Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Breaking the Ice

Putting his X-Men days behind him, Bobby Drake began attending college at the University of California, Los Angeles. There, as Iceman, he became a founding member of the Champions.

Bobby updated his costume to make a stronger impression on his teammates, most notably new member Darkstar (Champions #14). The two heroes dated briefly until Darkstar abruptly decided to return to her homeland of Russia (#17).

After the Champions disbanded, Bobby met a woman named Teresa "Terri" Sue Bottoms and invited her to vacation with him at the summer home of Warren Worthington (who no longer hid his heroic identity as Angel). Terri was starstruck to meet the winged mutant, much to the chagrin of Warren's longtime girlfriend Candy Southern (Incredible Hulk Annual #7).

Bobby kept his own mutant powers secret from Terri Sue as they continued dating in Marvel Two-in-One #76 (June 1981). That same month, however, a guest appearance in Uncanny X-Men #146 (June 1981) revealed that Iceman had his eyes on someone else.

Iceman: (Thinking) And to think I could be at school, romancing Sheila Delaney, the cute lady from the dorm next door.

Iceman had returned to the X-Men to help rescue Candy Southern and other friends and family of the mutant team who had been kidnapped by the assassin Arcade.

Uncanny X-Men #145, incidentally, had established that Bobby was now a college sophomore and attending school on the Eastern Seaboard.

This panel from Uncanny X-Men #145 shows Iceman as a fan of the band KISS, whose members had crossed over into superhero comics.

Later, when almost every hero on Earth found themselves gathered together in Contest of Champions #1 (June 1982), Iceman took a moment to reconnect with Darkstar in one of the most touching scenes from that issue.

By this time, a theme had emerged in Bobby's love life. The women, like Darkstar, who knew he had mutant powers didn't want a lasting relationship with him, though for different reasons (Judy Harmon, Lorna Dane).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Love on the Rocks

While a student at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Bobby Drake became smitten with a young woman named Zelda who worked at a coffee house in Greenwich Village (X-Men #7). They remained an item for the next 40 issues.

Zelda even organized Bobby's 18th birthday party (#32), but all the while she never learned that he was secretly Iceman. During this same period, classmates Henry McCoy (Beast) and Warren Worthington (Angel) kept their mutant identities secret from their dates as well.

Bobby's romantic life took and unexpected turn when he met Lorna Dane, a mutant who had spent a lifetime hiding her naturally green hair (#49). Almost immediately, Bobby felt protective and possessive of Lorna. But Bobby's passion went unreciprocated, as Lorna instead fell in love with Alex Summers (Havok), who joined the X-Men soon afterward.

This scene of Iceman and Lorna Dane comes from X-Men #51.

Bobby then spent weeks getting up the nerve to ask another (unidentified) woman on a date, only to send her home early so he could discreetly use his powers as Iceman (Amazing Spider-Man #92). Iceman had misconstrued that Spider-Man—widely considered a menace at this time—was intending to harm Gwen Stacy (girlfriend of Spider-Man's alter ego, Peter Parker).

In retrospect, this issue was eerily prophetic, as Spider-Man would later be blamed unfairly for Gwen Stacy's death (#121-122).

Amazing Spider-Man #72 (Jan. 1971) was published between X-Men #67 (Dec. 1970) and #68 (Feb. 1971). X-Men #67-93 reprinted earlier issues in the series. Iceman resigned in X-Men #95 (Aug. 1975).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tip of the Iceberg

One of the first posts on this site described how Bobby Drake once introduced himself—not as the hero Iceman—but instead as Beast's boyfriend, Lance (New Defenders #131). Bobby was joking at the time, but a recent story line adds new context to that scene.

In a conversation with a younger version of himself who had traveled forward through time, Iceman recently acknowledged that he is in fact gay but has kept it a secret all these years because he already had a hard enough time dealing with the stigma of being a mutant (Uncanny X-Men #600).

From this perspective, it's worth considering how Iceman's romantic life originally unfolded during his formative years.

A back-up story titled "The Iceman Cometh" (X-Men #44) showed teenage Bobby Drake dating a young woman named Judy Harmon shortly before joining the X-Men.

Bobby: You know, even though we've only dated a few times—I already feel I know you better than anyone! It's like you're the only person in the world who really matters to me!
Judy: Bobby—are you trying to say that … you're in love with me?

Before Bobby could answer, a group of thugs attacked the young couple. Bobby used his mutant abilities in self-defense, but Judy was so mortified to witness Bobby's powers that she fled. In retrospect, that early rejection left a lasting scar on the young hero.

When Jean Grey arrived as the first female student at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the original X-Men began vying for her attention. Everyone, that is, except one.

Iceman: A girl … big deal! I'm glad I'm not a wolf like you guys!

Angel: I'm glad, too. Who needs extra competition from Iceman?!
The flashback from X-Men #138 captures events from X-Men #1. Upcoming posts will continue to examine Iceman's romantic history.