As the youngest member of the original five X-Men, Bobby's abilities are mainly ice-related, but he can also manipulate temperature and moisture, making him one of very few omega-level mutants. His true power was unknown to him for quite some time, however, thanks in part to being riddled with insecurities — a product of growing up with his abusive father before being taken in by Charles Xavier. In spite of his rough upbringing, Bobby is known for his playfully sarcastic nature, if also being slightly guilty for his sensitive tendencies.
As of the All-New, All-Different Marvel era, there are currently two Bobby Drakes populating the mainstream Marvel Universe: original Bobby, who's since grown into adulthood, and a time-displaced teenage Bobby, who (with his fellow original X-Men) was pulled from the 1960s into the present. Each serve on a distinct faction of the X-Men: adult Bobby with the Extraordinary X-Men, teenage Bobby with the All-New X-Men. Historically, he was also a member of The Defenders, the original X-Factor lineup, and the (much-maligned) Champions.
In the wake of Inhumans vs. X-Men (and its follow-up, Resurr Xion), the older Bobby will be getting his first ongoing series, with writer Sina Grace and artist Alessandro Vitti. The book concerns itself with Bobby trying to live up to the expectations of being an X-Men and Omega-level mutant, while also navigating being a newly-out gay man and trying to get the courage to tell his parents.
Iceman is notable for being one of Marvel's most prominent —if not the most prominent— gay characters. While his sexuality was speculated (and joked about) for decades, he officially came out of the closet in 2015 — it went down about as well as you'd probably expect. Regardless, many were happy to see one of Marvel's oldest characters undergo such a reinvention, helping further the publisher's ongoing efforts to bolster diversity in their comic line.
He was portrayed by Canadian actor Shawn Ashmore in the original trilogy of the X-Men Film Series, as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past. Ashmore would also provide his voice in an episode of The Superhero Squad Show.
Iceman has appeared in:
- X-Men: Children of the Atom (1994): appears as a playable hero. Voiced by Cal Dodd
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000): Voiced by Cal Dodd
- X-Men Legends (2004): Voiced by Darren Scott
- X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (2005): Voiced by James Arnold Taylor
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance: appears as a playable hero. Voiced by James Arnold Taylor
- X-Men: The Official Game: appears as a playable hero.
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009): appears as a playable hero. Voiced by Adam Bobrow
- X-Men: Destiny (2011): appears as NPC. Voiced by Jason Marsden
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011): appears as cameo in Magneto's ending
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012-2016): appears as playable hero
- The Avengers: Battle for Earth (2012): appears as playable hero. Voiced by Chris Cox
- Marvel Heroes (2013): appears as playable hero. Voiced by James Arnold Taylor
- Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013): appears as playable hero.
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013): appears as playable hero. Voiced by Yuri Lowenthal
- The Marvel Superheroes (1966 note ): First animated appearance. Guest spot, voiced by Tom Harvey
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981 — 1983): Voiced by Frank Welker
- X-Men: The Animated Series (1995 note ): Voiced by Denis Akiyama
- X-Men: Evolution (2001 — 2003): Voiced by Andrew Francis
- Wolverine and the X-Men (2009): Voiced by Yuri Lowenthal
- The Superhero Squad Show (2009 — 2010 note ): Voiced by Shawn Ashmore
- Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (2015): Guest spot, voiced by Yuki Tai. English dubbed by Yuri Lowenthal
Iceman provides examples of the following tropes:
- An Ice Person: He transforms into an organic ice form, and generates subzero energy to freeze his surroundings, cool and condense moisture in the atmosphere into ice, shaping it into various forms such as snowballs, battering rams, shields, solid blocks, columns, and ice slides.
- An Ice Suit: Technically he's wearing clothes under his ice-body, but when he's iced up, he looks like he's pretty much in the buff.
- In the old days, he wasn't. Getting his ice coating broken or melted left him in his boxers. He doesn't get a proper costume until well into his stint with the Champions. As is common for X-characters suffering Clothing Damage, he doesn't get too embarrassed by it.
- Armored Closet Gay: After six hundred issues, it was finally revealed (in a conversion with his younger self) that Iceman was gay. He said that he just wanted one part of his life in which he wouldn't be persecuted, so he decided to just pretend to be straight and, eventually, tried to be straight. But when Teen Iceman asks him if he thinks Angel is hot, he says, "God yes."
- Beware the Nice Ones: Similar to his bros Spider-Man and The Human Torch, he's a pretty easygoing, goofball kind of guy for the most part. Make the mistake of screwing with his friends and teammates though, and you learn just how terrifying taking him on can be.
- Bob from Accounting: Subverted. Bobby holds a college degree in accounting, but is a main character rather than throwaway one. He briefly worked in an accounting firm, but quit to become a full time member of X-Factor.
- Brainwashed: He was brainwashed by Rampage/Stuart Clarke Spectacular Spider-Man #17-18 (April-May, 1978). He put on the Rampage costume and served as a new super-villain.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: In regards to Polaris. He has been infatuated with her since they first met. He acts clingy towards her and rather hostile to her actual lover, Havok.
- Deadpan Snarker: His humor has a tendency to fall in this category. An example from X-Men #31:Bernard the Poet: Life is a yo-yo —- and mankind keeps tying knots in the string! Go up... go down... then call it progress!
Zelda Kurtzberg : What a groovy poem! And it's in free verse!
Iceman:It hadda be! Nobody'd be nutty enough to pay'im for it!
- Death Is Cheap: In The Infinity Gauntlet #1 (July, 1991), Thanos wipes out of half the population of the Marvel Universe. In issue #2 (August, 1991), a list of "missing" (dead) heroes is read and Iceman was among them. Every casualty of the event was restored to life in issue #6 (December, 1991), Iceman included.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Every time it looks like he might finally end up with Polaris, she ends up going back to Havok. While serving with the Champions, Iceman fell for fellow member Darkstar... who only viewed him as a friend. In the Defenders, he was in love with Cloud. The latter being a member with both a female and a male form. She/he had some feelings for Bobby, but was much more interested in Moondragon, another lady of the team. Most recently, he tried to get it on with Kitty Pryde, first stealing a big kiss from her after she broke up with Colossus and later going out on a date. In the end, both declared that they were both better off as friends, with Kitty going back to Colossus despite his outlaw status.
- Another instance is his relationship with Annie Ghazikhanian. In Uncanny X-Men #425 (August, 2003), Havok and Polaris are about to get married. This leaves Iceman and Annie brokenhearted, since Iceman still loves Polaris and Annie loves Havok. Iceman and Annie bond over their feelings of loss and kiss each other. This looked like a Pair the Spares situation. In the very next issue, Havok breaks up with Polaris and chooses Annie. Leaving Iceman alone again. He holds a grudge since "Annie was the second woman that Havok had stolen away from him."
- During the X-Factor days, Bobby had a long romance with a woman named Opal Tanaka. She hasn't been seen since the year 2000, but the interesting thing is that thought balloons at the time depicted Bobby as being genuinely attracted to and in love with her despite... later revelations. Sadly, she's now raising another man's child and no longer wants him in her life. Considering what happened fifteen years later, it's perhaps just as well.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Bobby is frequently barefoot, in contrast to most of his teammates except for Beast.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Subverted. Bobby tells Judah there's another him, and warns him not to make any smutty jokes about it, particularly because his younger self is underage.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: In his earliest appearances, Iceman covered his body with snow. He then changed to covering his body with ice. He later learned how to convert his body into organic ice.
- Even the Guys Want Him: At least a homosexual guy. One subplot in Chuck Austen's Uncanny X-Men run was that Northstar had an unrequited crush on Iceman. Which manifested itself as protective behavior towards Iceman, and rescuing his life at least once. The pairing of the two has proved relatively popular with writers of Slash Fics.
- FaceHeel Turn: Subverted. In Astonishing X-Men #62-65 (July-October, 2013). Iceman has been affected by the Apocalypse Seed and his powers manifest in new and more powerful ways. He acts increasingly evil and fights the X-Men and Thor. However, even when acting as a monster, Iceman manages to not kill any of his friends. He is simply having a temper tantrum over being unloved and unappreciated by his father and his past lovers. A talk with a "psychiatrist" calms him down.
- Fantastic Racism: After a lifetime facing anti-mutant racism, Iceman himself displays anti-human prejudice in Chuck Austen's run of Uncanny X-Men.
- Fire/Ice Duo:
Iceman: Yo! Ice and fire...Torch: The unbeatable combo!
- The rogue mutant Pyro has a notorious rivalry with him and is often considered his Arch-Enemy.
- Outside of X-books, Iceman teamed up with the Human Torch many times. A memorable occasion had them fight Equinox, a villain with fire and ice powers. When meeting in the Days Of Future Present crossover, they lampshade this trope:
- Forced Out of the Closet: When they are teenagers in the future (long story), Jean reads his mind and insists that he come out as gay. He calls her on it years later, when they are adults, claiming he thought he could get over it, but being proven wrong by a three-hundred-year-old version of himself from the future.
- From a Single Cell: Was once vaporized by a Brainwashed and Crazy Northstar and Aurora and managed to reconstitute himself, before collapsing from the strain.
- Fun Personified: In an early issue of X-Men: First Class, calls himself "The Bringer of Fun", and throughout the series generally acts like a lovable dork.
- Gaydar: Averted. In Chuck Austen's run of Uncanny X-Men, Iceman fails to realize that his teammate Northstar is gay. In issue #425 (August, 2003), Annie Ghazikhanian finally tells him. His jaw drops, his eyes widen, and he asks: "Northstar is gay?" His surprise is played for comedy since Northstar is openly gay and every other character already knows.
- Grand Theft Me: At one point, he had his body possessed by Emma Frost after the mansion was attacked by Sentinels. She used his powers in ways he never had before, such as traveling quickly through bodies of water and even adding the water to his body mass. Later on, he would ask Emma for help improving his powers.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When he was younger. Including some infighting with his fellow X-Men, particularly Angel.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He was attracted to redhead Jean Grey in his teenage years. He was the only of the young X-Men to not fall for her upon meeting her. His reaction was saying: "A Girl... Big Deal". He started competing for her attention in X-Men (vol. 1) #3 (January, 1964).
- In Mike Carey's run on X-Men vol. 2, Iceman had a relationship with his redhead teammate Mystique. They slept together in issue #200 (August, 2007). But Mystique betrayed him, passing a neuro-inhibitor to him through skin-to-skin contact. This left him nearly powerless as the Marauders arrived to take down the X-Men.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Beast. In the 1960s, they spend most of their free time together. Iceman was dating Zelda Kurtzberg, Beast was dating Vera Cantor. All four typically went on double dates at Coffee A-Go-Go, a Greenwich Village coffee shop. Later they served together in The Defenders and X-Factor, continuing to be close friends. Some fans have interpreted their relationship as too close to be heterosexual, and they tend to be paired in Slash Fics.
- Also with Spider-Man and the Human Torch. Spider-Man and Iceman were best friends and housemates in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. In regular continuity, Spider-Man and Iceman have had their share of fights over the years. But grew closer when Spidey helped rescue a brainwashed Iceman in Spectacular Spider-Man #17-18 (April-May, 1978). His friendship with the Human Torch goes back to their teenage years, at least according to X-Men: First Class (vol. 2) #16 (November, 2008). Though they did break up a temporary partnership when the Torch dared to hit on Zelda Kurtzberg, Iceman's main love interest.
- Informed Judaism: According to Iceman (vol. 1) #1 (December, 1984), Iceman has attended Hebrew school, the Jewish equivalent of Sunday school. "My dad's Irish-Catholic, my mom's Jewish. I was the only kid in Hebrew school who got off for St. Patrick's Day!" ... "Anyway... the Catholic kids used to ride me for being Jewish... the Jewish kids used to ride me for being Catholic... and that wasn't even my big problem!" That is largely ignored as the character is normaly features as irreligious.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Wolverine. Wolvie was born in the 19th century and is old enough to be Iceman's ancestor.
- The Lancer: In the earliest days, Bobby was loudmouthed, egotistical, and irreverent, and had a constant problem with Cyclops' leadership. He was still one of the best fighters in the team. In his first appearance, Iceman single-handedly took down most of Magneto's missiles.
- Kid-Appeal Character: In the original team, Iceman was the jokester, the funnyman and surrogate kid-brother to his teammates. He was naturally the youngest member.
- Jerkass: On occasion. Including the odd remark that the X-Men were better when there were just five of them.
- Making a Splash: A story arc where his body was possessed by Emma Frost in the early 90s revealed that Bobby is capable of incredible feats of power involving bodies of water, such as traveling quickly through a river and utilizing the water to increase his body mass. After this event, Bobby would actually start converting his body into organic ice, rather than simply encasing himself in it.
- MayDecember Romance: His brief relationship with Mystique fits this trope. She was born in the 19th century and is old enough to be his ancestor.
- Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: He had a tumultuous relationship with Japanese expatriate Opal Tanaka. He served as her protector against the plans of her villainous grandfather. His father William, bigoted against the Japanese, disapproved of the relationship.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lashed out at Thunderbird on the guy's first day, which didn't help with his already-present anger issues.
- Out of Focus: Of the five original X-Men, he gets by far the least focus.
- Physical God: It's been revealed he has the potential to be this, as his powers have over the years been redefined from "shoots ice" to "ability to do literally anything so long as it involves water." This is rarely actually seen, however, a notable exception being the first arc in Wolverine and the X-Men where he creates an army of clones to defend the school from villains... from the school's sprinkler system.
- Raised Catholic: According to Iceman (vol. 1) #1 (December, 1984), Jewish kids mistreated him for being Catholic. He does not seem to practice any religion in his adult life.
- Sad Clown: He has had a difficult life, starting out in his origin story. He first used his powers to save his girlfriend Judy Harmon from a would-be rapist. She was scared of him and ended their relationship. His status as a mutant became public knowledge and he was targeted by a mutant-hating mob. He has had a difficult relationship with his father William Drake, who does not trust mutants. He has had many love interests but his love tends to be unrequited. Even his most successful relationships have ended in sad notes. He feels insecure about his position in the X-Men, since the once tight-knit is more recently filled with people he barely knows. He still faces life and dangers with a series of wisecracks.
- Self-Duplication: In recent years, Iceman has gained the ability to produce duplicates of himself. They usually do not demonstrate much intelligence or combat ability. Subverted in Astonishing X-Men #62-65 (July-October, 2013). Iceman has been affected by the Apocalypse Seed and his powers act out in erratic ways. Several Iceman duplicates are running around, acting independent of the original. A few attempt to kidnap Opal Tanaka and her son. Another allies himself with Mystique, and kidnaps Polaris and Annie Ghazikhanian. Another takes care of "their" father William Drake who has suffered a heart attack. Another takes a psychiatrist role and gives the original Iceman a much-needed therapy session. The "psychiatrist" saves the day, since Iceman regains control of himself and his powers. Ending the madness.
- Later, in All-New X-Men, it's revealed that one future version of The Brotherhood has one of the Iceman duplicates, who is a mindless raging snow giant controlled by Xavier's son.
- Expendable Clone. Neither Iceman nor anyone else seem overly concerned when the duplicate Icemen get destroyed in combat or otherwise terminated.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In Chuck Austen's run of Uncanny X-Men, Iceman starts losing the ability to Voluntary Shapeshift. A wounded part of his body is stuck in ice form. In issue #415 (January, 2003), the ice covers part of his chest and stomach. It is his new secondary mutation. He is actually becoming ice and cant change back. In issue #425 (August, 2003), Annie Ghazikhanian figures out why Iceman is so miserable with the change. He is used to passing as a regular human whenever he wants. If he turns to ice permanently, he will have to be a mutant 24/7.
- In the 2017-18 solo series.
- Vol. 2 (2018-)
- Issue #1 has a poster referencing ABBA's One Of Us.One of us is dying
None of us are trying
- Issue #1 has a poster referencing ABBA's One Of Us.
- Size Shifter: In Astonishing X-Men #63 (August, 2013), Iceman's powers manifest in new ways due to his exposure to the Apocalypse Seed. At the finale of the issue, he increases his mass, towering over the skyscrapers of New York City.
- Status Quo Is God: Frequently undergoes minor power-ups or character switches where he decides to take himself (and his work) more seriously. Generally, he's back to being an immature jokester with his standard powers in no time.
- Stripperiffic: Much like Beast, he rarely ever wears a shirt with his uniforms.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: This was the unfortunate fate of Judah, older Bobby's first boyfriend in the Sina Grace volume of older Bobby's solo. Notable for two painful reasons: Daken told Bobby "hope you got a fridge big enough for him" as he killed him, and Bobby had reassured him at the start of the same issue that he was "more than just a redshirt."
- Subverted: Judah survived the attack, but broke up with Bobby. As the 2018 series indicates, he's also found a new boyfriend.
- Suddenly Sexuality: While there had been plenty of fan speculation over the years, no significant indication that Bobby was gay was ever given besides his generally poor track record with his love interests. However, he recently came out at the prompting of his time-displaced younger self. His explanation for trying to deny it for so long was that he didn't want to have a second aspect of himself that he could be discriminated against for (in addition to being a mutant).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Chuck Austen's run of Uncanny X-Men, Iceman exhibits anti-human prejudice towards Annie Ghazikhanian and antagonizes several of his teammates. In issue #416 (February, 2003), he gives a little speech about him being a real X-Man and the others are not. "I mean, who is Stacy and whys she hanging around us so much? All right, so shes a mutant, but shes not an X-Man. The X-Men are a group - a set group - a family even - not a club anyone can join just because theyve got the right chromosome" He continues saying that nowadays "anyone who hangs out in the lobby for an hour thinks theyre an X-Man." He proclaims that the X-Men are Scott, Warren, himself, Hank and Jean - and that everyone else is just a Johnny-come-lately. He is saying all this to Nightcrawler who takes offense, since Iceman does not think of him as a real X-Man.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ice cream, in the earliest days. Yes, it's an awful attempt at punning.
- The Trickster: On occasion, Iceman uses his powers for pranks.
- Underwear of Power: Since he converts his body into organic ice, he has little need for clothing. His outfit usually consists of a pair of briefs and some boots.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Beast. They are best friends, but that does not prevent them from taking shots at each other. Beast pointing that Iceman is not the brightest guy around: "meet my blundering associate who's not such a bad idiot when you get to know him!"
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: He controls his transformation from his human form to that of organic ice. His powers get a temporary upgrade in Astonishing X-Men #64 (September, 2013). He shapeshifts into a massive ice dragon and swallows The Mighty Thor.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He wants the approval of his father William Drake, who is prejudiced against mutants. He was touched in X-Men (vol. 2) #58 (November, 1996) when his father had a change of heart and stood up for mutant rights. At the time his father was really pissed with the racist rhetoric of Graydon Creed. They attempted a reconciliation.
- Their relationship simply returned to being adversarial. An angry Iceman almost killed his father in Astonishing X-Men (vol. 3) #64 (September, 2013), by giving him a heart attack. William was being his usually loveable self, upon starting the conversation with: "What... the big super hero making time in his busy schedule to lend his old man a hand shoveling snow?"
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: His parents aren't wild about Mutants. They also don't like the idea of their son being a superhero, dreading the phone call telling them their son had been killed in battle. Now his sexuality has taken the top spot on their list. To the extent that they are unperturbed by him fighting Juggernaut — so long as it buys them time to catch a train back to Long Island after he comes out to them. His mother in particular wants to know why he can't just keep dating women.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In Astonishing X-Men #62-65 (July-October, 2013), Iceman has temporary upgrades to his powers which make him a global threat. He is at his most powerful phase, but goes mentally unstable.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Regularly uses Witty Banter in combat situations.