While his jovial and easygoing nature makes him one of the most underestimated X-Men, Iceman is in actuality an Omega-level mutant of breathtaking power. After years of practice and some help from a body hijacking White Queen in her villainous day, Iceman can now do things far beyond making the ice-slides and snowballs he’s known for, and his anatomy has only become more strange as his powers have evolved.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at some of the lesser-known aspects of Iceman’s powers. Even though Bobby Drake hasn’t been the most impressive X-Man outside of comics, the mutant is one of the X-men’s most deceptively powerful heroes.
In the beginning, Iceman was simply a teenager who covered himself with a snowy or icy coating. But now Iceman becomes ice through and through when he transforms. When he transforms, his body temperature drops from a normal 98.6 all the way down to absolute zero in a few tenths of a second. When this happens, his entire body transforms into a form organic ice, which he can shape and grow by adding water from the environment, often in the form of spikes or additional mass to his fists.
In this form, he is translucent and malleable, able to add to his mass at will through adding additional ice from the environment around him. Iceman is also immune to all effects of extreme cold, such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Thanks to being organic ice, Bobby has astonishing regenerative powers. He can regenerate any broken limbs or parts of his body, or even his entire body from pieces. After sustaining a particularly large and devastating injury to his chest while in ice form, Iceman was able to successfully heal himself by transforming into his human form. Additionally, he has saved himself from poison by drawing in the ambient moisture around him, replacing the poisoned cells with new ones.
Even more impressively, he can regenerate himself from any nearby water — including water vapor — after having been melted or disintegrated. He has even regenerated from water after having had most of his body incinerated. In essence, Iceman may be functionally immortal as long as he has moisture around to regenerate with.
While Iceman is famous for riding around the Marvel Universe on his ice-slides, he also has another, far quicker way to get around the Marvel Universe too.
Thanks to his molecular control, Iceman can also travel great distances nearly instantly, as long there’s a nearby body of water, be it a lake, river, ocean or even water lines. This is due to the fact that he can break himself down to his component molecules, blend himself with the water, and then reconstitute himself at another spot. In other words, once his molecules are incorporated into the water, he essentially becomes one with it, and can reconstitute himself at any point within it.
With concentration, Iceman can turn to vapor while still retaining his full persona and abilities. He can also use ambient water vapor to augment himself to giant proportions, with his strength increasing with his size. He can completely discorporate himself if need be and even exist in multiple places at once. As a vapor, he can enter into machinery or electronics to disrupt them, or through small crevices or cracks to escape from traps or prisons. He has melted, evaporated into a cloud, rained himself back to the ground, and then reconstituted himself.
While at some point he may be able to retain a gaseous or dispersed form indefinitely, he will generally revert to his human form after a few hours of maximum power usage.
Iceman also has an ability known as cryokinesis, the ability to control moisture in the environment around him. This ability allows him to draw heat from his environment, thus decreasing the temperature around him. This is also what allows him to create ice structures, such as slides weapons, and even semi-autonomous ice clones or creatures by using the moisture around him. This has often been confused with an ability to emanate cold, when in fact it is the opposite. Since cold is the absence of heat, it can only be created by removing heat.
He can also use this power to control the moisture in other people, instantly freezing their blood or even blocking access to powers, such as he did to Sunfire. Iceman can freeze individual molecules in an opponent’s body through molecular moisture inversion and can also transform all of their molecules to water with little more than a thought towards anyone in his general vicinity. Thanks to Bobby’s cryokinesis he can even fly, in a sense. He cam propel himself through the air by pushing blasts of cryokinetic energy behind him, forcing him in the direction he wants to go.
This just goes to show that Iceman really is one of the heavy hitters of the X-Men, even if he didn’t always know that. As various alternate and future versions of Iceman have shown, his powers will only continue to increase in the future, and he may well be one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe one day, an elemental figure of ice and water without need of a human body.
While Iceman might be the funniest member of the X-Men, he's also an Omega-Level mutant who can do some truly uncanny things with his powers.