Robert "Bobby" Drake's first appearance in X-Men # 1 did not show the true face of the hero, not even his real motivations. For many years, he remained as the joker of the group, even when his girlfriend, Polaris, left him for Havok. He was a member whose presence existed most to make the book fun, not to show his powers and abilities. However, as time began to run, all readers could see the real Iceman.

Bobby was the second X-Men, saved and recruited by Cyclops as a request from Professor Xavier. His powers were quite remarkable, as he had complete and utter control of any previously existing ice formation. In addition, he could also create ice from nothingness and manipulate it as to how he saw fit. Iceman remained with the group until the living island of Krakoa kidnapped him. After salvation by the New X-Men, Iceman, along with other original members left the team, leaving only Scott Summers behind, as the leader of the new group.

In this time of absence from the X-Men, Robert became a member of the Champions, along with the team founder, Warren Worthington III, his friend, the Angel. This team had some adventures but disbanded, when the goals of it's members began to conflict with each other.

Robert would only return to the universe of mutantkind when his former teammate, Marvel Girl, found by the Fantastic 4 in the bottom of Jamaica Bay, reunited her friends from the Original X-Men to form X-Factor. In X-Factor, Robert had already shown more powers from his first appearance, but the most impressive revelation was in his personality side. We learned that Iceman's father was a man filled with prejudice and hatred for what he though that was abnormal, such as African Americans, Orientals, from other religions and cultures. His father was really against his date with Opal, a Japanese girl. After some time in X-Factor, Iceman returned to the X-Men when both groups merged. In this time, some events started to show Iceman's true powers and abilities. After a fight with Colossus's brother, Mikhail, Robert began to show a bigger control over the shapes and forms of his created ice-objects. However, the biggest change appeared after the White Queen took over Drake's body. She showed that he could take bullets without dying, transform in to some sort of semi-frozen water and other things. As he regained control of his body, Bobby started to train to use these newfound powers, learning that the prejudice his father felt for him never actually let Robert be all that he could.

After the Age of Apocalypse, we saw Iceman helping Rogue as she took an absence from the X-Men. They returned to the team, but Robert left again, when Grayson's Creed men beat his father after discussing with the anti-mutant politic about mutant rights. Bobby left the X-Men so he could help his dad, but when one team was in space and the other preoccupied, the power of Iceman was once again needed. He saved Doctor Cecilia's Reyes life and met Marrow while at it. Bobby defeated Bastion (Nimrod) in his own home and then returned to the X-Men with his newfound "friends" with him.

Soon after this great battle, Bobby returned to his home to take care of his father and retire from the team.