made the choice to rejoin the team. Since he is still in his teens, he's shown at times acting like a typical teenage boy (such as his facial expression after Emma Frost walks by him in episode 3). He is also not fond of reading and is a bit lazy as he was napping on a pile of books instead of giving them to Kitty to put away. He apparently has a crush on Shadowcat, as he is caught staring at her dreamily before asking her out for a bite to eat (although they were already eating). It is also hinted she may share those feelings, as in episode 3 when Kitty elbows him for looking at Emma. In episode 20, someone similar to Iceman is shown as a member of the original five X-Men.[98]
  • Iceman appears in the episode of The Super Hero Squad Show titled "Mysterious Mayhem at Mutant Academy" with Shawn Ashmore reprising his role as the character from the live action X-Men movies. He is shown as a student at Xavier Academy and classified as the class clown. He has a starring role in the later episode "The Ice Melt Cometh" where he is needed to re-freeze the melted polar ice caps.[99]

Film[edit]

Bobby Drake/Iceman as portrayed by Shawn Ashmore in X-Men: The Last Stand

In the movies X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, he is played by Shawn Ashmore. Bobby is one of the first students to reach out to Rogue and begins a romantic relationship with her. In X2, he has an uneasy friendship/rivalry with Pyro. His relationship with his family is also strained, and his brother actually turns Bobby in to the police out of jealousy. In X-Men: The Last Stand, his relationship with Rogue appears to be deteriorating, strained by their inability to have physical contact and by his close friendship with Kitty Pryde. Seeing them both almost kiss prompts Rogue to seek out "the cure" so she can finally touch Bobby without fear of hurting him. He takes part in the X-Men's final confrontation with Magneto's army and shows his true power by fighting Pyro one-on-one. During this battle, Iceman's ability to transform his body into ice is finally shown, giving him the form of Iceman from the comics, being first implied in a previous confrontation between the two former best friends in which Bobby's fist ices over. After the battle, he finds Rogue in her room, having taken the cure. Bryan Singer posted on his Twitter account that Ashmore would return as Iceman in X-Men: Days of Future Past.[100] In film, he was shown with a greatly developed ability to transform completely into ice and to travel on ice slides. At the beginning of the film, Iceman attempts to stall the Sentinels so Kitty and Bishop could change the past, but is beheaded and crushed by the Sentinels in the process. Kitty and Bishop however change the past and Iceman survives. While stalling the Sentinels, so Wolverine could change the timeline, Iceman is melted in his ice form by the Sentinels. He is restored to life after the timeline is reset.

Novels[edit]

In the novelization for X-Men: The Last Stand, Iceman saves Pyro from the destruction of Dark Phoenix.

Video games[edit]

  • Iceman makes an appearance as a bonus level boss in the 1997 Fantastic Four game.
  • Iceman has appeared in various video game adaptations, such as X-Men: Children of the Atom and the subsequent Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Notably, he is the only character in the game immune to chip damage from beam and fireball projectiles, however War Machine's missiles are able to chip him.
  • He also has appeared as a playable character in X-Men Legends, voiced by Darren Scott. His skills could be improved in either ranged combat (ice beam, ice shards) or melee combat (improved ice armor, ice fists). He can "fly" for short distances as his double-jump move allows him to use his ice slides.
  • Iceman is one of the three playable characters in X-Men: The Official Game (which fills in the gap between X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand), voiced by Shawn Ashmore (the same actor who played him in the films).
  • Iceman appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance as a playable character, retaining many of his moves from the Legends games, and voiced again by James Arnold Taylor. His Age of Apocalypse appearance (referred to as Spikey), classic costume (his standard look), original costume (his first comic appearances, with his face completely frosted over), and Bobby Drake (the look he adopts in the New X-Men series and his subsequent solo series: he appears in his human form, wearing a leather trenchcoat, with only his hands appearing frozen) are alternate costumes for Iceman. In this game, he retains his X-Men Legends abilities, like that of creating ice slides instead of double-jumping. He has special dialogue with Black Widow, Namor (when he's sick), Namorita, Professor X, Gladiator, Henry Pym, and Ymir. Also, at the beginning of Mephisto's Realm, he complains to Xavier about being in Mephisto's Realm (due to all the fire and lava). A simulation disk has Iceman fighting Mysterio in Mephisto's Realm and another one has Storm defending him and Wolverine from Hussar in Murderworld.[101]
  • Amongst many other mutants, Drake is seen going to the new mutant home - Taa II - led by Magneto, in Magneto's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]