Robert "Bobby" Drake was born in Tipano, New York, to William Robert Drake and Madeline Beatrice Bass-Drake. He is Jewish and on his mother's side and Irish Catholic on his father's. Bobby discovered his mutant ability to create ice while in his early teens, yet kept his condition hidden from everyone but his parents. When he is on a date with Judy Harmon, and a local bully by the name of Rocky Beasely tries to take Judy away for himself. Knowing Judy cannot put up a good fight, Bobby points his hand at Beasely and encases him in a block of ice. Later, the local townspeople, having heard of the incident, come looking for him in the form of an angry mob. The local sheriff has no choice but to put Bobby in jail for his own "protection". While Bobby sits in his cell at the sheriff station, the outer wall is blown open, and a man named Scott Summers walks in and offers to take Bobby with him. After Bobby turns him down, the two mutants get into a short battle, which is soon ended by Professor Charles Xavier. After Xavier has sat down and talked with Bobby and his parents, Bobby's parents suggest that he go with Professor Xavier to his "school for gifted youngsters". Bobby takes the suggestion and leaves 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, and the two serve as comic relief for the team. Drake, however, 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, and later the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Bobby Drake's first girlfriend is Zelda. Not long after, he takes on a new ice-covered form. He then teams with the Human Torch for the first time. With the X-Men, he visits the Savage Land and meets Ka-Zar for the first time. He then battles the Juggernaut, and is badly injured in his first battle against the Sentinels. He next battles Magneto by himself. Later, he visits Subterranea for the first time. Then, he and Beast battle the Maha Yogi. 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.
Champions and Defenders
Iceman moves to the American west coast to attend UCLA and becomes a founding member of The Champions of Los Angeles. However, the Champions soon dissolve. Iceman is then abducted by Master Mold, and alongside Angel, he encounters the Hulk. Iceman next aids the Thing in battling the Circus of Crime. 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. While in college, he briefly rejoins the X-Men to rescue the captives of Arcade's henchman Miss Locke. Iceman is reunited with Beast, and encounters Cloud, and then returns as a full-time superhero in an incarnation of the Defenders alongside his former teammates, Angel and Beast. He also battles Professor Power's Secret Empire while with the Defenders. 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 achieves reconciliation with his parents.
The original X-Men, including Iceman, reunite to form the superhero team X-Factor. With this new team, he encounters Apocalypse for the first time. During his time with the team, the Asgardian trickster god 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. 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 that he 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. 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. 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, something Bobby helps her out with. After the Muir Island Saga, Iceman rejoins the X-Men along with the rest of X-Factor.
Back with the X-Men
Rejoining the X-Men, Iceman becomes a member of the Gold Squadron, under the leadership of Storm. For much of his time, he continues his role as the team's practical joker and comic relief. However, when Emma Frost, the former White Queen of the Hellfire Club, takes over his body and uses his powers at levels which he has previously been unable to reach, Iceman begins to suffer from depression and starts to reassess his life. The White Queen subsequently believes that Iceman has the potential to be one of the most powerful mutants on Earth. At one point, Iceman confronts Emma, demanding that she show him how she was able to use his powers in such a manner. Although she first tells him to "figure it out yourself," she later goads him into accessing the power all by himself. Around this time, Iceman takes a road-trip with fellow X-Man Rogue. She becomes a danger to herself and others, forcing Iceman into the role of protector. Iceman leaves the X-Men shortly after the incident with the White Queen, only to take an uncharacteristic turn as a leader during Operation: Zero Tolerance. Not long after the Twelve incident against Daniel Bailey are summoned by the sentient spaceship Prosh who sends the make-shift team on a journey through time to uncover the keys to preserving human evolution. Their mission: save the human race from a threat that might not manifest itself for millions of years. During their trips through time, Iceman is allowed to experience his abilities at far greater levels than he has ever attempted before. These experiences force Iceman to come to the realization that he no longer needs to fear the evolution of his abilities, and he returns to the X-Men intent on exploring his mutant powers to the fullest.
While working with a team of X-Men some time later, Drake undergoes a secondary mutation that prevents him from transforming a damaged portion of his chest back to flesh. 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. After Polaris breaks up with Havok, Iceman admits that he still has feelings for her. The two engage in mild flirtation, and a relationship between the two develops.
After the events of the House of M, 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.
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. 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. While on Cable's island, the team and Iceman began working to defeat the Shi'ar weapon known as the Hecatomb. He saved many lives by containing the explosion of the Conquistador, and, later, the Hecatomb itself.
Blinded by the Light
As the in Rogue's childhood home, it appears that Mystique and Iceman begin a romantic relationship. This was a front, however, as Mystique was using Iceman and the X-Men as a Marauder spy for Mister Sinister. 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. 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.
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. 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 became 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. 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 wasn't meant for him.
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. He meets up with his ex-girlfriend Opal and discusses the rapid change his relationship with his powers with Beast. When he entered a plane with Opal to get some tests run 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 then shoots him out of the plane. 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.
Secret Invasion and Utopia
Iceman is one of the X-Men that assists in fighting the Skrull invasion in San Francisco. Iceman rescues Colossus from Venom and is later made a part of a team to battle Emma Frost's Dark X-Men. During the final battle on Utopia, Iceman teams up with the x-students to take on Mimic.
Iceman is an Omega-level mutant.
Thermokinesis: Iceman is a mutant with the superhuman ability to lower his external and internal body temperature, projecting intense coldness from his body. Like any normal human being's body, the nerve centers for regulating Iceman's body temperature are found in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. However, Iceman can mentally override his hypothalamus to allow his body temperature to be lowered by an unknown internal mechanism. This ability converts the latent thermal energies in and around his body into an unknown form of energy that is efficiently dissipated. A related mutation has rendered his body tissues unaffected by sub-zero temperatures. Iceman can consciously, immediately, lower his body temperature from its normal 98.6 Fahrenheit to absolute zero (the point where all molecular motion stops) within the span of a few tenths of a second. Iceman has shown that his power to generate cold is so great, that he was able to stop a fusion core explosion (a massive nuclear explosion).
As his body temperature falls, the surrounding moisture in the air that is in contact with him is similarly lowered. Just as condensed moisture forms frost, this moisture forms an icy covering which encompasses his entire body. It also obscures his facial features. When the Iceman first began to completely lower his body temperature, this covering took on a more snow-like appearance. But as he learned to increase the severity of his coldness, the covering assumed the consistency of crystalline ice that it has today. This ice constantly cracks with any movement of his body, and immediately reforms. (Hence, there is a cracking sound when the Iceman, covered with ice, moves.) Through practice, Iceman has learned to control the intensity of his coldness, and he can selectively lower the temperature of isolated parts of his body.
- Thermal Vision: Ability to see beings due to the heat signatures that others give off, because of the absence of heat around him.
Cryokinesis: Iceman can use his mutant ability to control moisture, such as to freeze any air moisture into super-hard ice. This ice can be formed into any object of his choosing: the only limitations are his own imagination, and the ambient air temperature which determines how long his ice sculpture will stay icy. He does not have to hold the ice physically with his hands in order to shape it. Apparently, he can simply direct the waves of coldness he projects in certain ways so as to create ice in the shape he desires. In the past, Iceman has formed ice-ladders, ice-slides, ice-shields, ice-bats and other constructs of ice. Iceman has created constructs of ice so powerful that he was able to easily encase and contain the likes of the Hulk with him being unable to break out of it. He can make the weather snow or blizzard.
Iceman is able to form a rising column of ice beneath his feet, capable of lifting him off the ground. The tensile strength of the column is determined by its thickness, and its steadiness by how well it has been braced. A well-braced and regular column, 6 feet in diameter at its base, is able to support his weight without toppling for about 85 feet in a 40-mile per hour wind. By forming long ice-ramps connected either to his ice-column or to an existing structure like a building or a bridge, Iceman is able to travel above the ground by sliding down the ramp he is creating. Unless he creates supports periodically, the ramp will crack beneath him, unable to support their combined weight. Iceman, although, has shown that he is not limited to creating constructs and can fly on his own with his control over moisture.
Iceman's powers are so vast that it extends down to the molecular level, to the point he can freeze all of the molecules of an object/being with a thought, he can with a thought freeze the flow of blood to the brain and reverse the process with no side effects, and even evaporate someone into nothingness and reverse the process. He has even shown that his powers are so great over molecular make up, that he is able to control chemical reactions on the molecular level, to the point he can prevent superhumans such as Sunfire even accessing/using their powers with a thought.
- Organic-Ice Form: Ability to not only cover his body with ice, but to actually become organic ice. Though the appearance is similar, Iceman is now actually translucent in his ice form. Iceman is virtually indestructible in this form: he can reform his shattered body, and even if the rest of his body is completely destroyed. Iceman has shown that his control over his powers are so great, that he simply cannot be killed. He has shown that even when he was incinerated completely in his human form, he was able to instantly remake himself and has even had his entire human body incinerated besides his head and simply remade it. In this form he will be able to use the moisture in the air to form spikes, shields and other extra appendages to his body. If this icy form is shattered, he can rebuild himself through the same process. It is currently unknown if Bobby would be considered immortal.
Iceman has a practically unlimited supply of moisture at all times since it is always present in the surrounding air or environment. Even desert air has sufficient moisture content for him to make practical use of. However, the mental effort needed to employ his mutant power could eventually fatigue him and render his freezing ability temporarily dysfunctional.
Hydrokinesis: Iceman can use surrounding moisture to augment himself, and to function as frozen water will allow him to travel within large bodies of the substance almost instantly. It is accomplished by breaking himself down to his most base levels and reforming at the destination. He will also be able to convert his body to gigantic proportions through absorption of a lake or pond or even a swimming pool. Wherever there is any moisture, Iceman is a threat. Iceman has the ability to transform himself into nothing more than water vapor, yet remain consciousness and retain the use of his powers. His conscious control over his power is so great, that he has been able to exist at two places at once, and has even exist everywhere at the same time without any physical body as he has transcended such physical limitations. Iceman also has the ability to freeze water vapor around him which allows him to grow to gigantic proportions, gaining superhuman strength that matches his superhuman size while in said state.
- Molecular Moisture Inversion: Ability to freeze all of someone’s water molecules.
- Molecular Moisture Conversion: Ability to transform people into moisture molecules and transport them over great distances, this is the equivalent of a form of teleportation. This can also be used as an attack to completely destroy an opponent at a molecular level
- Cryokinetic Flight': Ability to propel himself and others into the air by using a powerful cryokinetic blasts.
Bobby is a Certified Public Accountant, although he has been known to be a cheater in exams.
While in human form, Iceman possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height and build who engages in moderate to regular exercise. While in his ice form, he is able to augment his strength.
Like that of trained athlete, Iceman's ability to perform is directly related to his daily physical health and current mental state. Under normal conditions, he can usually form ice continually for a period of about 5 hours before becoming mentally exhausted.
Formerly utilized a power belt to keep his powers under control.
- Once "died" aboard The Conquistador, but restored himself by absorbing his opponent, Fuego.
- Before it was discovered that he suppressed his powers out of fear and is classified as an Omega-Level Mutant, he was originally classified as a Gamma-Level Mutant.
- Bobby is possibly the only mutant to have lost his powers and regain them at a higher level than they originally were.
- Bobby is a skilled ice skater and can speak Spanish fluently.
- Bobby's main downfall is his lack of belief in himself.
- Bobby is now gay since the retcon in 2012.
- Bobby has a child with Kitty Pryde in an alternate future, his name is Carmen Drake.
Appearances in Other Media
Iceman is played by Shawn Ashmore in all three X-Men films. In X1, he has a small role as a student and love interest to Rogue. In X2, his role is greatly expanded as well as his relationship with Rogue. He also is shown as being friends with Pyro until Pyro joins the Brotherhood. In the end of the film, he and Rogue become members of the X-Men. In X3, Iceman gets in a love triangle with Rogue and Kitty Pryde, causing Rogue to get the cure. He also duels Pyro at Alcatraz. In the scene he looks as is if he is going to be defeated by Pyro. Then Iceman "ices up" (the first time to be seen in the movie) and headbutts Pyro, knocking him out. It is unclear whether this 'icing up' is Bobby coating his body in a layer of ice and/or turning his body into organic ice, as it usually happens in the comics, or if it is something else. Shawn Ashmore reprises his role as Iceman in the X-Men: First Class & X-Men 3: The Last Stand sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Iceman is one of the survivors along with Sunspot, Colossus, Wolverine, etc. At first, Iceman is killed by decapitation by a Sentinel utilizing the abilities of Sunspot. After Kitty transports Bishop's mind into his past self to warn their past selves, he is alive again. When Mystique decides not to kill Trask, the timeline is reset so that 1974-2023 are completely different. In the new timeline, it appears that Iceman & Rogue are a happy couple once more.
Iceman was one of the three leads in the animated television series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, in which he was voiced by Frank Welker. Very little background is given on the character, though in several episodes he appears with his 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 his half sister Aurora Dante/Lightwave is introduced.
He also appeared in the X-Men animated series voiced by Dennis Akayama in the episode "Cold Comfort" where he gets Jubilee's help to rescue his girlfriend Lorna Dane (not called Polaris here) from a government facility which is housing the X-Factor led by the modern day Forge. In the series, Iceman was seen in many flashbacks which include "Days of the Future Part 1", "Proteus Part 1", "Sanctuary Part 1", and the "Xavier Remembers". He appeared in the X-Men: Evolution animated series played 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.
Iceman has appeared in various video game adaptations, such as X-Men: Children of the Atom, the subsequent Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and the more recent X-Men Legends and its sequel X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. In both of the Legends games, he is one of the quickest characters to become extremely powerful in melee combat. A cursor of his ability to add his icy damage to his melee attacks and to his own defense. Iceman is one of the three playable characters in the game X-Men: The Official Movie Game which fills in the gap between X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand In the Capcom games, he is especially notorious for his ability to take little to no blocking damage from projectile and beam attacks, special attacks in general, which combined with his powerful ice beam attacks make him an excellent defensive character. In the competitive scene, he fell out of use as Cable players evolved; Iceman's special attacks are vulnerable to Cable's instant super attacks.