I don’t know what the heck is going on. People are blaming it on El Niño...whoever THAT chump is! And listen, I am NOT the biggest fan of snow. I despise the stuff. Being a wheelchair user, it makes my hands wet and cold, my wheels get stuck...and it keeps me from living my usually active party animal lifestyle. So yeah, it’s not that I WANT the winter weather to come...but when it doesn’t, it sorta makes me think it’s the endtimes. And that ain’t good.
So as much as snow and slush and ice are my mortal enemies, every hero needs a villain...and it’s gotta come soon. Y’know, to balance things out. I don’t want cold, icey hands in June or anything.
So, I decided to conjure winter the only way I know how...write a Bleed (it’s my remedy for everything)! This week’s Bleed is all about ice and cold based characters from comics! Heroes, villains and even a certain race of giant. Because...why not?!
So sit back in your comfiest blanket (or snuggie if that’s how you rock it), make some hot cocoa with the little marshmallows and start a fire (ONLY if you have a fireplace, please)...because it’s about to get chilly in here!
Okay, let’s start off...right at the bottom with this guy. Wow. He’s kind of a corny mix of Green Goblin and Iceman, with an extra side of lame. But I will give credit where it is due, he is one of the first of his kind. Icicle was originally a Green Lantern (Alan Scott) villain created in 1947, and used to use an “ice ray” gun very similar to Captain Cold. The original Icicle, Dr. Joar Mahkent, created The Icicle and his ray to seemingly fake his own death. The exact reason he did that is not exactly clear, but he froze an entire ocean liner to do so, putting peoples’ lives in danger, for seemingly no reason. Whatta weirdo.
Years later in the 80’s, Mahkent’s son, Cameron Mahkent takes the guise of Icicle, and has been known as the super criminal into the modern era. Instead of his father’s old ice gun though, Cameron actually has ice manipulation abilities, a la Bobby Drake. He has been mostly affiliated with various DC villain teams such as Injustice Society, the Secret Society of Super Villains and even the Suicide Squad.
It’s safe to say he is one of the more gimmicky B-lister villains around...and all of the other ice characters in the DCU make fun of him. Or at least, they should. He looks like someone left their “Elf on the Shelf” in the freezer overnight.
Am I cheating with this one? Sort of. But she still has cold and ice powers, so this Inhuman cutie patootie counts in my book!
Created in 1965 by the legends, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Crystal is the youngest of the Inhuman Royal Family, has the power to control ALL of Earth’s basic elements (earth, fire wind, water, electricity and of course, ice). And most significantly has possibly broken more superhero (and non-superhero) hearts than any girl in the Marvel Universe. It almost feels like every major comic book there was a guy pining over Crystal. Maybe the she controls “the feels” of men too? Or maybe she’s just that damn adorable. Yeah, she’s the Taylor Swift of comics, basically.
Her first love was Johnny Storm, The Human Torch. Which would make sense, because she was the first girl he ever met that could handle his “heat” if you know what I mean. She then moved onto Quicksilver, during his time as an Avenger, and even married and had a daughter named Luna with Pietro. That all went to crap though...when Crystal actually had an affair with Scarlet Witch and Vision’s neighbor, some normal Joe Shmoe named Norm (wonder how they thought of that name...Joe would have been more subtle). This resulted in literally YEARS and YEARS of heartbreak for Quicksilver. He was a mess. A superhumanly fast mess. It wasn’t pretty.
Later on, after she rejoined her family, the Attilan-based Inhumans, Crystal eventually fell for none-other than...RONAN THE ACCUSER? Uh, yeah. Let’s just say Ronan in the comics isn’t as evil and crazy as the Guardians of the Galaxy movie version. I guess. Sort of. It may have began as an arranged marriage for political reasons between the Inhumans and the Kree, and it was during Secret Invasion and Black Bolt (The Inhuman king) was also a Skrull at the time, but it’s safe to say that Crystal and Ronan did eventually develop actual feelings for one another, which is all kinds of weird!
At any rate, Crystal is back in Marvel’s All-New Inhumans comic series as the leader of a new team sent out to find any and all NuHumans (these are newly created Inhumans that experienced Terrigenesis after the Terrigen bomb...long story), train them and teach them about their heritage. And she’s got a new look, complete with a short, pixie hairdo! It’s not clear if she is still married to Ronan or if she’ll be “Swifting” another unassuming dude in this series.
8. Jötunns/Frost Giants
Our next entry is unique in the way that it’s not exactly ONE character, it’s an entire RACE of gigantic, barbaric monstrous giants! The Frost Giants of Jötunheim! Why? Because I didn’t want to pinpoint one SPECIFIC Frost Giant when they all are big, nasty, icey dudes!
Originally from the Thor comics (and Norse mythology in general), Frost Giants are usually mean, heartless creatures that dwell in the ice realm of Jötunheim and have caused a lot of trouble for Marvel’s Thor and other heroes for decades. You surely don’t wanna go pick a fight with a Jötunn, if you like your body intact. Some of the most infamous Frost Giants are Laufey, Ymir, Skurge and of course, Loki himself, who is the actual son of Laufey, magically altered by Odin as an infant to have the appearance of an Asgardian.
To be honest, the battle scene from the first Thor in Jötunheim between Thor and his friends and the Frost Giants is STILL one of my favorite fight sequences to this day, and helped boost this race as one of the most fearsome in all Marvel lore in my eyes! I hope we see more of them in the third Thor film, Ragnarok.
7. Ice Hulk
Yeah, you’re reading that right. There was an Ice Hulk from the (very underrated) X-Men crossover event, Battle of the Atom. And...well, it’s Ice Hulk!
Well, all you really need to know is that originally we thought that this was some kind of horrible future version of Bobby Drake/Iceman, but it soon turned out the EVIL future Iceman (who was like, a Galdalf-like wizard for some reason) somehow used his powers to create Ice Hulk as this sentient minion-creature. And stuff.
Don’t look at me like that! It was cool! And that’s not even a pun. It was really enjoyable and awesome and....ICE HULK!! ‘Nuff said.
Like Crystal, Storm doesn’t JUST have cold and ice powers. But still, out of all of these characters, her abilities are maybe the strongest. If she wanted, Ororo could probably turn an entire city into a frozen wasteland! She didn’t get the “weather witch” nickname without a reason!
But thankfully, Storm is a good natured hero, and would never willingly use her powers in that manner. But she has been known to freeze objects almost instantly and create snowstorms with only a thought. She would probably be the most powerful ice manipulator in the Marvel Universe...if not for a certain “icey” teammate of hers!
Yup, waaaaay before Elsa from Frozen, Storm was actually the true ice princess! Just let it go.
She may look like the instructor from an 80’s aerobics VHS tape in your mom's closet, but Ice was a prominent Justice League member at one time and a standout ice based superheroine from the DCU.
Ice is the unlikely BFF of Brazillian, green haired, heat based superheroine, Fire, and the two played into the fantasies of many male teenaged readers of Justice League International as a sexy hot & cold duo. It’s actually pretty surprising that they never got their own Fire & Ice comic book series, I always wondered why that never happened. Perhaps at the time DC didn’t think they were popular enough to gain a strong readership alone? Who knows? And what’s stopping them from doing it RIGHT NOW, when female superheroes’ popularity is at an all-time high?
Anyway, Ice was a naive, young hero that was the wholesome girl-next-door type to contrast the flirtatious Brazillian party girl nature of Fire. Although, she did have a rather confusing relationship with the obnoxious Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, and also had an obvious crush on Superman as well. She is also part of the “resurrection club”, having been killed by her evil brother, Overmaster, and then brought back to life years later.
The New 52 has introduced Ice as a member of the Justice League International and has some sort of romantic past with Guy Gardner, which is still as confusing as ever as to why an adorable cutie would want with a complete d-bag....wait, my bad. That actually is VERY realistic, isn’t it?
4. Killer Frost
Killer Frost has always been a funny character to me, because my first impression of her was from the original Crisis On Infinite Earths event, where she could make men attracted to her to the point of almost Pepe Le Pew levels, and did so to Firestorm. I always found it funny that an ice based villain would want anything to do with a fire based hero....and it made no sense whatsoever.
There have actually been quite a few Killer Frosts. The original was named Crystal Frost, and when she died, her friend Louise Lincoln took over the moniker. Then the New 52 introduced Loren Fontier as the new Killer Frost and when she was killed off we were introduced with the one we are now most accustomed to, Dr. Caitlyn Snow, who is portrayed in the Arrow/Flash TV universe by Danielle Panabaker. We now know that we will soon get to see Caitlyn (possibly her Earth 2 counterpart) in full Killer Frost mode at some point this season.
What’s unique about all of the Killer Frosts’ powers is that they are “heat vampires” of sorts, they actually absorb heat and transform them into cold waves. This is something that no other cold based comic characters have the exact ability to do. ust don’t even ask me to explain her weird pre-Crisis man controlling powers...pretty sure that has nothing to do with cold manipulation at all. If anything, wouldn't HEAT do that? I don't really understand the science behind it.
3. Captain Cold
Leonard Snart a.k.a. Captain Cold may not have been the most popular badguys ever (and probably seen as the poor man’s Mister Freeze for many years), but thanks to the hit Flash TV show where he is portrayed by former Prison Break star, Wentworth Miller, it’s safe to say his “net worth” has risen a smidge. His New 52 updated look in the comics has also helped his street cred a bit, he’s now younger, edgier, freeze gun-less and...bare-armed? Yeah. Snart has invited everyone to the gun show, I guess. He’s ripped!
I’m not sure why they had to make him a meta-human now (maybe to draw away comparisons to Freeze?), but I suppose it makes sense to make him younger. I never personally took him seriously as a threat to The Flash when he was the creepy old dude in the winter coat. I live in Canada, I see old guys like Captain Cold on a daily basis...complaining about them kids in their bright clothing running around and moving too fast. The old school Captain Cold is basically any old fart at Tim Horton’s to me.
So, yeah. The updated Snart is an improvement in my books. See? The New 52 ain’t all that bad!
2. Mr. Freeze
Let’s not speak of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin. I promise I won’t use any bad puns like in that movie.
Instead, let’s focus on the 90’s Batman animated series where Paul Dini and Bruce Timm made Freeze relevant. They took a character that was less than great for the first few decades he was around and then was actually done properly with a pretty touching backstory. From then on, I don’t think anyone saw Mr. Freeze as a clear bad guy once they found out he’s only a criminal for the sake of love.
Forget the horrible, campy, Arnie version! Freeze, if presented properly, is easily one of the saddest super villains ever, as all he ever wanted to do was save the life of his wife Nora, and his research to do so was instead used against him, turning him into a freak. I think any person would have sympathy for him. Even Batman does to a degree, but Freeze does do some pretty bad stuff, so Bats has no choice but to beat the living crap out of him. That’s just what The Batman does. It’s his job.
I wonder if we’ll ever see Freeze done properly in a live action film...he deserves a second shot. We’ll definitely get to see the Gotham TV version of him soon. Hopefully that at least will be done decently. And without a horrible Austrian accent.
To me, there could only be one. Iceman isn’t just the best cold powered character on the list...in my opinion he’s the absolute BEST CHARACTER on the list. Think of the EVOLUTION involved with Bobby Drake as a character. First, let me share a bit of my personal history with him and why I’m a fan of Iceman.
When I was a kid, I was a pretty huge fan of the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon show, and Iceman was a character that truly sparked my imagination. I still remember placing my hand on an ice covered window at home or in my parents' car, and pretending I freezed the window like Bobby Drake. Don’t ask why, I was a weird kid.
I guess in a weird way, Iceman was the first X-Man I ever was introduced to, and he was my favorite until I saw the original Beast with the big, bare feet, and then...of course, I met Wolverine. But yeah, there was something about a guy that could make and control ice that seemed attainable, since I’m Canadian and there was so much ice around, I guess!
Bobby Drake was a character over the years that I feel I grew up with, since he began as the youngest X-Man, and he was always written as this young guy...without problems and sort of carefree, until my late teens when I picked up Uncanny X-Men #340. See, Bobby sort of became a man in that issue in my eyes, because it dealt with his dad...a man we had known as sort of a bigot that had never fully accepted his son as a mutant become a victim of a hate crime, and beaten to an inch of his life by Graydon Creed’s anti-mutant terrorist group. Mr. Drake stood up for his son when it counted, because he truly did love Bobby no matter what his genetic makeup was, even if he never could admit it. But for Bobby himself, being Iceman wasn’t fun anymore, and he left the team for awhile. It was heavy stuff. And sad. And was impactful to me and my opinion of this character.
Now years later, Iceman is faced with his biggest evolution, coming out as a gay man. I actually love the idea of this happening, because it felt realistic in how it was written. Bobby never felt truly accepted by his family and society in general as a mutant, so why would he ever come out as LGBT as well? It’s not because it’s a trend, or for inclusion sake...Bobby Drake is gay...and was never comfortable to tell anyone, even his closest friends and teammates about it because he was always afraid of one more thing to keep him from being that happy, funny character WE ALL love. It’s SO real. It’s SO something that so many people can relate to in some way. We all keep things locked away even though it eats us up inside, because we’re afraid it may hurt even more if we expose it.
I know, NONE of that had anything to do with him having cold powers. But it needed to be said anyway. He’s plenty “cool” because he makes ice slides and throws snowballs at bad guys sometimes and even a monster that a future him created made this very list...so that just shows how great his powers are. But hey, Bobby Drake would be a great character even if he didn’t have the best cold/ice based skill set in all of comics. But he does. He’s the Iceman. He's been so well developed over the years that he's become such an ironically WARM, HUMAN character. Even though he made me freeze my hand a lot when I was a kid. So yes...he’s #1.
Hope everyone enjoyed this look at cold based characters. Were there any I missed? Should I do a fire based character list as well? Let me know below or on Twitter!
That’ll be all! Bleed out!