ICEMAN: Page 8 of 12

Publication Date: 14th Aug 2019
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Monolith.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Gremlin.


Shortly thereafter, the X-Men squads were once more reorganized and Iceman found himself on a squad under Havok’s command, a situation he was less than thrilled with. Still, if his relationship with Alex was strained, Bobby’s feelings for his other teammate Juggernaut were outright hostile. Despite what Xavier and the others said, Bobby could not forget that Juggernaut had been trying to kill him and his friends since he was 16 years old.

He constantly objected to Cain going on missions, being allowed near the mansion’s equipment and even physically assaulted him more than once in the field. When Juggernaut didn’t report for a mission, Iceman was prepared to defy Havok’s orders and report Cain to his probation officer for reneging on the terms of his release from prison. Despite Iceman’s rampant mistrust for him, Juggernaut was loyal to Havok and even infiltrated the Brotherhood on the X-Men’s behalf. He sacrificed himself in battle, banished into Xorn’s black hole along with the Brotherhood before he and Iceman could ever come to terms with each other. [X-Men (2nd series) #157-164]

By Christmas, Lorna had recovered from her break-up with Alex and lured Bobby under the mistletoe for a kiss. [X-Men (2nd series) #165] The two began seeing each other just  as Annie broke up with Alex and left the school, after deciding it was too dangerous an environment for her son. Alex’s feelings for Lorna resurfaced on the rebound and the team’s dynamic was filled with even more tension than before as a result. An encounter with psychic parasites called the Golgotha pushed everyone’s insecurities and personal dramas to the breaking point. Iceman loved being with Polaris but their relationship was very uncertain with Havok hovering over them. [X-Men (2nd series) #166-170] Alex soon confessed to Lorna that he was still in love with her and though she rejected him to keep from hurting Bobby, it was clear she felt strongly towards him as well. While they were still together, Iceman was clearly struggling to maintain Polaris’s attention, while she and Havok were more in synch than ever. [X-Men (2nd series) #175]

Bobby was having other troubles as well. Earlier in the school year, he had been named squad advisor for his own team of students called the Excelsiors. Iceman apparently lost some students on his squad after an unspecified “accident” [X-Men (2nd series) #171], likely the incident where the Danger Room came to life and traumatized the student body with horrific displays. When Wolverine was brainwashed by HYDRA and the Hand, he attacked the mansion and killed Northstar on the school grounds. Iceman was surprised to hear that Jean-Paul’s will specifically asked for him to read one of the prayers at his memorial service. To make matters worse, Iceman and the other X-Men  were unable to stop the Hand from stealing Northstar’s corpse and resurrecting him as an evil assassin like they did Logan. [Wolverine (3rd series) #26] Faced with these troubles, Bobby got into an ongoing ritual of writing his letter of resignation from the X-Men to Cyclops. Although he never submitted these letters, and likely only wrote them as a means of therapeutic release, he wrote enough of them to fill an entire drawer in his desk. [X-Men Unlimited (2nd series) #9]

The worst was yet to come, though. On M-Day, Wanda Maximoff unleashed her reality-warping Decimation wave, robbing over 90% of mutantkind of their genetic gifts. Most of the mansion’s student body lost their powers, as did many X-Men associates around the globe… and apparently Iceman as well. After months trapped in his ice form, Bobby was flesh and blood once more but he truly believed it was because he was one of those who had been depowered. [House of M #8]

Bobby stayed at the mansion in the days that followed, offering what comfort he could to others affected by the Decimation to avoid dealing with his own pain. Despite a lack of powers, Bobby rushed out into the field of battle when a squad of Sentinels landed on the X-Men’s front stoop, if for no other reason than to keep Alex from making him look weak in front of Lorna. Unfortunately, his unique status left him in dire straits, first with the Office of National Emergency troops (who thought him a Sapiens League terrorist because he couldn’t display any powers) and the Sapiens League militia themselves, who were prepared to execute even a human “mutie-lover” in the name of humanity. Bobby was moments from death when Emma Frost pinpointed his troubles telepathically and rummaged around in his brain until she was able to reactivate his mutant powers, just in the nick of time. [X-Men (2nd series) #178]

Tests soon confirmed that Iceman had never been "decimated" to begin with. His power loss was purely psychosomatic and not a result of Wanda’s machinations. While his destabilized powers were now releasing dangerously harsh levels of cold, they did come with the benefit of being able to revert back to his human form for the first time in months. The joy of having his powers restored quickly subsided, however, when Iceman learned that Polaris had been depowered on M-Day. Lorna had been hiding her situation in the vain hope that her powers would simply kick back in given time, but she had come to realize that was an unrealistic hope. She chose to leave the X-Men and Havok stepped up to leave with her, effectively ending her relationship with Bobby. [X-Men (2nd series) #180]

The two quickly stumbled back into the X-Men’s lives, as Polaris was kidnapped by Apocalypse and transformed into his new Horseman, Pestilence. Iceman, Havok, and the other X-Men raided Apocalypse’s Sphinx craft to prevent him and Pestilence from unleashing a meta-plague that would destroy 90% of humanity. When Lorna fell at the end of the battle, Alex risked lethal contamination to give her CPR and save her life. In that moment, Bobby realized how much Alex and Lorna cared for each other, and harbored doubts about whether he would have done the same for Lorna if Alex wasn’t there. With that, Bobby quietly stepped aside and made no further claims on Lorna’s heart. [X-Men (2nd series) #186]

As Havok and Polaris joined Professor Xavier for an extended mission in deep space, the X-Men squads were reorganized and Iceman joined Cannonball and Mystique as the initial recruits for a new squad commanded by Rogue. Their squad grew as they rescued Karima Shapandar and Lady Mastermind from Pandemic’s clinic, and Sabretooth arrived at the mansion seeking sanctuary against some new foes, the chronally-escalated Children of the Vault. [X-Men (2nd series) #188] The Children came at the X-Men sideways at first, framing them for devastation in Nogales and at a SHIELD facility, then sending a brainwashed Northstar and Aurora as emissaries to kill Creed at the mansion. Bobby was caught off-guard at the sight of his late friend Jean-Paul, even more so by the new solar-powered flare the twins were capable of generating. Assaulted by immolating flames in his human form, Iceman was reduced to ash and mist, yet somehow managed to survive.  His consciousness managed to hold control of his molecules, coalescing and condensing from his steaming remains back into ice, and back into human form. He managed to take out Aurora in the process of reforming himself, but the strain on his system made him pass out. He was only saved by Mystique, who gave him mouth-to-mouth long enough to restore his proper respiration. [X-Men (2nd series) #190] Bobby mastered his new trick quickly, as in the final battle with the Children of the Vault he was once again evaporated by the fiery energy vampire, Fuego. Iceman fully restored himself within minutes and turned the tables on Fuego, leaving him cold. [X-Men (2nd series) #193]

After finishing repairs on the Conquistador, the Children of the Vault’s flying former headquarters, Iceman and Rogue’s team went mobile, operating away from the mansion. They tracked down Pandemic, Karima and Regan’s former captor, and managed to put a stop to his operations, but at a cost: Rogue was infected with Strain 88, a virus which pushed her powers to the limits and put her life on the line. [X-Men (2nd series) #196] They retreated to Cable’s base on Providence to get her medical attention. Sitting watch over Rogue’s bedside, Iceman and Mystique started to draw closer.  He had been thinking about her ever since she resuscitated him during the fight with Northstar and Aurora. Rogue had been clear from the start that she hated her adopted mother, and only kept Mystique on the team because she didn’t trust her anywhere else. Despite how ruthless she was and the pain she had caused in the past, Bobby was still touched by the love Mystique showed for the daughter who had rejected her so completely. In her apparent sorrow, Mystique made it clear she was looking for comfort from a “warm body,” too. [X-Men (2nd series) #197]

Before either of them could take things any further, the X-Men were assaulted by the arrival of the Hecatomb, a near-sentient psychic bomb that devoured the minds of anyone it encountered, over 8 million victims thus far. Despite the seriousness of the Hecatomb and its devastation, Iceman and Mystique found time to flirt during its onslaught, and even share a kiss for good luck. Once Rogue used her Strain 88 amplified powers to disable the Hecatomb’s psychic aspects, Iceman focused on its solid core, the original mind-absorbing bomb. By driving it to within a few degrees of absolute zero, Bobby made the Hecatomb brittle enough for Cannonball and the Omega Sentinel to shatter at terminal velocity, ending the threat. [X-Men (2nd series) #199]

The X-Men retreated back to Rogue and Mystique old home in Caldecott County, Mississippi to recuperate now that Rogue was stuck trying to process 8 million minds absorbed from the Hecatomb. After calling in Emma Frost and the other X-Men for assistance, Iceman and Mystique got to talking about how everything was falling apart. In this apparent moment of vulnerability, Bobby connected with Mystique and they slept together. This proved to be a catastrophic mistake. Soon after the other team arrived, the X-Men were ambushed by the Marauders, and half of Iceman’s squad was revealed to be infiltrators for Sinister’s assassins, including Mystique. A neural inhibitor spread over Mystique’s skin had enabled her to neutralize Bobby’s powers during their intimate moment, leaving him painfully vulnerable. [X-Men (2nd series) #200]

Overwhelmed by the attack, Emma Frost forced Iceman and Cannonball to flee with the small amount of information she had psi-skimmed from the minds of the Marauders. It seemed Sinister was targeting time-travelers, precogs… anyone or anything that could provide a glimpse into the future. They were attacked in the air by Sunfire, who had also joined the Marauders, and Bobby managed to kickstart his powers using the wind-chill effect (along with the sheer panic of being dropped from over a mile up in the sky). [X-Men (2nd series) #201]

After interrogating Shiro and conferring with Emma, Bobby and Sam tried to get one step ahead of the Marauders and secure the Destiny Diaries and their future info before Sinister’s goons could. In Flint, Michigan, they engaged the full  complement of Marauders for the diaries, including Sinister himself. It ended in a stalemate – the diaries were destroyed before they could fall into Sinister’s hands, but Cannonball was mentally and physically injured in the fight. During his escape, Iceman came face-to-face with Mystique as she got the drop on him. Bobby was defiant to the end, remarking that Raven had betrayed so many people so many times by this point she was really little more than a rabid dog. Perhaps out of some vague sense of guilt or empathy, Mystique gave him a free pass, allowing Bobby to leave with Sam and get back to the mansion, although she told him next time she would kill him. [X-Men (2nd series) #203] With the entire team except for Bobby dead, kidnapped, incapacitated or turned traitor, Cyclops shut down Rogue’s squad as an independent unit and brought Bobby and Sam back to the mansion to recuperate. [X-Men (2nd series) #204]