Iceman. Artists: Mike Zeck and John Beatty.


Original Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1963
Creator: Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist)
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Iceman, part of the first batch of Marvel Comics mutants, was introduced (along with the rest of the first batch) in X-Men #1, dated September, 1963. His function was to help fill up a superhero team of five …

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… regular members (Cyclops, The Beast, Marvel Girl, The Angel and himself) and a non-combatant leader (Prof. X). It was the first time since Fantastic Four #1, two years earlier, that Marvel introduced such a group containing no heroes who had ever been seen before — and the last time to date. The legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Thor, The Silver Surfer and much more) created both sets of heroes.

The X-Men had, in fact, been launched as an attempt to trade on the earlier team's popularity, a fact that could be seen in many parallels between the two. Iceman (civilian name, Bobby Drake) was analogous to The Human Torch (young and brash, the team's semi-mature cut-up), but with an opposite super power (the ability to freeze things instantly, rather than burn them). Like the Torch, who concealed himself behind a coating of flame, Iceman maintained his secret identity with a covering of self-generated ice. He even, at an early point in the series, developed a way of using his power to to travel through the air at high speed, analogous to the Torch's flame-powered flight — he'd freeze moisture from the air in front of him and slide along it, leaving a ribbon of ice as his trail.

Like the Torch, Iceman matured as the series developed. But in his case, the process took longer than the series lasted, as the first run of the X-Men title switched to reprints in 1970. He completed it in his second gig, The Champions (The Angel, The Black Widow, Marvel's version of Hercules, The Ghost Rider and himself), which began five years later. This one lasted only a couple of years before he was loose again, wandering through the Marvel Universe, mostly doing guest appearances to keep from being forgotten. In 1981, he briefly had a starring role in one of the back segments of Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends, where he was voiced by Frank Welker (Dynomutt).

He served a hitch in The Defenders, then joined X-Factor, where the founding X-men were reunited. He had a couple of mini-series (1984-85 and 2001-02). He also appeared in the X-Men movies (where he was played by Shawn Ashmore) and in several animated X-Men TV shows of the 1990s and 21st century (where he was voiced by Andrew Francis, Shawn Ashmore or Dennis Ayakama).

He's currently back on the guest star circuit.


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