Tag Archives: iceman

71 – X-MEN (Gold Strike Force)

8 Jul

Subject: X-Men (Gold Strike Force)
Roster: Storm (Team Leader), Jean Grey, Colossus, Iceman, Bishop, Archangel
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #1, September 1963

And now we move on from the Heroes and Villains to the Team cards, starting with X-Men’s Gold Strike Force. After the various X-Members were shuffled around in the 90’s relaunches, wherein the original founding members of X-Men, having since formed X-Factor, returned to their original team, there was a need to instead split the family up into two X-Men: gold and blue strike forces (it wasn’t until I did these blogs did I realized the gold and blue designations were representative of the original team colors).

The term strike force reflected the era’s more proactively aggressive mutants, though I can’t remember the teams actually jumping into action any more than they had been before (at the very least trouble had no difficulty finding them). The Gold Team depicted here was the team featured in Uncanny X-Men, at the time illustrated by Whilce Portacio.

I think it was a combination of less impressive art, the lack of Wolverine, and, ashamedly, the girl team leader (splitting into two teams made it easier to reconcile Storm and Cyclops‘ jostling for leadership), but I just wasn’t as into the Golds as much as the Blues (even Gold made it seem more feminine). Luckily a lack of editorial assertiveness meant the two teams appeared in their counterparts’ books frequently, which was good because I always liked Lee’s renditions of Jean, Ororo, and Piotr.

04 – ICEMAN

2 Feb

Subject: Iceman
Real Name: Bobby Drake
Height: 5’8″ Weight: 145 lbs.
Group Affiliation: X-Men (Gold Strike Force)
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #1, September 1963

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 4/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 2/7
  • Fighting Ability: 4/7
  • Intelligence: 2/7

To be honest if I were pacing these cards myself I could see Iceman landing right at number 4 (since I would’ve probably ranked the first few by seniority), so no qualms on my end with regards to that.

I also appreciate the nice explanation of his powers on the character bio, in that he generates the ice by condensing the moisture in the air. This kind of stuff isn’t automatically apparent to an eight year old like I was at the time, and I’m sure I somehow just assumed that he was secreting ice out of his hands like spit out of my mouth.

Unfortunately, the art here is pretty terrible. While the composition and posing are dynamic and powerful, the shading and inking are pretty messy, and there isn’t much aside from his head and coloring that would make you feel like this guy was made of solid ice. He’s just as shiny as the other superheroes in their costumes, and there is none of that angular look that at the time was almost all that distinguished between him and Silver Surfer. His portrait on side 2 is even worse, with the worst case of background cross-hatching a la Liefeld, and the less that can be said about his featureless face the better.

Power Rating-wise, once again I question his Fighting Ability rating of 4/7, since I would not rank it as anywhere near equal to his also 4/7-rating for Energy Projection. This is, after all, the youngest of the original team.

All in all not that surprising for a character that was mainly there for eye candy during this time period, as he wouldn’t be getting a major upgrade until just after Lee and company left, when he developed the power to increase his iced-up size.