Published June 9, 2017

Flashback Friday: Iceman

Bobby Drake slides into a new solo series—see his start as an X-Man!

Image for Flashback Friday: Iceman

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti’s ICEMAN #1 sends Bobby Drake on a journey to become the greatest hero he can be. With that in mind, let’s look back at exactly where that trek first began!

Like many of Marvel’s most popular characters, Mr. Drake came about thanks to the genius minds of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. In an effort to match the popularity of FANTASTIC FOUR, the company launched another team book, this one revolving around genetic anomalies with super powers otherwise known as mutants. UNCANNY X-MEN #1 launched in 1963 and introduced the world to Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Marvel Girl, and the youngest of the bunch, Iceman!

Initially looking like a pile of snow in the shape of a man, Drake chaffed at how easy Professor X took it on him during Danger Room sessions. Instead of conveying a well-crafted argument, he grabbed a carrot, some buttons, a broom, and a hat to look like a snowman. That prompted the Prof. to mentally command Hank McCoy to throw a bowling ball at his youthful compatriot. Iceman used his abilities to freeze his own breath into a ramp to send the ball flying back at his assailant. An adolescent squabble between them and Cylops quickly broke out, but Charles broke it up by announcing that their newest teammate, Jean Grey, had arrived.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #1

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #1

  • Published: September 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Soon after, Magneto attacked a military base, which sent the team into action. Iceman utilized his powers to freeze the soldiers’ guns and launched ice grenades at some of the unleashed missiles. Bobby even shielded his teammates in an ice dome to stop the Master of Magnetism’s explosion from roasting them, but this also allowed the villain to get away!

In the 1987-penned intro to MARVEL MASTERWORKS THE X-MEN VOLUME 1, writer Lee recounted some of his trepidation regarding the frosty teen: “I was really worried about how readers would accept him but I figured what they hey, if they dug Human Torch, why not? Once again, the gamble paid off.”

Flash Forward

In recent years, Bobby Drake has come to meet not one, but two different versions of himself. A time-displaced incarnation of the original Children of the Atom showed up in the present in the pages of ALL-NEW X-MEN. Both younger Bobby’s met a future version of themselves during the Battle of the Atom story, dubbed Ice Wizard. In fact, all three of them joined forces to battle a rampaging ice creature created by the eldest of their ranks.