Iceman : Needless Character Analysis
This week saw the release of Uncanny X-Men #600, which had among other things, the current Iceman coming out of the closet when talking to his younger counterpart. Given that this wraps up one of the stories that Brian Michael Bendis got started, first revealing that the younger Bobby Drake was gay, which seemed to contradict years of established continuity. This week saw that the established continuity was just years of Bobby Drake choosing not to acknowledge that part of himself, since being a mutant was hard enough as it was for a young Bobby Drake.
All that being discussed, let’s take the opportunity to get up to date with Bobby Drake.
Booby Drake was born in Long Island and developed his powers in his teenage years when defending his date from a bully. He found himself taken into protective custody by local police because his powers drew the attention of an angry mob. The incident drew the attention of Professor Charles Xavier who came with his student Cyclops to rescue Bobby and recruit him into a forming team of X-Men. At first, when his powers manifested, he was covered in snow-like ice, but eventually, he learned to make his appearance more ice-based to the point of being translucent. His relationships with young women while he was in the X-Men brought the X-Men into contact with Mimic, Polaris, Havok and Sauron.
When the original X-Men were captured by the mutant island of Krakatoa, Bobby was among them and was rescued by a new team of X-Men. Afterwards, Bobby left the X-Men along with Jean Grey, Angel, Havok and Polaris. It was during this period that Booby attended UCLA and got his CPA accreditation.
While in Los Angeles, Iceman and Angel helped form the team the Champions, along with Black Widow, Hercules, and Ghost Rider. They were later joined by the Russian mutant Darkstar. After the Champions disbanded, Bobby’s adventures saw him face Rampage, Sentinels, Arcade’s henchman Miss Locke, and the Circus of Crime. He continued to attend college until he worked with Beast and Angel to reform the Defenders as a more formal team until team member Moondragon, apparently possessed killed many of the team, which convinced Bobby and the others to disband the team for good.
Shortly afterwards, in the wake of rising anti-mutant hysteria, Bobby and the other founding X-Men, including a resurrected Jean Grey, formed the group X-Factor. They used the guise of mutant hunters to cover their rescue and training of young mutants. During this time, Bobby found his powers magically enhanced by Loki, which took some time to bring under control. Eventually, X-Factor reunified with the X-Men, with Bobby joining the “Gold” team led by Storm. During this time, he realized that he was not reaching his full potential, when Emma Forst controlled his body and used his powers in ways he had never dreamed of. He began to explore new ways of using his powers while still with the X-Men.
When WOlverine formed the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, Bobby joined as a member of the faculty, and in that time, briefly dated Kitty Pryde. When Beast brought the original X-Men from the past, Booby was surprised by his younger counterpart. When his younger counterpart confronted him about being gay, Bobby then acknowledged that he had always hidden that part of his identity since it was already hard enough being a mutant.
As Iceman, Bobby freezes moisture in a variety of ways, and has shown the ability to completely transform his entire body into ice. Given the scope of his abilities, Bobby is classified as an Omega-level mutant. A future version of himself showed Bobby that he could use ice to create ice creatures that could act on their own. He has shown the capability to freeze salt water, and completely freeze all the moisture in a human body. His powers have proven quite formidable and make Iceman a very powerful ally and foe in combat.