Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, has been a main part of Marvel’s X-Men Universe since the very beginning. He first debuted all the way back in X-Men #1, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Jack Kirby in 1963. Since that time, the character has evolved in a number of ways both physically and psychologically. If you go back and read the books from the ’60s, you will see a character who is much different than his modern incarnation. What began as a comical teenager who was the second Mutant to be recruited into Professor Charles Xavier’s elite team, became something far more.
Since that time, Bobby has grown up and appeared in cartoons, comics, video games and a number of films where he was portrayed by Shawn Ashmore. He recently came out as homosexual, but this list is going to be all about Iceman’s unique physiology and not so much about those interesting aspects about the character, which have dramatically changed over the years. What was Bobby like as a teenager and how has his body changed since it was revealed he possessed the abilities of an Omega-Level Mutant? These are the questions we need answered, which is why we dug through the comics, television shows and films to present these 15 Weirdest Secrets About Iceman’s Body.
15. BOBBY THE SNOWMAN
Anyone who read the X-Men books back in the day will tell you, Iceman didn’t look much like ice at all when he debuted. Initially, Bobby was able to form a protective layer of what looked like snow all over his body. This made him look like something of a sloppy snowman, which he even capitalized on in the first issue (pictured). Over time, Bobby’s body changed significantly. He eventually evolved his abilities to turn into a being of pure organic ice.
The Iceman we know today looks nothing like his original depiction, but he could rebuild his body that way if he were so inclined. The simple fact of his current physiology is that he is much more powerful in his organic ice form, which is why he doesn’t parade around the Xavier School looking like a snowman some five-year-old put together with only a few minutes to spare.
14. EMMA FROST CONTROLLED HIS BODY (BETTER THAN HIM)
When she first debuted, Emma Frost, aka the White Queen, was a member of the Hellfire Club and an enemy of the X-Men. Though she eventually left her evildoer ways in the past and became a prominent member and leader of Xavier’s team, she caused a lot of trouble with a team she raised to defeat them called the Hellions. The Sentinels nearly killed her and most of her Hellions, so the X-Men took her into their care.
When awakened, she takes control of Iceman’s body as he is taking care of her and this opens up Bobby to some new abilities. Unhindered by whatever was holding Bobby back, Frost’s control unleashes new powers and abilities, which clearly indicated to the team that there was more to Iceman than previously thought: he was an Omega-Level Mutant and was capable of far more than they ever thought possible.
13. HE CAN MANIFEST ICE GOLEMS
Bobby can control his environment to adapt moisture into ice. That’s basically how his powers work, so in a dry climate, he might be a bit less powerful than he would near a body of water, but being on Earth typically means he has moisture all around him. He can manifest slides and spikes made of ice or whatever he can dream of, but it was only recently revealed that he could create ice golems to fight for him.
During the “Battle of the Atom” event in 2013, Bobby demonstrated this newfound ability by creating golems possessing moderate levels of intelligence and even sentience. One such golem rebelled against him and joined the Brotherhood, which opens up all sorts of problems considering the ease he demonstrated in creating an army of “winter soldiers.”
12. HE WAS TURNED INTO HOLY WATER
If you’re new to Marvel Comics, you might not know that it doesn’tt shy away from adding just about anything to its lineup of characters. This includes anything from werewolves to vampires, and even the infamous Count Dracula. When it comes to battling a vampire, you need to acquire a few objects. Crosses work (sometimes) and you can always stab them in the heart with a wooden stake, which would pretty much kill anyone, but let’s not get into that right now.
Another handy tool would be Holy Water, but who needs a vial of it when you can just convert your body to ice and have it blessed by a priest? During the “Curse of the Mutants” event, Bobby does just that and it works like a charm. His entire body became a blessed weapon in the fight against Dracula and his vampiric minions.
11. HE CAN AUGMENT HIS SIZE
If you think about it for a moment, this makes perfect sense. There isn’t a reason a being capable of transforming himself into various forms of ice couldn’t simply increase his size, which is exactly what Bobby does when he falls under the influence of the Apocalypse Seed. He turned himself into a giant version of himself. He even takes a moment to step on Wolverine, squishing him with his big toe… which is really big at this point.
While this did happen when Iceman was under a nefarious influence, it demonstrated the limits… or lack of limits… to his powers. When Bobby is influenced by an outside force like Emma Frost or the Apocalypse Seed, whatever limits he himself has on his powers appear to be lifted. Increasing his mass as he did in this instance is just another way of showing how powerful he truly is.
10. HE CAN TRAVEL VIA WATER
One of Iceman’s unique powers is the ability to manipulate the moisture around him to create whatever his mind can imagine. He uses this ability to enhance his abilities and travel around in a rather unique way. When he initially debuted, this power allowed him to create various items including ladders and slides he could use to propel him wherever he wanted to go. This most often came in the form of slides that inexplicably rushed through the air and remained aloft.
As he developed his powers, he learned to alter his body composition in a number of ways that enabled him to travel even faster. As a being who can make his body into any form of water/ice, he has been able to travel via bodies of water by stepping into it at one end and instantly reforming at the other.
9. HIS POWERS ARE STRAIGHT FIRE
The old battle of fire and ice usually ends with ice melting, right? Not so in the case of someone who has the ability to alter atoms at the molecular level. His powers revolve around the ability to control movement of atoms. Stop the motion of an atom and its temperature lowers, allowing him to freeze things. Speed it up and you have heat. When Iceman comes into contact with someone like Pyro, his powers may appear to be weaker than fire, but the opposite is true.
This was demonstrated in X-Men: The Last Stand (pictured). When it looks like Bobby is about to fry, his powers finally reveal his ability to convert his body into ice and overcome the flame attack. Essentially, his ability to stop the motion of atoms was far superior to Pyro’s ability to do the opposite, which is why he prevailed in the fight.
8. HE HAS SUPER STRENGTH
When it comes to strength for Bobby, it has to do with his mass and size. As a teenage snowman, his strength levels were pretty low compared to other Mutants capable of lifting heavy objects, so he relied on his ability to freeze things and slide them about. As his powers developed, it became apparent that his strength-levels increased with his mass. Seeing as he has the ability to control everything from his size to his density, his strength can balloon far beyond other characters in the Marvel Universe.
Marvel lists his normal strength at a level three, which means he is in peak human shape and can lift twice his body weight. This is certainly more than most people can do, but when he ups his size to giant proportions, his strength becomes incalculable. This was demonstrated when he grew to a 100-foot tall frost giant.
7. HIS ICE FORM IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO MENTAL ATTACK
Bobby Drake has been controlled by Emma Frost, so we already know he can be controlled mentally, but not when he is already in his ice-form. While maintaining this form, his physiology is so different from a normal person, he is much less susceptible to mental influence. He has also received the standard battery of training all X-Men get in resisting mental persuasion, but he stands apart from his team as being more resistant physically, and not through mental training.
His powers do have a mental tax to them, however. He is normally able to maintain his ice form for approximately five hours before he needs to rest, which would leave him open to mental attack, but even this “rule” has been stretched and broken across a number of storylines dealing with Bobby’s immense powers.
6. IN HIS ICE FORM, HE DOESN’T NEED SLEEP, FOOD, WATER, AIR
This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. As a young Mutant only able to cover his body with ice, Bobby needed to eat, breathe, sleep, all the things that make us human. Transition a few decades to the present and Bobby’s body transforms entirely into organic ice. He no longer requires food, water, or even air — just moisture to sustain him. This is a distinct advantage when he pushes his powers to the max.
As a being of pure ice, he could theoretically fight in just about any environment. The only thing he requires is moisture, which is present all over the planet. Even in a desert environment, he is still able to pull what little moisture there is out of the air and enhance his body so he could survive for quite some time in his ice form in even the harshest of environments.
5. HE CAN FILTER CHEMICALS OUT OF HIS BODY
Thanks to Mystique, Bobby learned he could survive pretty much anything that might take down a normal person. After she contaminated Bobby’s blood with a deadly chemical mixture, he learned that he could filter the individual molecules of poison out of his body by turning himself into his ice-form. Doing so effectively swapped out every molecule of poison into the air with moisture, which allowed him to convert into ice.
This process took a great deal of effort for Bobby, but he was able to do it with relative ease, considering what it took to remove the poison. He called it “A body swap, done one piece, one cell at a time.” Over time, his ability to “ice-up” became easier, which had a lot to do with the development of his Omega-Level Mutant power abilities.
4. MIND OVER MATTER
Bobby Drake is called Iceman, but that doesn’t mean he is only able to use and transform his body into ice. He began as a boy able to cover himself in ice, but eventually, he truly became an ice man, which demonstrated the evolution of his powers. If you’re wondering why he was limited to only ice for so long, you are probably in the same boat as the writers who decided it was finally time to adapt his ability and let him transform into other states of matter.
While under the influence of Emma Frost, Bobby’s body broke down into liquid, which allowed him to transport through a body of water easily. Eventually, he learned to transform himself into water vapor, which finally meant he could transform into all three states of matter for water: liquid, gas and solid.
3. HE WAS ONCE TRAPPED IN HIS ORGANIC ICE FORM
If there’s one thing Marvel loves doing with its characters, it’s having heroes’ powers become a burden at least once during their career. This happened to Iceman when his powers were magnified by Loki with the intent of using Iceman’s powers to aid the Frost Giants in his constant battle against Thor. Bobby’s powers were so enhanced, he lost control of them and upon his return to working with his teammates, he was forced to rely on an inhibitor belt to keep his powers in check.
This wasn’t the only time he lost control and remained trapped in his ice-form. During the “Earth-X” miniseries, he was likewise trapped and had to move to the Arctic to keep himself from melting. Eventually, he regains control of his powers and returns to his human form, but it took a toll.
2. HE HAS LOST AND REGAINED HIS POWERS
You can’t be a superhero in the Marvel Universe without losing your powers at least once. For Bobby, it happened following the “House of M” storyline, which saw 99% of Earth’s Mutants lose their powers. This came after Scarlett Witch recreated reality, but restored it without Mutants, though there were only a few hundred remaining. Bobby was one of the unfortunate Mutants to become a human and he remained in this state for a full year.
Iceman was finally able to reactivate his powers in X-Men #178, written by Peter Milligan and penciled by Salvador Larroca. As he is about to be shot in the head by an anti-mutant terrorist, his powers suddenly reactivate. It was revealed that Bobby wasn’t truly affected by the “House of M” event and only repressed his powers following the event.
1. HE CAN REGROW LOST BODY PARTS
Iceman’s abilities have certainly expanded since he first appeared. As a teenager able to cover his body with icy snow, he could be harmed fairly easily, but as his powers developed, his susceptibility to harm diminished… significantly. Over the years, Iceman has been destroyed in battle. He has had limbs blasted off and he has even been smashed to smithereens!
For someone able to make anything out of ice, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn he can simply regrow these parts. He has even broken himself down into water and vapor, which essentially means he can break down the molecular bonds of who and what he is and then reform them as needed. Iceman is truly a powerful being, seeing as you could blow the guy’s head clean off his shoulders and he would only consider it a minor inconvenience.
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